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Comment: Re:Curation: Apple does high profile reviews... (Score 1) 168

by Sockatume (#47572829) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

There already were several "app discovery" apps; things like AppShopper and Toucharcade that let you see news and reviews, friends' preferred apps, and so on. However Apple got kind of ban-happy with them a while back for replicating App Store functionality and the ones that are still around are on thin ice. They should be cultivating that category instead. The whole point of Apps is to fill functionality niches that the host company overlooks.

Comment: Race to the bottom (Score 1) 168

by Sockatume (#47572817) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

The big issue is that there is a "race to the bottom" in apps. There's always someone with deep pockets who can create an app that does what yours does, a little worse, and a little cheaper or for free, and because you've got a market with low discoverability, it's the cheapest app that wins. You only have to look at the startling decline in iPhone gaming over the past few years; after a lot of promising experiments in new titles around 2010-2012, games over $1 now almost exclusively ports of successful titles from other platforms to minimise development costs. The vast majority of iPhone gaming lies under that line, and is dominated by F2P and a few 99-cent apps that win the popularity lottery.

Apple seems to be actively cultivating that price-driven market, in particular through its ruthless promotion of F2P games as its "free app of the week". It's in Apple's favour because they make money selling hardware, and an iPhone is more attractive if it has lots of apps that do whatever the customer needs for free or next to free. Heck, they've all but killed off several app niches themselves by giving away iWork and iLife. It's not something that can go on indefinitely unless they plan on being the only quality iPhone app developer though.

If they want to solve this problem, they have to put discoverability of apps back to the fore, so people bother to find good things and not just the first cheap or free option.

Comment: Isn't this exempted? (Score 5, Informative) 287

by Sockatume (#47565295) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

The Act reads:

No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings.

The Act defines a "digital musical recording" as:

(5)(A) A “digital musical recording” is a material object —

(i) in which are fixed, in a digital recording format, only sounds, and material, statements, or instructions incidental to those fixed sounds, if any, and

(ii) from which the sounds and material can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

That Exemption was specifically to allow for home taping from CD to DAT and Minidisks, so it seems appropriate here.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp