Apple's Podcaster Block Backlash Getting Louder

from the not-so-good,-Apple dept

Apple is getting an awful lot of attention for blocking a podcasting app from the iPhone App Store because it competes with iTunes, and the more details come out, the worse it looks for Apple. In the original post on it, I had wondered, as an aside, if the app had useful functionality that Apple refused to provide -- and, indeed, that's the case. CNET is pointing out that the app is much more useful, since it lets you download podcasts directly to the iPhone -- something iTunes doesn't currently allow. Yet, Apple has no incentive to add this very useful feature, because it can just block out anyone who tries to do it for them. In the meantime, the developer of the app is forced to use a very limited workaround to offer the app to folks who want it (knowing that Apple could just come in and shut it down). Again, these moves are all well within Apple's right to do -- but it's going to piss off developers (and customers) if these sorts of activities keep up.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 3:02pm

    Walled Gardens

    Oh, look, another attempt at a walled garden.

    Oh, look, everyone hates it.

    Oh, look, noone is surprised.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    teknosapien, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 3:06pm

    I wont Buy apple again

    I'm looking to replace my IPOD with some other Player. While the Zune seems nice I'm leaning towards the ARCHOS media player www.archos.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Mark, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 3:24pm

    Didn't care before

    Apple didn't mind when the promoted Podcaster as a web service:

    http://www.apple.com/webapps/entertainment/podcaster3.html

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    shmengie, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 3:26pm

    if microsoft was doing this, you can bet we'd be hearing more about it. and very vocally, at that. as it is, apple folks are very forgiving towards steve jobs' company. can apple do no wrong? god bless 'em!!

    oh, well, sure...the developers are pissed. but ma and pa apple user don't know jack.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Walled Gardens

    I wonder if this is a keep at&t happy move.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 4:13pm

    Podcaster Backlash

    The Android GPhone will take care of that for Podcaster. When developers have freedom to enable services and features that customers actually want, the closed iPhone will become a "has been" in a short period of time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 5:38pm

    Apple Can't Do No Evil

    Moral superiority is a key part of the Apple brand. The bad things it does aren't really that bad, because, well, they're done by, you know, Apple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    LDøBë, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Apple Can't Do No Evil

    Tell me one example of how apple has been morally superior to any other company. You can't use the "morally superior" excuse when it's so flamingly ungrounded. Just because of the smug mac vs. Pc commercials apple has shown itself to be less moral than even microsoft.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Roy H, Sep 16th, 2008 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Re: Apple Can't Do No Evil

    I'm pretty sure he was sarcastic

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Chango lo Mango, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 12:08am

    This article ( and the lame comments) are just a bunch of reactionary BS. Do any of you idiots actually have an iphone? You can get the app straight from Alex for $9.95 (with Apple seeing no part of that) and all the hype about this today and monday on Cnet has made his sales for the last 48 hours greater than the total since launch. Tech dirt is getting to be worse than wired these days and the baited, predictable reactions on the comment board might prove it to be even a bgiger tardfest than wired.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 1:10am

    Re:

    If you dont like Twchdirt or wired why read them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 6:30am

    Re:

    With a kill-switch pre-installed on the phone, how reliable is that app going to be? And, can he legally sell something developed using the iPhone SDK if he's not selling it in the iPhone store? I would guess that Apple could shut him down at any time, and you would be left with an unsupported app that Apple may just decide to "kill."

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 6:36am

    Re:

    And here is the info from the article that backs up what I said above:

    "The main drawback is that Podcaster is limited to the first 100 people Sokirynsky signs up. Worse, to shut it down, Apple can pull the plug on his AppleID."
    "Of course, Apple could shut down Podcaster at pretty much any time, so you may be throwing your money away. And that’s too bad because Podcaster offers perhaps the easiest and best way to subscribe to podcasts directly from your iPhone (well, the easiest once you have it installed anyway)."

    Yes, this is a big deal. However, I hope it is the kind of big deal that drives iPhone sales into the ground. Publicity for them has not been exactly great lately, and more of this could turn a lot of people away, especially once Android launches. I would love to see iPhone fail, simply because I am sick of Apple getting to run the market with their walled-off, proprietary garbage. Fortunately, they are still a rather small percentage of the mobile phone market, and will remain that way as long as their phone is 200+ dollars.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Joe Schmoe, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 7:35am

    > ...Do any of you idiots actually have an iphone? You can get the app straight from Alex for $9.95 ...

    Hey, easy you un-informed twit.

    While you can get it from outside of the store, Apple still has the ability to shut it down if they decide to become even more aggressive.

    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/08/12/iphone-app-blacklist-confirmed/1

    "Jobs has confirmed that the hidden blacklist feature can be used to remotely disable applications Apple deems 'malicious'. Confirmation as to the existence of a 'kill-switch' feature hidden in the iPhone which allows Apple to remotely disable applications it deems malicious has come from the very top – Steve Jobs himself..."

     

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  15.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 17th, 2008 @ 7:36am

    Part of AT&T Deal?

    Hasn't anyone considered that part of the AT&T deal involves NOT allowing certain applications that will capacity off the 3G and EDGE networks? AT&T includes unlimited data plans with iPhones, but we know that what you think of "unlimited" and how a cellular company interprets it are somewhat different.

    Why no VoIP? There are plenty of examples. The iPhone is sold as a package by AT&T (in the US) and Apple. It's a great device, with a great range of application choices, but it's NOT open, and we know that it's deeply controlled by Apple. Why would you suspect that it's not also controlled by AT&T as part of their deal?

    Conclusion: Great device for the average Joes out there (the vast majority), bad device for the leading-edge geek, or open sourcer.

    That's why I carry a Windows Mobile phone. Much worse UI than the iPhone, much worse user experience. But I can do about a hundred things the iPhone can't do, jailbroken or not (slingbox being example #1).

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    Well, comparing Microsoft to Apple appears to be a fair thing, if you are talking about "windows" vs "itunes" then these comparisons are invalid.

    Windows is a ubiquitous platform that has been deemed by a number of legal bodies to have a monopoly. iTunes on the other hand does not.

    Besides, MS has made similar baffles with Zune. People have complained but not too loudly mainly because, well, who the hell has a Zune??

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Norm, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 7:52am

    Podcasts to iPhone

    Geez I could consider an iTouch for this feature alone, being addicted to Podcasts.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    To me, the reaction is not about this application but about the iPhone platform. I am a software developer, interested in offering an application on popular platforms.

    But this story is strong evidence that I am putting my company at risk by developing for the iPhone. I have no assurance that the application I build, that I want to sell to my customers, can actually be distributed.

    Apple can apparently pull the plug on my application on a whim, whether it be that they don't find it useful, they find it redundant, or if they find that it competes with other offerings (like, say, my competition?).

    The backlash is understandable from multiple viewpoints. So why is this reactionary BS exactly?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    rec9140, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    No smart people, unlike the apple sheeple don't use iphones.

    I have a phone which does it exactly that. It makes and receives calls, and can get SMS to act as an alpha pager replacement.

    I don't need web, email, or anthing else.

    I also don't want GSM junk technology on inferior network.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 17th, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    You can get the app straight from Alex for $9.95 (with Apple seeing no part of that) and all the hype about this today and monday on Cnet has made his sales for the last 48 hours greater than the total since launch.

    Which we actually mentioned in the post. Funny that you accuse us of not knowing this, when it's clear you did not read the post.

    That said, as we noted, only a limited number of users can get the app directly from him before the loophole gets shut down -- and Apple can kill the app either way for those users.

    So, no, it's not as simple as you make it out to be, no matter what you think of us or this site.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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