Palm itself had warned that the Pre's iTunes sync functionality could be broken at a moment's notice (and at Apple's whim), but we're pretty sure no one expected it'd happen this quickly. We've been able to confirm that version 8.2.1 of the software prevents the sync from working, meaning that you've got to add music the old-fashioned way -- the Pre functions as a USB drive, too -- until Palm gets around to patching the hack (if they decide to patch it, that is). This could end up being a protracted game of cat-and-mouse, which is entertaining to watch but nightmarish for the consumers down in the trenches actually trying to use this stuff. Funny thing is, Apple's straight up saying in its release notes that the update "addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices" -- in other words, they weren't being verified before, and now they are, thank goodness. Peaceful sleep is once again within our reach.

Update: Apple's now gone beyond the "verification of Apple devices" phrase, calling out the Pre by name in a statement issued to BusinessWeek: "It also disables devices falsely pretending to be iPods, including the Palm Pre. As we've said before, newer versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with unsupported digital media players." In other words, "we told you this was going to happen, and it did." For its part, Palm appears to have re-issued the same statement it made a while back, saying that Apple's move is a "direct blow" to its users. Words are one thing, but here's the real question: is there a quick counterstrike fix planned from Palm's side?

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iTunes 8.2.1 brings Pre's music syncing capability to a halt (updated)