A couple of days ago I blogged about the database hash in new iPods, which prevents their use with song management software other than iTunes. There is no iTunes for Linux.
The good news is that apparently the hash has been cracked, “using a debugger on Windows.”
Miguel de Icaza goes on to observe:
Breaking the hash is not really a long-term solution, as they can keep making the process harder every time. The long-term solution is for iPods to have a standard interface that third parties can communicate with.
Indeed. Of course, if iTunes and iPod communicated through a standard API, and if Apple would license its DRM or support alternatives, then any hardware vendor could sell iPod-compatible hardware, any software vendor could come up with substitutes for iTunes, and any online music store could compete with Apple’s official one.
Commoditization. Something Apple will do anything to avoid.