Amarok to Palm: "Forget Apple, Come to Us!"

Jul 17, 2009

Open source project Amarok, in an open letter to Palm, has invited the company to work with them. The reason: the Apple iTunes 8.2.1 update guarantees that the Linux-based Palm Pre smartphone can no longer use the iTunes music management software.

Dutch KDE developer Bart "Stecchino" Cerneels wrote in a July 16 Amarok blog addressed as an open letter to the Sunnyvale CA handheld provider: "You're in the business of selling phones, not software. I don't think deciding to 'outsource' this to Apple was a smart move though. So now the bully is attacking you on *their* playground... You could go crying to the [lawsuit court]. But if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Amarok team!" He adds: "We promise not to change our application to prevent users [from using] Amarok with your device."

Another Amarok developer supported him in a separate KDE.News entry. Under the title "The Business of Free," Nikolaj Hald Nielsen described the possible collaboration between the free Amarok project and the Silicon Valley firm that could ultimately profit both entities. He was referring to the recent Gran Canaria Desktop Summit talk given by Cerneels and himself of an already mutually beneficial collaboration between Amarok and the Magnatune online music store, by way of example. It's clear from Nielsen's bio that he has since become lead programmer at Magnatune (in addition to his work at Amarok) after integrating the Magnatune shop into Amarok three years ago.

Palm customers won't be able use the current iTunes on their smartphone as easily when the iTunes 8.2.1 update appears. The news came from Arik Hesseldahl in a July 15 Business Week blog. The Palm Pre was apparently being marketed as an iPod device so as to sync up with iTunes, thus making Palm an iPod and iPhone competitor. This was beginning to rankle Apple in mid-June, as they reported in a support notice.

The Palm Pre with its Linux-based webOS was announced at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January. June 16 Palm's promised Mojo SDK also became available to app developers.

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  • More Power to Linux

    This is a good article. I am starting out on the tech highway and taking an Unix Operating System introductory course at a community college. I think that as more young people become tech able, Apple and Microsoft will begin to shrink in importance as we move to a better understanding of technology and its integration in life. More power to the developers of these applications in making open source codes available so that innovation does not stop at the boardroom door.
  • I'm Belgian

    I'm not Dutch, but I can understand the confusion though. I live in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium where Dutch is the official language.

    Thanks for posting this on your site, we like the word to be spread so hopefully something will come of this. It will mean a boost for all Free Software multimedia applications.
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