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Apple rejects Internet radio recording app for iPhone

updated 10:40 pm EDT, Thu March 25, 2010

Three similar titles still available on App Store

The German developer Vemedio has voiced frustration with Apple, following the rejection of a radio recording app submitted to the App Store. The software, an iPhone version of the desktop title Snowtape, allows users to record and share audio streams from Internet radio sources.

While it is not surprising that Apple would reject an app that essentially allows users to violate copyrights by sharing MP3 tracks gleaned from Internet radio feeds, the developer has criticized the company for failing to cite specific terms in the iPhone SDK which prohibit such functionality.

Vemedio was allegedly contacted by Steve Rea of iPhone Developer Relations to provide reasons for the rejection. Rea reportedly said Snowtape could not be approved because it permanently stores Internet radio content locally on an iPhone or iPod touch, while the integrated sharing feature is also prohibited.

"Of course I tried to asked him about the paragraph in the iPhone Developer SDK agreement we are violating," said Vemedio developer Martin Hering. "His sole words were, that there are lots of things missing in the SDK agreement and that they can not foresee [every] circumstance that leads to a denial of an app."

Although Hering compares his company's app to several other App Store titles, such as FStream and TuneIn Radio, that allow users to record Internet radio for later playback, Snowtape clearly provides a different level of recording ability. While the approved apps simply record the entire stream, including commercials, Vemedio automatically separates each track, adds ID3v2 tags, and even finds album art.

Vemedio also goes one step further with its sharing functionality, automatically uploading each MP3 to a server and pairing it with a unique URL. Although Vemedio presents this as a way for users to listen to their own recordings on a Mac or PC, the function could presumably allow others to follow the link and download tracks instead of purchasing the content.

"So, is this another sad story about a great app that suffers from an unfair and arbitrary approval process," Hering asks. "I still hope that Apple will come around and really starts a discussion with us about what we can do to get Snowtape approved for sale."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    Thanks MacNN

    I appreciate that this article CLEARLY spells out the differences between the Snowtape app and its (App Store) competitors. I'm not taking sides on this dispute at present, but knowing this info really helped me understand on what grounds Apple thought to reject the Snowtape app but didn't reject the others. Good job!

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    I'd always thought that the developer's

    contract mentioned something about Apple being able to reject or pull an app without necessarily giving a clear-cut explanation. I'm sure it's frustrating, but that's how it goes. I'm sure this developer is already heading over to Android or Palm where pirating music is allowed and probably welcomed.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Thought it was implied

    in Apple's contract that they wouldn't accept apps that were performing inherently ILLEGAL acts.

  1. Teq

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -5

    I don't understand why...

    ... nobody sues Apple for this, SDK agreement doesn't mention it, therefore they either shouldn't have the right to deny or provide the developer with a compensation if it is denied.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Re: Thought it was implied


    in Apple's contract that they wouldn't accept apps that were performing inherently ILLEGAL acts.


    And can you explain to use small-minded people what is inherently ILLEGAL about this app?

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -5

    Trolltudo misses the point ... again ...

    The argument is not about what's ILLEGAL, trolltudo ... it's about whether or not Apple has the right to pull/block/reject apps they think *might be* illegal (or obscene, or in violation of their rules, etc).

    I haven't investigated closely enough to say if this app, via its differences from the others (ie separating the stream into distinct MP3s and sharing them on the web), crosses a legal line or not. But Apple, like any other corporation, has (you can rest assured) a clause in their contract that says something akin to "if *in our opinion* your app violates either our own rules or the law, we can reject it."

    FTA: "While it is not surprising that Apple would reject an app that essentially allows users to violate copyrights by sharing MP3 tracks gleaned from Internet radio feeds ..."

    Now, I'm just a simple hyper-chicken country lawyer from a backwoods asteroid, but an app that works to violate copyright sounds to me like it MIGHT POSSIBLY have legal or Apple TOS problems.

    But thanks for admitting you're small-minded.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Farking Apple

    This is why we can't have nice things, at least without jailbreaking our phones. The question of legality (it's not illegal) is besides the point. The fact is, this is something the user wants to do with the device they have purchased, and Apple has chosen to deny their own customers this right. This is why the App Store distribution model is not sustainable, especially as the model is taken to more sophisticated devices like the iPad. This kind of censorship and control certainly takes a lot of value out of the platform for many of its users. I'll keep jailbreaking my iPhone for now, but it's getting tiresome, and I really hope for some very strong competition so that Apple is forced to loosen its reins on their customers.

    I won't be touching the iPad with a 10-foot pole until there's a supported way to install any software I want on there. I'm willing to put up with this c*** in order to have the nicest phone available, but I draw the line at fighting my vendor for access to a device I never really needed in the first place.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    chas_m misses the point again

    Trolltudo misses the point ... again ...

    The argument is not about what's ILLEGAL, trolltudo ... it's about whether or not Apple has the right to pull/block/reject apps they think *might be* illegal (or obscene, or in violation of their rules, etc).


    Um, I specifically quoted someone who said it was ILLEGAL. Thus, asking that person, specifically, what was illegal about it.

    Oh, right, ignore the whole topic, just find something to bash about. I know how you all are.....

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Dishonesty at its finest.

    Someone is taking advantage of multiple IP addresses and double- and triple-voting when testudo is on the positive vote side and simple comments that do nothing but state fact (with no opinion interjected, and I'm not referring to my own posts) are WAY in the negative.

    Nice way to "win."

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