by Miguel de Icaza

Yesterday after rumors that new iPods require a cryptographic checksum on the song database we confirmed that Banshee can no longer store songs on the new iPods.

The new firmware will now refuse to play any songs that you legally own unless you use Apple's iTunes (which is only supported for Windows and MacOS)

A temporary solution is to not upgrade the firmware on your current iPods and avoid purchasing any of the new iPods until someone figures out hwo to generate the checksum.

As a consumer I can vote by not buying Apple products. What bothers me is that they are the market leader and pretty much own that space, other people will buy iPods and they will just not be able to use them with Linux.

With this move they are preventing people from using their iPods with Linux which will be added to the list of things that "Linux can not get right". Not because we can not get it right, but because of Apple's anti-competitive practices. What better way to keep your potential competitors down than with a little lock-out strategy, using the strength in one market to help weed out the competitors on another market. In fact, today's experience with Banshee is no different than using iTunes: plug, sync, unplug.

Apple being the darling of the computer industry will face little or no criticism over this.

Maybe this need to be brought up with the EU commission as another unfair business practice from Apple.

Although someone will eventually break the new lock from Apple, they can keep changing it, and every time they change it, they will keep stopping consumers from using their iPods with Linux. Maybe it is time for Apple to be subject to some quality-time government sponsored regulation.

Update: As Lennart points out, this is hardly the first time that Apple has locked out competitors or products that interoperate.

Cory Doctorow weighs in on the issue, and states:

I guess my next player won't be an iPod after all.

Cory last year stated that he would switch to Linux from OSX. I hope that he did.

Posted on 15 Sep 2007