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back to article Trouble in Paradise iTunes Land

The iTunes App Store may be the iPhone's killer app, as USA Today and others have claimed, but its home - the online mega-mall iTunes Store - has hit a few bumps as of late. First, there were reports yesterday from ipodnn and a few friends of The Reg that the iTunes Store has been hit with slowdowns and outages. While all seems …

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Coat

How about allowing inverted search?

They need to do the same thing that Google needs to do, make it both possible and easy to get search returns that start at page one million (or whatever) and proceed backwards down to page one.

There are often times when what I'm googling for involves the same terms as something entirely else that is what most people using those terms will be searching for or will have written about, which means that the lower the page number the lesser the chances of my finding that for which *I* am looking.

Mine's the one turned inside out and hung upside down.

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like pop music

"Ringtone Apps" are like pop music - and sell for the same price. It was never before possible for programmers to create such things and get paid, but Apple has accidentally created a market for them.

Far from being badly matched for such Apps, the iTunes store already offers a thousand times as many 99c songs as 99c apps. Hockenberry can whinge all he likes, but it's time to figure out new ways to promote apps in this new environment.

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Gates Halo

This is the Mac way though

"Don't give a shit about the end users and piss-off the (3rd party) developers" - that's the Jobs motto.

On a related note, how come EU monopolies commisioneers haven't slammed down on the Jobs for his highly public monopoly of installing apps on the iPhone ? Bet if his Lordship St. Gates had tried that, he'd still be under a ton of bricks.

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Anonymous Coward

Option 3

This isn't your first attempt at an etail site.

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Anonymous Coward

The other option 3

You've seen it happen to someone else :)

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Unhappy

DRM

As a cardcarrying freetard it's a central tenet of my faith that, faced with the choice between iTunes' DRM-crippled offerings or something like, say, 7digital.com which is now ~95% DRM-free mp3s, Mr Jobs is due for a richly deserved middle order batting collapse in the face of a blistering pace attack. Aren't iTunes files limited in the number of devices they can be migrated to? If so, presumably the early adopters will soon be finding that large chunks of their music collections will shortly be running out of wicket as they try to move it onto the latest shiny-shiny Apple gadget. But I keep not hearing of rioting mobs of angry fanbois outside Apple Stores, so presumably I've got the wrong end of the stick wrt that one?

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Silver badge

I'm sorry, *what*?

"But when are we going to see the utility of the platform taken to another level, like when spreadsheets appeared on the Apple ][ and desktop publishing appeared on the Mac?"

You're talking about a frigging phone, you know. The paramount of creativity on such a platform is to successfully scale down and port an existing app. The natural app-king in this ecosystem is a cheap frivolous fancy "ringtone app". If you think you're going to make big bucks by developping a network audit app or a thermodynamics simulation app for the Jesus phone, your perception of target audience is so twisted that you desserve every FLAIL you get

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Unhappy

apps like Ocarina and Koi Pond are very cool

These do sound cool - sadly I could'nt follow the links.

Apparently iTunes is not installed on my computer.

Theres a reason for that...

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@Tom Paine

At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader for DRM, I'll explain the device limit...

If you're done with a given device, you can _de_authorize it reclaiming it's 'slot' so you can authorize a new device in it's place.

It's not 5 devices ever, it's 5 devices at a time.

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Not 5 devices, 5 PC's

Each iTunes account can be enabled on 5 PCs at a time. As many iPods, iPhones and Apple TVs as you want tethered to each. Content erased when you tether to a new PC.

Anyway, large amounts of content are quietly going non-DRM. The only way the labels can persuade their customers to trust other outlets.

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Market forces

I find it hard to feel any sympathy for iPhone app developers. Surely if people actually wanted their products they'd skip past the cheaper apps to get to the usefull ones? I'm sure there are some genuinely usefull bits and bobs out there for the iPhone, but from what I've seen on my pals' iPhones most apps are useless gimmicks designed to 'show off' the motion sensor or touch screen without adding any functionality, or games that quickly become repetative.

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@David Bates

@David Bates

As there is a reason for not having itunes on your machine one would assume that you are just an asshat who likes to make smarmy comments and not actually the owner of either an iphone or an ipod touch. So however interesting the app or however well it works you are not going to be able to look at it or examine it. So grow up.

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Jobs Horns

It needs apps...

..to make up for the lack of functionality.

I hate using it. It's becoming a real Gay icon in London now.

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Bronze badge

Lots

There's lots of good apps out there. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't want most of them on the iPhone or iPod Touch for some reason. The iPhone/Touch could be one hell of a good PDA, except that Apple's imagination doesn't extend that far. Maybe it's not "cool" enough to make a PDA, I don't know. For me, this is the defining moment that shows Apple has lost the plot. Taking great hardware and deliberately hamstringing it is, in my opinion, one of the very definitions of "stupid evil".

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Flame

Apple koi-tards

I clicked on the koi-pond link, silly me.

One small piece of browser insecurity later, iTunes opens and shows me exactly what I though - yep a koi pond for iPhone.

I vaugely remember writing just such an app... in 1984... in Basic... for a Dick Smith Wizzard (if anyone remembers THOSE!) and it looked almost exactly the same, just with a 16-colour pallete.

I wasn't thoughtful enough to include a help-file though, maybe because (silly me) I didn't think anyone would need one for a fother-mucking COMPUTER SIMULATION OF A POND!

Maybe the help file reads like this:

Step 1. Look at it, you HALFWIT!

Step 2. Try not to drool on the iPond

Step 3. Look cool

Step 4. PROFIT!

Seriously, a Help-file for a SIMULATED POND? Fuck me, what next for Apple-tards, video instructions for doors and tea-bags?

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@raving angry loony

Actually, it makes sense. Their target is the everyman. Start putting in sophisticated business-related tools, and the iPhone becomes just another business-oriented device. And in that arena, Apple will lose since there is another device dominating that market and designed from the ground up *for* businesses: Blackberry. It's a matter of image. The last thing Apple wants is for the iPhone to even begin to resemble a PDA, since it will stratify the audience. To use your terms, it's not "stupid evil"; it's "necessary evil".

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Unhappy

killer app hidden by crap

Oh noes, the billions of cheap crappy apps and ringtones on the itunes site are obscuring the superfantastic vapourwarez. If only there was another way to spread word about the fabby software to users of this telephone/SMS/email/web browsing device.

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Anonymous Coward

@John Molloy

>As there is a reason for not having itunes on your machine one would assume that you are just an asshat who likes to make smarmy comments and not actually the owner of either an iphone or an ipod touch.

Or someone who has installed an alternative piece of software to manage the music on his iPod ? One which doesnt tie the user down to approved music sources ? Or try and install software the user doesnt want ?

My computer, my mp3 player, NOT rented or leased but MINE.

Read it asshat :)

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Silver badge

Silly cry-baby programmers

So... less people are buying your boring, but well written, application than are buying the popular, but crappily written, apps?

No shit Josephine!

Does a fancy Frog Restaurant set up in a mall food court wedged between Subway and McD? If they did then would they complain that McD's 99c special is preventing them from selling a $30 fancy dish?

I suspect that the griping programmers are still selling more than they would if they had an independent website.

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Anonymous Coward

People are gonna start avoid the itunes software due to...

.. spyware. The one thing the itunes way of doing things was meant to stop was all teh malwear. So why does a tower defence game need to know my current location? it doesn;t show on teh high score list, or anywhere else, so the only reason i can guess is that its being sent somewhere, so it sening details on me somewhere else.... so its spyware.

Distribution of malware is meant to be a no-no so can we hit itunes with a nice big fine for it?

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Paris Hilton

Position is everything.

You *can* make a better mousetrap but the world won't beat a path to your door unless you can find a way to let them know about it. If the way to your door is obscured by 99c mousetraps then you will sell less of your product.

Damnit, I've not been nasty about Apple, Mactards, jeebus phone users (although I will make sure to let my jeebus phone toting acquaintances know it's becoming a gay icon) or anything, I think the Christmas spirit is getting to me.

Time for a gratuitous Paris I think...

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Anonymous Coward

ATTN IPHONE DEVS

If you wanna make money, get in on the scam evernote is pulling. Offer a free app that you tie to a premium web service.

People download the app because it's free, pushing up the rankings, and then they get dumped out at a "Haha, you thought it was free" screen.

Alternatively, do what Instapaper and Twitterific have done and develop a GOOD free app, and then a BETTER paid one.

Oh, and for myself, at least £4 is the threshold between "I'll give it a go" and "Why the hell is an application for a mobile phone >£4?"

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@ sleepy and Joe Cooper

Yes, the de-authorisation process is nice in theory, until your laptop dies or gets stolen. Then you cant de-authorise it. I am now down to three licences due to these two reasons. I'm also assuming that the ar*ehole who stole my lappy is still enjoying my rather eclectic (some may say crap) music collection.

It would be nice if apple allowed you to de-authorise a machine from any other machine - after all, they must store the details somewhere, why cant they show them to you? Oh yes, I know that there is the annual de-authorise everything option, but that is simply a pain in the balls.

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Gold badge

@Charles Manning

But it ain't like that. What you're getting here is your fancy Frog Restaurant sat with three other fancy Frog Restaurants in the basement which is only accessible via the Fire Escape. The main mall area is occupied by thousands of Micky D's and Subnormals. The elevators and escalators only serve the main floors.

The clientele of the mall is made up almost exclusively of people who, when looking for a decent meal, will give up after ten minutes and have a burger.

I have seen the future. It's white, motion sensitive and has crap food.

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Stop

@AC 00:21 GMT

> Or someone who has installed an alternative piece of software to manage the music on his iPod?

> One which doesnt tie the user down to approved music sources ?

Clueless Idiot! Are you not aware that you can use music gained from any of the growing number of DRM-free MP3 store's in iTunes?

@Adrian Esdaile:

> Maybe the help file reads like this:

> Step 1. Look at it, you HALFWIT!

Yeah, touch-screen interactivity works really well by just using your eyes eh? Probably why nobody's heard of your "almost exactly the same" application from 1984, and why you're not the one making a decent living out of it...

@ Tom Paine:

Since this article is about applications and not music, your comments are completely irrelevant, but anyway - it is the record labels that prevent Apple from selling all non-DRM's tracks. They're deliberately doing this in an attempt to reduce Apple's marketshare while giving rival music stores DRM-free MP3's. Strangely there's no evidence that this tactic is working...

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@Kieron McCann

> It would be nice if apple allowed you to de-authorise a machine from any other machine

Erm, they do! Try typing "deauthorize itunes" into Google and click the top link. Hardly rocket science.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1420

This is exactly for people who no longer have access to a previously authorized computer.

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@ Kieron McCann

@ Kieron McCann

"Oh yes, I know that there is the annual de-authorise everything option, but that is simply a pain in the balls."

Click Deautorize All.

re-authorize all machines which haven't been stolen by typing your password.

Where is the "Pain in the Balls?"

@AC

"Or someone who has installed an alternative piece of software to manage the music on his iPod ? One which doesnt tie the user down to approved music sources ? Or try and install software the user doesnt want ?

My computer, my mp3 player, NOT rented or leased but MINE.

Read it asshat :)"

Well assuming you are actually talking about an iPod touch. Try clicking the APP store icon and examining it there. OR Browse to the web page on the ipod and follow the links from there - it will magically take you to the relevant part of the app store where you can purchase it from there. Alternatively just jailbreak the thing and download what you want.

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@ AC 10:05 GMT

> touch-screen interactivity works really well by just using your eyes eh?

Yeah you used your eyes to acces the help page

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Not usually a fanboi

The iPhone is the first apple hardware I have ever purchased and, despite it's obvious shortcomings for some (No cut & Paste. No MMS etc) I have been happy with it overall. Of course it is jailbroken so I can install apps from all over the place.

The main thing about the app store is that it is so tightly controlled. Just monitor the apps for obvious malware / spyware and then let people download the stuff, shouldnt really be up to apple to QC the stuff, nor should it be up to apple to tell me I cant' part with £,000's for a collection of pixels in the shape of a diamond or whatever to prove how rich (stupid?) I am.

also, the number of people downloading free apps and then giving them scathing reviews. It's FREE download it, try it don't like it take it off FFS

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Anonymous Coward

but they don't

"Just monitor the apps for obvious malware / spyware and then let people download the stuff"

They don't do that too well atm, loads of random internet connections going on , needing location information, wanting to access your gps for non gps apps , one app even nabbed your contacts list for a while.

"also, the number of people downloading free apps and then giving them scathing reviews. It's FREE download it"

So you saying that free can't be utter crap?

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Flame

@TeeCee

"I have seen the future. It's white, motion sensitive and has crap food."

Is that the white, motion sensitive, automatic toilet from Japan? Heats up when it senses your posterior approaches and flushes after it senses your (now lightened) posterior leaving? GENIUS piece of kit! I'd definitely pay 99c for that... now if only it had a coffee mug holder...

iPhone. meh. You pays your money and you makes your choice. I curiously find myself not trusting my grip on it as I never want to accidentally touch the screen and change stuff, and for you user-centric-experience-experts, I don't lock phones and what not as I like to be able to change volume and tracks and so on by looking like I'm having a fiddle with the crown jewels, and no, I didn't have headphones that did all that fancy stuff as it was a mates' iPhone who didn't like it so I just had a brief play. My opinion: too big. And I don't want to be mistaken for a gay around town. Again. Not when fiddling with my crown jewels.

Flamey toasty warm bog seat... that's when I realised things were going to change...

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