So the great experiment is over. What used to work with the Palm Pre (s PALM) no longer does, as the result of Apple’s new iTunes 8.2.1 (s aapl) software. I’m talking about the ability to synchronize DRM-free iTunes music with the Pre handset. It was fun while it lasted, but Apple has effectively shut it down for now, says PreCentral.
Most of us figured that this functionality was on borrowed time at best. Masquerading a Pre to look like an iPod was clever on the part of Palm. But in the end, Palm has no control over iTunes. Apple does.
Long story short: This isn’t as terrible as it sounds from an end user perspective. While it would be easier for some folks to use iTunes, there are alternatives. We’ve covered DoubleTwist and The Missing Sync before and although the latter only works on a Mac, both are viable options. Or you could use the simple but manual method I show above: Plug in your Pre via USB and put it in USB Drive mode. From there, you simply drag and drop music as needed. It’s not pretty, but it works with practically no effort.
Might Palm try to circumvent the new block from Apple? Perhaps, but I don’t think it’s likely. I expect that Palm simply tried to buy time until third-party developers created tools to sync music between the Pre and a computer.