iTunes App Store Denies Apps Without Consistency!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on September 5, 2008

CLICK HERE TO DIGG THIS STORY

A few weeks back, I was browsing the Apple App Store to see what Apps were available for download on my iPhone. I was surprised to see a Diggnation Application that had been made available.

Diggnation is a video podcast that I used to enjoy watching to catch some of the more popular tech news stories of the week. Unfortunately, Diggnation is a video podcast that exceeds thirty minutes for each episode. As I was not always able to devote this much time to watching a video podcast each week, I often found myself getting several episodes behind in my podcast subscription feed.

A few months back, I had actually unsubscribed from this video podcast due to the fact that, at the time, I only had a 4gig iPhone and I was getting errors saying that I didn’t have enough space available on my iPhone to sync everything I needed to sync. I know that I had an option to change my settings to only sync certain podcasts or only the most recent few episodes. However, I didn’t want to impose such limits on my other podcasts. I simply unsubscribed.

The Diggnation Application was genius! One feature I’ve always wanted on my iPod was to be able to wireless get the most recent episodes of my favorite podcasts without having to first download them to iTunes and then sync my iPod. This application doesn’t actually download the podcast episodes on the iPhone for keeps and then sync it back when I connect to iTunes again. However, what it does is simply goes out and pulls up the rss feed for Diggnation and then allows me to click on any of the episodes and then the built in media player on the iPhone or iPod Touch will then stream the file over wifi, edge, or 3G.

As I continued to browse the App Store, I found the Mobility Today Application. Mobility Today is simply an audio podcast and the application does the same thing the Diggnation Application does accept it simply streams .mp3 files instead of video files.

Now since I produce eighteen of my own podcasts at gspn.tv, I figured this would be an excellent application for our listeners. Often times, our listeners sync their iPods and iPhones before they leave the house for the day, hoping to have the most recent gspn.tv podcasts. However, I often release anywhere between two to eight podcasts in a single day and our community members would listen to many of them on their way home from work or while at the gym if only they had them available.

I contacted the creator of the Diggnation and Mobility Today application and hired him to build me a similar application for gspn.tv. However, I went the extra step of having him code and create the functionality of having the ability for our gspn.tv Plus Members to sign in with their user name and password so that they would have access to all the premium content only available to Plus Members.

After weeks of waiting for approval from the iTunes App Store, checking the App Store each day to see if my App has been made available, I finally got an email from Apple. Here is what they had to say….

From: de———s@apple.com
To: Cliff@Ravenscraft.org
Subject: gspn.tv: Application Submission Feedback


Please include the line below in follow-up emails for this request.

Follow-up: 54817423

Hello,

gspn.tv cannot be posted to the App Store, as the App Store is not the appropriate channel for distributing podcasts.

The iTunes Store has separate categories dedicated to each type of media. Music, podcasts, and movies are delivered through that channel. Information on publishing podcast on iTunes can be found at: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302199

Regards,

Victor W*******
Worldwide Developer Relations
Apple, Inc.

Needless to say, this news did not make me happy. Here my email response back to Apple.

From: Cliff@Ravenscraft.org
To: de———s@apple.com
Subject: RE: gspn.tv: Application Submission Feedback


I’m writing regarding the FOLLOW UP: 54817423

See below referenced email:

Regarding your decision… There are two applications that are already approved, in wide use, and have great feedback ratings that are EXACTLY like my application…

Here is one for Mobility Today

Here is one for Diggnation


Please note: both applications listed above are for a single podcast. My application includes all 18 of my podcasts as well as functionality of being able to sign in with your user name and password so that my Plus Members can gain access to their Premium Member Only Content that is available to them.

I’ve paid a great deal of money to have this application developed and my listening community is desperately waiting for the App to be released as many times they are out and about during the day when I release as many as five new episodes during a day but they don’t want to wait till they get home and sync their iPhone or Touch to listen to the shows.

Please reconsider!!!!

Cliff


Cliff J. Ravenscraft
Generally Speaking Production Network

Email: Cliff@Ravenscraft.org
My Podcasts: http://gspn.tv
Follow Me On Twitter: http://twitter.com/gspn
Podcast Consulting: http://PodcastAnswerMan.com

I can’t help but wonder who is in control of approving these applications and what guidelines they are going with. I personally find the Diggnation and Mobility Today applications quite useful. I had never heard of the Mobility Today Podcast before getting the application and I find myself checking out from time to time.

I also find myself occasionally watching Diggnation and prefer to do so through the application rather than re-subscribing in iTunes.

I know that the gspn.tv Community is very much looking forward to the release of this application and I hope and pray they reconsider their denial of this application when both of the above mentioned apps are pretty much exactly the same as mine with LESS FUNCTIONALITY!!!!!

Update:
Earlier this evening, I received a Twitter Message from someone asking “But why would you want podcasts cluttering up the app store. Podcasts already have a place in iTunes.” Of course I don’t think that the iTunes App Store should simply be another directory. However, if any podcaster has the inspiration to create an application that has a use beyond the functionality of simply being listed in a directory and pays the money to have an application built, and such an application does not violate any regulations of creating such an application, then I certainly feel like it should be approved.

I honestly don’t feel that the App Store will become cluttered with podcast rss reader applications. If it does, then SIMPLY CREATE A CATEGORY IN THE APP STORE FOR IT! Heck, it just means that there is a legitimate demand for such an application.

As for cluttering up the App Store. How many 99cent piece of crud applications do we need where you simply push a button and your iPhone plays a 3 second audio clip? I mean seriously, there is an application called Jerk In A Box. The description of the app…. “Hurl insults and talk smack like a pro without saying a word with this fun app. Each button plays a unique insult clilp that’s sure to give you and your friends a laugh. Chain them together and mix and mach to create new insults. It’s trash talk on the go!”

I mean seriously! The App Store will take this and deny my application? REALLY?

  • Fred from Long Island

    Well said, Cliff! There are many versions of the same application already (tip calculators, for example). If podcasters want to create an iPhone app to provide a customized listening/viewing experience, then why not? To approach this from another perspective, what is inappropriate about your type of application anyway? It’s not “distributing podcasts through the App Store.” It’s an RSS feed reader, customized for your listeners.

    Apple folks, if you are reading these comments, please reverse this decision. Cliff co-hosts a Mac user podcast (among the many he produces), and he is a great evangelist for the podcasting movement, which sells iPods and generates traffic to iTunes. Good for Apple’s bottom line!

  • Fred from Long Island

    Well said, Cliff! There are many versions of the same application already (tip calculators, for example). If podcasters want to create an iPhone app to provide a customized listening/viewing experience, then why not? To approach this from another perspective, what is inappropriate about your type of application anyway? It’s not “distributing podcasts through the App Store.” It’s an RSS feed reader, customized for your listeners.

    Apple folks, if you are reading these comments, please reverse this decision. Cliff co-hosts a Mac user podcast (among the many he produces), and he is a great evangelist for the podcasting movement, which sells iPods and generates traffic to iTunes. Good for Apple’s bottom line!

  • http://ww.10minutelessons.com/ John Buehler

    Sounds like Apple needs some competition in is App business.

  • http://ww.10minutelessons.com John Buehler

    Sounds like Apple needs some competition in is App business.

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  • http://is.gd/Fo2/311384397 design

    That sucks!! That app was gonna be awesome. Hopefully iTunes will get there stuff together and change there mind. That is so crazy….

  • http://is.gd/Fo2/311384397 design

    That sucks!! That app was gonna be awesome. Hopefully iTunes will get there stuff together and change there mind. That is so crazy….

  • Pingback: Mobility Today Application | David Ciccone()

  • Brandon

    Great read – thanks for posting it. I definitely agree with what you’ve said – and it hardly makes sense on what is behind their given reason. I want to download podcasts OTA. I don’t want my entire life to revolve around syncing with iTunes – the more I can do without connecting a cable to my laptop the better. I mean that’s the point of the “mobile” device!

    I just don’t understand this latest rash of horrible decisions made by Apple regarding this type of application – and I wish they would stop making the decision for me if something is useless or not.

  • Brandon

    Great read – thanks for posting it. I definitely agree with what you’ve said – and it hardly makes sense on what is behind their given reason. I want to download podcasts OTA. I don’t want my entire life to revolve around syncing with iTunes – the more I can do without connecting a cable to my laptop the better. I mean that’s the point of the “mobile” device!

    I just don’t understand this latest rash of horrible decisions made by Apple regarding this type of application – and I wish they would stop making the decision for me if something is useless or not.

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