back to article Apple accused of iPhone ban on 'all single-station radio apps'

Update: This story has been updated with comment from Apple and had been updated in other places to reflect that statement and further conversations with Jim Barcus. Jim Barcus – the president of DJB Radio Apps, an outfit that has long helped build iPhone apps and other mobile apps for radio stations across the country – says …

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Jobs Horns

For now

He is saying 'no more please' but my understanding is that if an app is updated it has to be submitted for approval again. For those with an app already in the store that means they will have to either never update again or risk updating the app only for it to be rejected and then lose their itunes presence.

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Boffin

Multiple Radio Station apps?

Can't see the point myself. If there are people out there who listen to *both* Radio 2 and Radio 4, then stick them in the same app.

After all, Radio 1 listeners won't be using iPhones/iPads until they evolve opposable thumbs, Radio 3 listeners won't give up their valve-driven wirelesses and surely there's no-one reading here who would listen to a commercial station with all those ads being pushed at them and no possibility of filtering them out?

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Anonymous Coward

hmmmm

This explains Tim Berner-Lees recent rant about the closed nature of this new app trend. Seeing that lots of those silly one purpose apps are just fancy wrappers around mobile safari for accessing a singel site.

Personally i don't like those apps, but the market seems to demand them. It's the same thing with radio stations. Which station would put an App Store link on their frontpage without being absolutely sure that the app won't drive their listeners to a different station.

I'd love to write such an app for my favorite station. However the app store rules have made me look elsewhere a long time ago. It's not like I'm going to pay apple just for the privilege to release opensource software through their store. Them adding DRM to apps (even in cases where the developer clearly did not intend so) was just the start of what has slowly evolved into one of the craziest business models out there.

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Happy With Itunes

I think it is a good idea. Port all radio through Itunes. Listening to shoutcast broadcasts has nothing to do with it via Winamp as its a windows only app. Itunes gives you convenience and ease of use and as a computer user that is what I want. I agree hole heartedly with Nigel4. I dont want Spam and other "value added" bollox. I just want to listen to radio from time to time EASILY.. Annonymous Coward should get a new job where he/she does not have to use Apple hardware.

All the best.

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Jobs Horns

Brilliant news Reg!

"Rumors have long suggested that Apple is building its own FM radio app for the iPhone"

Ooh goody, another anti competition suit against apple =]

The rotten apple is dying, it's only a matter of time...

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There goes a perfect business

The guy who sells the same radio station app to every radio station is not happy with a anti rebranding rule from the app store.

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Anonymous Coward

It is obvious

Apple will release their own iRadio app.

They will then charge radio stations to appear on the list in the app. Any other radio apps as they duplicate the functionality of an exisiting apple app will be removed.

as the mrrekat says.

Simples.

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Anonymous Coward

Single station apps

Why would you need a single station app when Oo Tunes can give you the whole lot.

Means I can listen to BBC 6 Music in the car as well...

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sounds nice

but just had a look at Oo tunes station list, and the only other station (other than 6 music) that I listen to (Planet Rock) isn't on there.

Fortunately I already have a single station (free) app for it

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What I don't get is...

...if Apple are trying to sell this as "improving the user experience by removing spam apps" (whether anyone believes that or not), why not start with the genuine dross? (The fart apps, the sexual positions apps, the mirror apps, the apps that clog up the new app feeds day-in, day-out, and that you can tell instantly are just low quality junk.)

Apple's sales figures have bred an arrogance that may not cripple them in the near future, but surely only the most naive business would deliberately bite the hands that feed it.

I have an iPhone and like it, but I'm not blind to the ridiculous actions Apple take, and I'm gobsmacked as to why a company seemingly goes out of its way to make people dislike it for little or no reason. Particularly when it would be relatively easy for them to make some good, sensible decisions that don't alienate customers or developers. Isn't this basic business sense?

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Apple and Radio ...

Not surprised that Apple don't like Radio given their iTunes business!

Was surprised, however, to hear of Apple including an FM receiver/transmitter in the lastest edition iPhone? Really? Why? Would have thought this was a pretty logical no-no for Apple?

My guess is Apple are increasingly looking to exploit control over ALL media channels to market: to monetise themselves, protect own revenues and control flow of information in terms of Apple media shilling.

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Grenade

The reason iPhones have an FM receiver...

..is to give the fanbois something to do when they can't get a signal on their iPhone.

;-)

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Anonymous Coward

maybe

If navigating the store were a little less like pulling teeth, a few extra applications wouldn't cause so many problems.

Break down the categories a bit more, make the view all button obvious and make it show everything, not just the first 200. Make the search a little more advanced.

I find everything about the itunes store difficult to get at what i want. Even if i know the exact application but not it's name I struggle to find it

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Jobs Halo

I like my walled garden thanks

I get to relax and enjoy the lush vegetation, without being troubled by the noisy council riff raff across the street.

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Grenade

or...to put it another way...

you get to look over you wall at the freedoms being enjoyed by the outside world :-)

Hey, and maybe communism was a good idea too - after all, it did kept the pesky libertarian riff-raff out. Enjoy your rations.

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Hmmm

Much as this comment annoys the crap out of me ... I can't fault it :)

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Badgers

Libertarians

Libertarians? Proletarians, surely...:-)

Freedom? Or Risk? Depends on your experiences and your point of view...

If your walled garden is resplendant with heavenly orchids and angels, it'll be "risk"...if it's full of weeds, needles and tramps and the gate is locked...*then* it'll be "freedom".

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Jobs Halo

St. Jobs' response

Just add some more stations. Not that big of a deal.

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Abuse of a dominant position ???

"Rumors have long suggested that Apple is building its own FM radio app for the iPhone"

Wouldn't that be even *worse* than Microsoft's default bundling Internet Explorer in Windows ... until eventually being forced to give equal prominence to competing browsers.

Banning competing radio apps would be far *worse* because MS wasn't actually *preventing* competing browsers, it was just abusing its dominant position by giving its own product a preferential position in its showcasing.

Maybe its time the anti-competition authorities took a hard hard look at Apple and set up an independent arbitrator that could instruct Apple to remove any of its own apps that are similar to those which Apple has prohibited others from offering.

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fm radio

Been on every toyphone and dumbphone for years, and now finally the iToys get it!

Hardly antitrust. More like Jobs' magical device finally catching up to the rest of the uncultured plebians.

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@Shakje

"Welcome to the internet, enjoy your stay."

Where'd they dig up this fossill

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Jobs Horns

This is one of the reasons...

...why I will never buy anything Apple. People should have the freedom and right to run whatever they want on hardware devices they have paid for. Period.

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WTF?

Re: This is one of the reasons...

"...why I will never buy anything Apple. People should have the freedom and right to run whatever they want on hardware devices they have paid for. Period."

What's with people on this, supposedly, technically orientated site?

FFS - am I the only person here who who knows how to jailbreak an iphone and run whatever I want on a hardware device I have paid for?

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did someone say you can get fart apps for the iPhone??

cool :-) it will take android years to catch up with that

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Happy

Well I sort of agree

I would agree with this if Apple have a proper clear out of dross based on ratings or having nobody download the apps.

if the app just opens a stream that you could open in Safari and displays a logo then why bother?

There are single station apps like Radio Javan, which cover just that station, but a truly fine examples of how value can be added to a 'single station app, without it becoming a bloated portal.

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or just maybe.....

...... Apple are annoyed that they get no benefit from advertising revenue.

Commercial radio stations charge for advertising based on listener figures. Through normal means there is no way to give a specific number for the amount of listeners they have so it has to be generalised.

A radio station with its own app could show the number of app users as confirmed listeners, therefore giving them the ability to charge more for advertising. Apple will not get any benefit from this and also wouldn't want someone improving their revenue stream in such a manner.

By lumping all such radio stations into one app they cannot get specific listener figures therefore removing this additional revenue stream for the stations. The only advertising Apple wants is their advertising.

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Jobs Horns

Didn't Apple just put it all on paper

so developers could have some certainty over the App Store?

Looks like His Steveness can't resist control freakery.

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FAIL

If one happens to really like a particular radio station...

...then one would probably really like their one-station app.

For example, if there was a BBC World Service (single station) app, then I'd be very happy. Same thing for any of the other world broadcasters.

It seems a bit over-zealous to restrict one-station radio apps, considering that they're not really bothering anyone, roosting quietly in the depths of the App Store.

I'll have to have a close look at Android phones when the time comes. It seems clear that they're coming up fast.

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me no understand

I've not got an iPhone or iPad, so I genuinely don't know how they operate, but why do you need an app to listen to an online radio station?

Can't you simply navigate to relevant web page and save it as a favourite?

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Seems like a good idea

Like many things Apple does, this move is divisive but it's easy to understand the reasons behind the decision. People talk about Android Market being full of rubbish but Apple has its fair share of shovelware, too (of which single-radio station apps are not the worst offenders by any margin out of the 250,000 apps).

I think, however, there should be an exception made for single-station apps which add unique and meaningful content, e.g. webcam pictures from the recording studio, details and trivia about the song and artist playing, traffic information in your area or the radio station's Twitter stream. If all the app does is play radio, then there's no point having hundreds of these apps clogging up the App Store. There has to be some genuine value added.

As for Jim Barcus's comment that having all the stations in one app "just [isn't] going to happen", well Apple's actions mean that it now will because it's the only way radio stations can find their way on to the iPhone/iPad/iPod. Technically-speaking, it can't be that hard to make such an app. Barcus could probably do it in a heartbeat.

Only Apple is going to win this battle.

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FAIL

Meds

The biggest problem with Apple's App Store is that what is acceptable depends on whether Steve Jobs has taken his meds recently.

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Can't figure their thinking on this...

I'm finding it hard to understand Apple's thinking on this. I mean, behind what they're saying -- not what they're doing. It's almost always easy to see Apple's motivation behind actions: market hegemony and vertical control that reaches down into the customer's psyche.

But what they're saying just doesn't really make much sense from a PR rationale.

I guess they just feel so confident in their control of their customer base as well as their minions in the tech press that they now feel they can use any old rationale and it will fly...

There are times when I think an iPod wouldn't be a bad thing to have... but then I remind myself that I'd be inviting Apple into my life.

No thanks.

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Gold badge

Possible explanation?

Think about why this has happened. Do you think Steve Jobs looks at ever app or gets involved in the App Store? I doubt it, only when something gets escalated to him.

I can imagine it's due to complaints from other developers about how long it is taking for some updates or new applications to appear in the store. After analysis someone at Apple has looked for something to "chop" or be given the blame and radio apps are it.

It is becoming really difficult to find decent apps amongst all the junk. If anything there hasn't been quite enough applications rejected IMHO.

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PS: Do I buy a separate radio receiver...

Oh, and before someone, says that these single radio apps are free. Fine, but I still wouldn't have a separate radio for each station I listen to. So why should I download a free app for each one.

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Q: Do I buy a separate radio receiver for each different radio station I listen to? A: No.

Question: Do I buy a separate radio receiver for each different radio station I listen to? Answer: No.

I don't think there are any radio sets on sale that are fixed-tuned-into one station.

So why should I have to download a different app for each station I want to listen to?

Sounds like Apple have taken a sensible stance here. An app for everything is becoming a bit ridiculous when many could simply work within mobile versions of websites in Safari.

I also have an ageing but trustworthy Nokia N82 - there is only one radio app - the Nokia Internet Radio Application for receiving thousands of stations. Having them all in one place makes searches for genres, keywords, by country possible, that couldn't be said with a separate app for each station.

As for profits, remember that is not only Apple's interest, it is the interests of Jim Barcus, the president of DJB Radio Apps in the article.

It's very easy to set up a .m3u stream to stream mp3 audio online for your station - I've set it up for one station, and Safari will pick this up just fine.

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