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MplayerX Leaving Mac App Store

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the kicked-out-of-the-hothouse dept.

Desktops (Apple) 225

New submitter technonono writes "MplayerX, a popular and free video player app on Mac OSX, is now leaving Mac App Store 'after arguing with Apple for three months.' The developer claims that Apple's sandboxing policies would strip the app into 'another lame Quicktime X,' which is unacceptable. The app is releasing updates on its own site, where users who bought it from the App Store would most likely never notice them. The situation was 'foretold' by Marco Arment, at least for one app."

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225 comments

Please consider Mitt Romney (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032817)

Please consider Mitt Romney when you vote for president in November. The current administration (Barack Hussein Obama) has instituted failed policies that have driven the unemployment rate to 8.2% and has left millions of your fellow Americans without jobs. On top of that, he has increased the food stamp handouts and welfare roles with the intent to make people dependent on an enormous federal government. He has attempted to destroy our nations economy and is actively hostile to corporations or any people of means, as they do not fit into his 'socialistic vision' for America. Mitt will return our economy to its former vim and vigor, and we can all hope to attain what he has already done. We cannot afford four more years of economic destruction and becoming reliant on Big Brother Government policies. It would be our undoing. Thank you for your consideration.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032825)

God, Americans make me laugh out loud

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032855)

I am an American. And this is what we get. Pick my candidate or we will all die. The Other party is planning the destruction of the country if not the world.
  The guy must have been looking for Yahoo Comments and got lost.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033923)

I am an American. And this is what we get. Pick my candidate or we will all die. The Other party is planning the destruction of the country if not the world.

Or..

Pick MY candidate and we all will die!!!

That's right, I'm supporting Cthullu/Dagon this election. Why settle for a lesser evil?

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1, Offtopic)

petteyg359 (1847514) | about a year and a half ago | (#41032871)

Mitt will return our economy to its former vim

Mittens is too dumb to understand vim. Even nano with full screen-wasting help bars would probably be too confusing for him.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032883)

You guys have to be extremely stupid if you elect Mitt Romney. -The rest of the world.

While we're here in Off-topic Land (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033189)

Did you ever notice that people who accidentally hit buttons on their phone while they're talking on it are dumb? I mean really, really dumb.

I can't be the only one who noticed.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032951)

Yeah so we should screw up this country even more by electing a idiot? Vote for him and say good by to medicare and less taxes for the rich while the poor has to pay more. God if only republicans would go back to school and improve the education maybe their IQ's wouldn't be so piss poor.

Bush is the one that caused this mess, Obama has done nothing but help fix what he has done. They only questionable thing he has done is the heath care bill what will do more good then bad. The bases of the healthcare bill was created by mitt Romney anyway, maybe if republicans were so busy trying to stop it maybe it would have been better. For the most part its not bad, but things like it being mandatory is kinda messed up. Though Not having a healthcare plan is a step in the wrong direction. We should be doing more to make this country a better place to live damn the expense.

If we had it my way anyone making more then they truly need was be forced to give the money away to people who need it. Because why anyone wouldn't want to make the world a better place to live in should be shot for being a ignorant human being.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1, Offtopic)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033381)

"If we had it my way anyone making more then they truly need was be forced to give the money away to people who need it."

Do you truly need a computer? If you truly believe what you wrote, sell it, give the money to the poor, and either go to the library and log on to /. there, or perhaps save the time and expense and serve the poor.

If you truly believe what you wrote. If you're anything like the rest of the 98%, you're 98% bullshit.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033719)

You've created a straw man. No one ever said that no one is allowed to have anything that they don't truly need; just that certain people (presumably people that are extremely rich) will pay more. In other words, lines are arbitrary drawn indicating when someone has "too much."

I think it's naive, but I also don't care for taking what someone said to the extreme.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032955)

Paid for by the Mitt Romney Troll Campaign...

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032957)

I don't remember completely irrelevant comments like this in 2008. Go back to reddit.

And I'm voting for Romney, but they both suck.

Poor Mitt (-1, Offtopic)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033065)

What an inept campaign staff Mitt Romney has. Gaff after gaff, and now we're dealing with endless boilerplate spams from his "social media" people. Really, conspicuously lame. Kind of undercuts his basic argument, that we should vote for him because he's a good manager. In fact, he makes me think of every bad manager I've ever worked for.

Re:Poor Mitt (-1, Offtopic)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034091)

Kind of undercuts his basic argument, that we should vote for him because he's a good manager. In fact, he makes me think of every bad manager I've ever worked for.

Meet the new boss, same as your old boss.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033291)

So.... what was the unemployment rate when Obama got into office?

Oooooooooooh that would be about 10+%! I wonder who that was actually caused by..........

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1, Offtopic)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033405)

From the DOL [bls.gov]

Unemployment rates:

September 2008, 6.1%
January 2009, 7.8%
October 2009, 10.0%
July 2012, 8.3%

Any questions? No, I didn't think so. Go occupy something.

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1, Offtopic)

siride (974284) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033645)

And the rates were magically supposed to go down in the middle of a bad recession just because Obama moved into the White House in January 2009? The shit hadn't even fully hit the fan by then.

Lemme guess, you're one of those people who says that Obama took gas prices from 1.98 to almost 4.00, right?

Re:Please consider Mitt Romney (-1, Offtopic)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033639)

Please consider Barack Obama when you vote for president in November. The other guy's fans spam Slashdot first posts with far right conspiracy theories and lies. We cannot afford four more years of wingnut first post trolling and becoming reliant on -1, Offtopic moderation. It would be our undoing. Thank you for your consideration.

It's not actually popular (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032827)

and if they had an auto-update mechanism (like sparkle) people wouldn't need to check their website for app updates because (drumroll) in soviet russia, app checks website for updates!

Re:It's not actually popular (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033221)

and if they had an auto-update mechanism (like sparkle) people wouldn't need to check their website for app updates because (drumroll) in soviet russia, app checks website for updates!

It's a media player. It renders .mpg and .flv and .mp4 and .avi and .ogg, well-documented containers/well-documented codecs. Barring the occasional security hole (which I can retrieve at my leisure), it doesn't need updates.

The day my media player phones home to download new executable code for a previously-unrecognized video codec is the day I get a new media player, because in the presence of the aforementioned video containers/formats, any video content that purports to require a new one is almost certainly a malware vector.

Re:It's not actually popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033501)

Good thing you don't need to play anything in h.265 anytime soon.

Re:It's not actually popular (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033589)

You're fucking retarded.

Thank God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032843)

Apple and its store both suck. Glad even middle-class white middle-aged males are noticing, since that is their general demographic. Hipsters need to switch to Linux, FreeBSD, or OpenBSD.

Re:Thank God (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032921)

I stopped at a local coffee shop the other day and noticed a bunch of hipsters with their macbook airs "writing a novel" or whatever the fuck they pretend to do. But when I passed by, I noticed a tux icon on the desktop. I looked again and noticed they weren't using OSuX, they were using OpenBSD with xfvm. In fact, a couple were even using emacs from the console. I started talking to them and they told me that Apple is too popular now (and mountain kitty dumbed everything down) so they need something less popular. And they can spend all their time finding on the perfect X window manager. Also, they like emacs on the console because it lets them focus on the words, not on the fonts. I invited them to the LUG meeting but I don't think they're into bears. But you never know.

Re:Thank God (1)

reasterling (1942300) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033539)

I do not know who modded this as interesting, but it is funny. Buy the way no self respecting bsd user would have tux on their desktop. I believe they prefer demons.

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41034021)

And they can spend all their time finding on the perfect X window manager.

As opposed to doing any actual work, which is what they might be doing if they stopped fiddling around with their OS and actually, I don't know, used their computer.

Is this a genuine case? (1, Troll)

Quick Reply (688867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41032963)

He claims that "MPlayerX will lose so many features if it adopted Sandboxing, it could not load the subtitle automatically, it could not play the next episode for you automatically, ". I dont see how a Sandbox would prevent these features from working, can anyone verify this to be true?

Re:Is this a genuine case? (5, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | about a year and a half ago | (#41032977)

I am assuming that the application cannot access the file system unless a file is within the applications sandbox, or opened through the operating systems open file API.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (-1, Flamebait)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033239)

I am assuming that the application cannot access the file system unless a file is within the applications sandbox, or opened through the operating systems open file API.

Is that particularly difficult? The author seems unimaginative and unmotivated. I would guess that has something to do with this being someone's free, pet MPlayer port.

Who gives a rat's ass if you have to download it from a website like I don't know... all that software available on the Internet that can do whatever it wants on your system already?

I can't stand all these anti-sandboxing stories that make it sound like selling software over the Internet is so horrible. The app store is not old enough for you to be bitching about not being in the app store. This isn't even selling, it's free software joining the ranks of all the other free software out there.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (5, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033415)

I can't stand all these anti-sandboxing stories that make it sound like selling software over the Internet is so horrible.

I would hazard a guess that the MplayerX folks have more of a clue about the situation than you.

The subtext of this story is: it's walled garden time boys and girls, suck it down and like it.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033753)

But seriously who DIDN'T know Apple is a bunch of control freaks? this is like having a dozen people walk up to you and say "See that guy selling fruit on the corner? Yeah don't do business with him, he'll punch you in the nuts" but you go 'Hey, that guy is making the monies! I'll do business with him!" and right after you do business with him he gives you a Falcon Punch from hell that cracks your walnuts. Now why the fuck should we feel sorry or care when you didn't listen?

Apple is a bunch of control freaks, MSFT is run by dumbass PHBs, Google wants to know what you had for breakfast this morning...and now for the weather....water is wet Chuck, back to you!

Seriously folks Apple has a history of fucking over the little guys, going apeshit on their control over them and/or ripping off their ideas for a new "Apple Feature" down the line....who doesn't know this? Its been SOP there forever, its not exactly news folks. The moral of the story, if you get in bed with a control freak don't bitch when you end up tied to the bedpost with a ballgag mmkay?

Re:Is this a genuine case? (4, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033273)

From Apple's design guide:

When a user of your app specifies they want to use a file or a folder, the system adds the associated path to your app’s sandbox. Say, for example, a user drags the ~/Documents folder onto your app’s Dock tile (or onto your app’s Finder icon, or into an open window of your app), thereby indicating they want to use that folder. In response, the system makes the ~/Documents folder, its contents, and its subfolders available to your app.

Starting in OS X v10.7.3, you can retain access to file-system resources by employing a security mechanism, known as security-scoped bookmarks , that preserves user intent. Here are a few examples of app features that can benefit from this:

  • A user-selected download, processing, or output folder
  • An image browser library file, which points to user-specified images at arbitrary locations
  • A complex document format that supports embedded media stored in other locations

It seems like the simplest solution is to have the user choose the folder the videos are in, not the video itself.

You could just have the user pick the folder their video library is stored in, and the player can even create a 'bookmark' so the app can access that folder (and its contents) persistently across restarts.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (3, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033465)

This wouldnt work if the user simple opened the file (from the equivalent of Explorer in mac, by double clicking the file (which I believe is the most common way to play a video), or clicking on open from Firefox). And most of the videos in my laptop are in the same folder "Downloads". If I had to go up a directory, open Downloads under MplayerX, and wade though the videos to select the one I want to play, I would be really frustrated (and would start looking for alternative players).

Re:Is this a genuine case? (2)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033649)

This wouldnt work if the user simple opened the file (from the equivalent of Explorer in mac, by double clicking the file (which I believe is the most common way to play a video), or clicking on open from Firefox). And most of the videos in my laptop are in the same folder "Downloads". If I had to go up a directory, open Downloads under MplayerX, and wade though the videos to select the one I want to play, I would be really frustrated (and would start looking for alternative players).

Like, for example, the player that Apple makes, which presumably won't have this problem. A happy coincidence for Apple, for sure.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (1)

immaterial (1520413) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034191)

Nice attempt at a conspiracy theory, but not only does QuickTime Player not read external .srt files (never has, though embedded subs work fine), it too is sandboxed.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (-1, Flamebait)

macs4all (973270) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034233)

This wouldnt work if the user simple opened the file (from the equivalent of Explorer in mac, by double clicking the file (which I believe is the most common way to play a video), or clicking on open from Firefox). And most of the videos in my laptop are in the same folder "Downloads". If I had to go up a directory, open Downloads under MplayerX, and wade though the videos to select the one I want to play, I would be really frustrated (and would start looking for alternative players).

Um, you're either fucking too retarded, or too illiterate, to comprehend the words you pretend to have read.

All it takes is a little user education, telling them to first open ONE video from within the app, and then the app can "whitelist" the entire DIRECTORY where the video was located. So unless you are in the habit of scattering video files all over the filesystem, the "problem" can be quickly (and permanently) ended.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033757)

Thanks for posting that.

The fact is, sandboxing is a huge win from a security standpoint, and this developer just didn't want to bother with following the rules (got to get the user's permission before you can access the filesystem.) It's not that hard to implement, and frankly he's getting more publicity for his tantrum than he could ever have gotten otherwise.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (0)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034009)

I am assuming that the application cannot access the file system unless a file is within the applications sandbox, or opened through the operating systems open file API.

That includes dragging a file or a folder to the app, and keeping bookmarks of files that can be opened. What doesn't work is letting the user type in a path, which is not a good user interface anyway.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034071)

It also doesn't include double clicking on a movie file to open the player - it would get permission to the clicked file, but not to the associated subtitle file.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41034089)

So finally people would be motivated to actually use a better video container holding both video audio and subtitles alternate streams?

Count me in!

Re:Is this a genuine case? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41032997)

sandboxed apps don't have regular filesystem access, so best case would be apple allowing the app to run against a directory and play all the videos in it.

Otherwise, you doubleclicked season3ep5.avi. Why should the program even touch season3ep6.avi or seasone3ep5.sub?

Re:Is this a genuine case? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033827)

Otherwise, you doubleclicked season3ep5.avi. Why should the program even touch season3ep6.avi or seasone3ep5.sub?

Because they're related to the clicked file in a manner I and the application know and expect?

Re:Is this a genuine case? (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033043)

I suspect he's not talking about subtitle tracks - he's talking about standalone subtitle files. MplayerX wouldn't be allowed to open that second file, unasked by the user.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033143)

Actually, features to support this were added in Mountain Lion.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (5, Insightful)

daBass (56811) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033403)

The app can only open files in specifically defined (and Apple approved) locations. Outside these locations, you need express permission (via a file open dialog) to access files. So all would be OK for ~/Movies or ~/Downloads.

But while you could open "/Volumes/My Big External Disk/Movies/movie.avi" via a file dialog to play it back, the software could not automatically also open "/Volumes/My Big External Disk/Movies/movie.srt" to show you subtitles.

That's the problem.

Re:Is this a genuine case? (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033689)

I thought you could create your own sandbox files and apple merely provides default ones. They bothered to make a whole file format and command line tools a little some documentation that got me started playing around with it at least a year ago. I'm running my firefox in a sandbox I built right now - I had to do a ton of tweaking as firefox ran into errors. I'm not upgraded the OS yet. I might never...

I like the sandbox system its what OpenBSD needed many many years ago when they were the first ones to put in hooks to mess around with access to system calls. I didn't play around with theirs because it was too messy at the time. Somebody needs to push developers into the sandbox...

Is Apple forcing a default sandbox onto everybody? that seems rather foolish if you can't use your own after all that work to make it configurable per app...

Re:Is this a genuine case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033767)

The app can only open files in specifically defined (and Apple approved) locations.

Wrong. Apple approved, or USER approved. YMMV, but I rather like knowing what an app is reading or writing before it goes ahead and does so.

Procrastination (3, Informative)

Fls'Zen (812215) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033011)

They've had over a year to get this straightened out, not three months. If MplayerX won't sell in the app store, some other product will fill the void in that market. This is of course assuming people are going to the app store for such a media player.

Re:Procrastination (1, Offtopic)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033241)

If MplayerX won't sell in the app store, some other product will fill the void in that market.

Yes, Android is filling that need as we speak.

Re:Procrastination (2)

Fls'Zen (812215) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033283)

Yes, Android is filling that need as we speak.

This article of course has to do with the *Mac* App Store, with which Android does not compete.

Re:Procrastination (0)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033429)

Yes, Android is filling that need as we speak.

This article of course has to do with the *Mac* App Store, with which Android does not compete.

In which universe does Android not compete with Apple?

In the real universe ... not your limited brain (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41034065)

Apparently, to a dumbdroid like you Android competes against Mac OS X.

Re:Procrastination (2)

mr100percent (57156) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033289)

Android is a desktop OS? (We're talking about Mac OS and the Mac App Store, not iOS)

Re:Procrastination (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033455)

The Mac OS has an App Store? Do people actually use that? Forgive my ignorance, I do not actually have a Mac.

Re:Procrastination (2)

mr100percent (57156) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033659)

Yes, Apple has created a Mac App Store to sell apps, and showcase some "Best of" apps. It is not exclusive, and you can still download and install apps the normal way. Apple has gotten stricter, requiring anyone who wants their app listed in the store to use sandboxing to prevent security holes in the OS. That's what this story is about.

Re:Procrastination (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033765)

Apple has gotten stricter, requiring anyone who wants their app listed in the store to use sandboxing to prevent security holes in the OS.

Not to put to fine a point on it -- this does not PREVENT security holes in the OS. Rather, the sandboxing is designed to mitigate the damage a malicious app can do WITHOUT resorting to security holes (permission elevation, etc.)
 
There was a time when Apple tried to position app-store apps as being non-malware by definition -- only good apps would be approved. Now they're instructing the OS almost the opposite: App-store apps should not be trusted beyond somewhat-crippling security parameters, no matter what the machine user/administrator tells you. Apps specifically blessed by the user, on the other hand, should have full root access if needed
 
In a way, it's a ray of common sense -- trust the user to know what's best, after adequate warnings have been given. The biggest suck here, though, is that indy developers who are hoping to get compensated through Apple app's store are at a severe disadvantage.

Re:Procrastination (2)

justin12345 (846440) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033715)

I don't think most Mac users are too aware of it either. I've used it twice, for the last two OSX upgrades, but that's it. I suppose it's fine for Apple software, but it wouldn't occur to me to go there instead of the internet for 3rd party software. The App store seems to me just a half-hearted attempt to try to recreate the formula that made them so much money with iTunes and iOS.

The alarmist predictions that OSX will go the way of iOS are off base. iOS is consumption oriented, whereas OSX is production oriented. The bottom line is that they simply don't have the leverage to turn OSX into a walled garden. They tried that back in the 80s and nearly went out of business. If Apple loses sight of that the Mac will die, and Apple will effectively be withdrawing from the PC market. I wouldn't put it past them to one day kill the Mac, their consumer electronics division is way more profitable than their computer division, but I don't see that day coming soon. A powerful development platform is still a key to their brand.

Re:Procrastination (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034113)

But what if they just stop making Pro units? After all it was Jobs that was big on "Apple is the machines the movies are made on" while Cook really doesn't seem to care about the pro market. After all he's drug ass on a new pro line, pissed a LOT of people off with FCP, and with pro users frankly he makes less money, how? Simple the home users frankly don't need refreshing hardly at all, those Macbooks and iMacs already have more power than the average home user is gonna use so they can just swap for better screen and tiny CPU boosts and still make crazy profits whereas pros need more expensive hardware and faster refreshes.

If I was an Apple Pro user I'd be seriously looking into buying me some top o' the line Win 7 box, since Windows has as much pro software tools as Apple and with Win 7 supported until 2020 that'd give me a nice long support cycle and you can always add OSX in a dual boot Hackentosh. Because frankly after this next rev I really wouldn't be surprised if the next time refreshes roll around for Cook to declare "The iPad X is the new tool for pros!" and kill everything but one iMac and maybe 2 Macbooks, regular and Air. Makes sense, less refreshes, less expensive hardware, cheaper and easier upgrade path equals lots more profits.

Re:Procrastination (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033573)

They said they were arguing back and forth for 3 months, not that they only had 3 months to attempt to implement changes.

MplayerX was in the App Store? (3)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033013)

I have it installed, but never even thought to look for it there. Nothing to do with sandboxing requirements - I just would've figured their developers would object to the concept of the App Store on principle.

I predict, for the moment, only.... (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033017)

From one of the links in the summary:

Apple's stance seems to be pretty typical of them: comply with the new rules or leave. This usually works for them, but this time, theyâ(TM)ve made a critical strategic error: leaving is often a better option...

I would put forward that this conclusion is actually only true right now, but I expect over the coming years that is liable to change.

As an increasing number of applications *DO* become available on the app store, I would suggest that a growing number of people are going to increasingly rely upon it. Eventually, I expect that a critical mass will be reached (I predict about 2 years from now), and Apple will shut the door to external sales on the Mac outside of jailbroken devices forever.

This will probably be cause for a lot of people to abandon the mac platform, but I expect that the remaining userbase will be sufficiently large by that point in time that other developers will eventually be drawn to writing for the platform, attracted by the promise of what will seem to them, initially at least, to be a largely untapped market.

And what happened with iOS is going to happen again with MacOSX.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033075)

Yawn. We heard the same thing with Lion, then with Mountain Lion.

Give it up.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033115)

Give what up, exactly?

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033133)

<sarcasm>I'm going to go with "it."</sarcasm>

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033209)

Give what up, exactly?

You could give up your penis. Like that song Detachable Penis.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (0, Flamebait)

Macrat (638047) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033175)

And what happened with iOS is going to happen again with MacOSX.

Continued increasing sales year after year?

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033665)

Microsoft still holds close to 90% of the desktop market. By your logic everything they do is great. Who were the dimwits that modded you up?

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (3, Insightful)

javacowboy (222023) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033225)

Why would Apple alienate their professional customers, including developers? They're the ones who, along with graphic artists, movie editors, radiologists, etc, who pay top dollar for the most expensive Macs?

If developers can't install Apps like Eclipse, Mac Ports, various command-line tools, etc, then they'll switch platforms. Apple can't afford to lose those sales.

Besides, many game developers don't distribute on the Mac App Store, including EA and Blizzard (and Steam still runs separate from the App Store), not to mention Microsoft and Adobe. Just how can Apple afford to lose Office and Photoshop, among other high profile non-App Store apps?

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033321)

Why don't you ask the professionals that use Final Cut Pro that question when Apple released Final Cut Pro X? It was a royal clusterfuck and goes to show that Apple does not care about its pro customers. Even its latest line of Mac Pro was criticized by people like Any Hertzfeld for being subpar. Apple only cares about making the latest toy not about professionals getting work done.

Professionals Don't Matter (5, Insightful)

CritterNYC (190163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034005)

Apple is making record profits ($35 billion last quarter) and only 14.2% of those profits ($1.287 billion) came from sales of Mac hardware last quarter (all desktops and laptops). (source [betanews.com] ) The percentage of money Apple makes from desktops and laptops is getting progressively smaller each quarter. And the number of 'professionals' in those numbers is smaller still. The bottom line is that there is FAR more money to be made from consumers. To the point that professionals really don't matter to Apple's bottom line at all. Consumers, consumers, consumers. Consumers consuming music/video ($1.571 billion, up 29 percent from $1.571 billion a year earlier.) and apps ($891 million, up 28 percent from $696 million a year earlier.) on their iPads ($9.17 billion, up 52 percent from $6.046 billion a year earlier.), iPod Touches ($1.06 billion, down 20 percent from $1.325 billion a year earlier.) and iPhones ($16.425 billion, up 22 percent from $13.31 billion a year earlier.). That's where the money is. That's where nearly ALL the money is. Microsoft is seeing the same light. That's why Windows 8 is what it is. It is a 100% consumer operating system, corporations be damned. It's about setting up an ecosystem of apps, music and video across your desktop, laptop, tablet and phone. So, no, it doesn't matter if you can't install Eclipse, Mac Ports or various command-line tools on your Mac. The Mac App Store is about consumers, just like the iOS App Store. Not creators or 'professionals'. Even if you estimate that 10% of Mac's desktop/laptop hardware sales were 'professionals' (an extremely high estimate) and every single one of them abandoned Mac as a result of these changes (unlikely), that's still only $493 million. 1.4% of Apple's revenue. And that will be more than offset by another platform where Apple for all intents and purposes controls the keys to the kingdom (Mac App Store will be 95%+ of all Mac software sales in the next couple years) and makes a 30% cut of all software sales. They can ditch professionals and make a killing on consumers.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41034123)

I can't do what?

Have you even tried informing yourself? I'm happily running eclipse, and netbeans, and even ms office. All of them happily running outside the sandbox.

But if xcode is working from within the sandbox, there is no reason why them couldn't.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (1)

subreality (157447) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033335)

And what happened with iOS is going to happen again with MacOSX.

... Apple will continue making loads of money selling other people's software, and developers will mostly stay on board because the App Store is a much bigger market than you usually get to tap as an indie?

You say it like it's something that Apple somehow should regret. I don't like it, but it seems to be working out pretty well for them.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034013)

I say it like it's something *I* regret.

It will be a boon for Apple... and will probably keep them relevant for at least another decade, if not two.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (2, Insightful)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033377)

As an increasing number of applications *DO* become available on the app store, I would suggest that a growing number of people are going to increasingly rely upon it. Eventually, I expect that a critical mass will be reached (I predict about 2 years from now), and Apple will shut the door to external sales on the Mac outside of jailbroken devices forever.

This will probably be cause for a lot of people to abandon the mac platform, but I expect that the remaining userbase will be sufficiently large by that point in time that other developers will eventually be drawn to writing for the platform, attracted by the promise of what will seem to them, initially at least, to be a largely untapped market.

And what happened with iOS is going to happen again with MacOSX.

This is a steaming pile of bullcrap hyperbole topped with +1 We Like It When Someone Says They Will Do Bad Things and +1 If We Wish Hard Enough It Will Come True

It amounts to "I think Apple will sandbox their entire desktop OS because iOS"

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033971)

The Apple faithful said "Never going to Intel!" and it happened. So, hyperbole or not, Apple is closing off their once semi-open OS so they can maintain control over the "experience." If that's what people want when they buy a Mac or iPhone, that's fine. It's just not what some of the older converts (who started with 10.0 via a coupon in their Macs) want.

It is what it is. Evil megacorp references aside... these things have been brewing in the applesphere for a while now. It's not a new plan. Apple's never been all that "open" with their Macintosh platform (a different track than the Apple 2 days, I suppose), and the fact that OS X started out with more freedom was just a transitional phase to the 'iOSification' of their entire product line.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033443)

This will probably be cause for a lot of people to abandon the mac platform,

Totally... me and all my Mac user friends just tossed our MacBooks and MacBook Pros (some retina) and iMacs and mini's in the dumpster because we're so torn up over having to use google to find apps and having to manually update software... Apple is being completely unreasonable to expect developers to sandbox their apps and expect their user base to have to go back to the way it was before 10.6.5... I can hardly remember how to open a disk image and drag a file into the Applications folder. Just kidding. Goddamn I'm glad I'm not completely fucking retarded.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (0)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033655)

And what happened with iOS is going to happen again with MacOSX.

Someone had quoted this and while reading the first part what came up in my mind was something like:

What happens on macs stay on the computers of retarded^Wstupid people. Or something such.

What about:
What happen with iOS doesn't matter? =P

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033711)

I argue its already hit critical mass, and the masses are starting to wake up to the idea that one store does not have all that they may want

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (1)

ToastedRhino (2015614) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033835)

And there are some senators in Kentucky [arstechnica.com] who would argue that evolution isn't real. Just because you can argue something doesn't make it true. Facts and evidence make something true. The facts clearly show at this time that the Mac App Store is a success. [macworld.com]

It may come as a surprise to you but developers like to make money. Apple's ecosystem (so far) allows for more developers to make more money than any other ecosystem out there. People (that is real, actual, normal people who do not spend their time reading and commenting on Slashdot) also seem to love it, and are happy to be able to find everything they want in one place.

Perhaps a critical mass will come, but we're definitely not there yet. Argue all you want.

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033771)

As an increasing number of applications *DO* become available on the app store, I would suggest that a growing number of people are going to increasingly rely upon it. Eventually, I expect that a critical mass will be reached (I predict about 2 years from now), and Apple will shut the door to external sales on the Mac outside of jailbroken devices forever.

And how do developers develop apps then?

Right now, gatekeeper only applies to apps downloaded from the Internet. If you acquire the app some other way (compile from source, off other media) it doesn't get in the way. In fact, it relies on the "downloaded from internet" extended attribute which is bypassable by editing the attribute.

And back to the original question - iOS can be locked down because people cannot develop apps on it - it provides no native toolchain to do so. You have to develop on a Mac in order to write an iOS app.

If the only way to get apps on OS X is via the Mac App Store, where are those apps going to be built from? Windows?

Take this to its logical extreme in that developers need to upload a binary, get it signed by Apple and then run it off the Mac App Store - well, what's to keep end users from doing the same and writing their own apps, or better yet - using open-source apps?

Hell, if that's the case, the FSF would be super happy because the only ways to get software onto OS X would be the Mac App Store, or via the developer program in order to compile from source. Which means the only way to distribute apps outside of the Mac App Store is via source code, making OS X one of the most "open" platforms around because you cannot distribute a binary - but only as source.

And for the time being, gatekeeper's verified developer ID thing allows non-Mac App Store apps - it's just developers have to prove their identity. Firefox has two such keys and are using them for all their builds (one is for daily builds, the other for formal releases).

Finally - there are classes of software not allowed by the Mac App Store - ones that cannot be self-contained (e.g., drivers, utility programs), demos (Microsoft Office Trial, anyone?).

Oh yeah - limiting Mac App Store apps to $1000 max price, too. AutoCAD LE can work under that, but AutoCAD can't. Multi-thousand dollar software packages exist.

And how to jailbreak a Mac - I dunno, you could well, take out the hard drive or SSD, put it in an appropriate adapter via USB (you can mount every mac's Disk - PATA, SATA, mSATA, MacBook Air/Retina MacBook Pro wierd-SATA), and access files that way.

The lockdown isn't happening because it's a computer and computers are doing certain things. Locked down tablets and phones are nice and popular though because people realize they don't need a computer to do most of the things they actually do, and want to avoid the pain and trouble of having to maintain a computer. (After all, would you really want your mechanic to have to bill you for time spent futzing with the diagnostic computer because they had to recompile the Linux kernel to fix some issue? No, most of them expect them to just work and please-don't-bother-me-with-useless-computer-techy-things-just-let-me-do-my-job)

Re:I predict, for the moment, only.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034003)

If the only way to get apps on OS X is via the Mac App Store, where are those apps going to be built from? Windows?

They will be built on Mac, of course. The limitation hasn't hurt iOS development any.

Take this to its logical extreme in that developers need to upload a binary, get it signed by Apple and then run it off the Mac App Store - well, what's to keep end users from doing the same and writing their own apps, or better yet - using open-source apps?

Absolutely nothing is stopping them from writing their own apps or taking source code and compiling it for themselves to run it on their own machine. You can already do that with iOS apps without any help or approval from Apple. It's not very practical for distributing applications, however... except during test cycles of a specific (and fairly short) duration.

Hell, if that's the case, the FSF would be super happy because the only ways to get software onto OS X would be the Mac App Store, or via the developer program in order to compile from source. Which means the only way to distribute apps outside of the Mac App Store is via source code, making OS X one of the most "open" platforms around because you cannot distribute a binary - but only as source.

I actually hadn't considered that possibility. I suppose that it might happen that way. But I don't think it's likely.

Finally - there are classes of software not allowed by the Mac App Store - ones that cannot be self-contained (e.g., drivers, utility programs), demos (Microsoft Office Trial, anyone?)

Apple will simply turn a blind eye to such software, as it won't be of any practical use on a closed system.

The lockdown isn't happening because it's a computer...

No... the lockdown isn't happening because widespread use of the MacOSX app store as an exclusive means of installing software hasn't reached a critical mass yet. Give it a couple of years. As you yourself said, most people don't need a real computer anyways, so this isn't likely to matter to most people. Only to power users, who make up such a tiny percentage of computer users, that it is unlikely to matter to Apple.

What will keep some power users sticking with Apple (and probably draw new ones),.however, is the size of its user base, and the attractiveness of what will, for a short time, appear to be a vast and largely untapped market.

They lost me when Stanza stopped working (3, Interesting)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033053)

For all their much vaunted backwards compatibility or large collection of apps the reality is that either the app developer keeps updating their app or it breaks. That was what happened with Stanza. It was probably a mere coincidence that it broke around the time iBooks was released.

Or was it?

still alailable just not in App Store (1)

SchroedingersCat (583063) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033113)

MPlayerX will still be available just not in AppStore. I would assume existing users will still get updates through internal update service.

why is this still an issue? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033147)

It's been clear for a long time that Apple intends to exercise authoritarian-type control over your machine. Everyone who objects to this has left the platform, and everyone who doesn't object has stayed. It's clear what the situation is, and everyone gets to make their own choice about whether it is acceptable for there to be a central authority who controls your computing experience.

So why is this being considered an issue any more?

Re:why is this still an issue? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033251)

It's been clear for a long time that Apple intends to exercise authoritarian-type control over your machine. Everyone who objects to this has left the platform, and everyone who doesn't object has stayed. It's clear what the situation is, and everyone gets to make their own choice about whether it is acceptable for there to be a central authority who controls your computing experience.

So why is this being considered an issue any more?

Because Apple customers are mostly clueless and too technically inept to readily switch to any other platform. So they really feel stuck.

Windows sucks in its own ways - malware being a big one. And Linux might mean *gasp* learning something new. If these people liked doing that then they would be past a newbie-level of understanding by now. And lots of them were warned early on about Apple's fascination with control and about walled gardens etc but didn't want to listen. They fell for the hype and the fashionability of Apple products and the marketing and the frequent mentions in all sorts of media like this site for example. Now they feel stupid because they don't want to lose what little control they have over their own devices.

And because whining about a relative non-issue that you should have anticipated long ago is the only way a lot of people can get attention. So they do that instead of making a point and reasoning it out.

Re:why is this still an issue? (1)

LihTox (754597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033373)

When Apple closes the gate on the walled garden, we'll all skip that OS update, or leave for another OS. Until then, Macs remain nicely useable even for people who write their own programs and generally don't want to play inside the garden.

Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033157)

Mac App Store is a piece of crap anyway. I doubt anyone would even notice.

Legacy update method works fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033227)

What's wrong with the way apps have always worked? I like VLC, I go download it, it checks for updates when I use it. I push the update button when there's an update.

I have a few app store apps, but it's in addition to what I've always used. App store encourages devs to write apps for mac. I like more options, good system.

Apple absolutely hates its customers! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033275)

I got off of the Apple bandwagon a long time ago after I realised how much Apple's ecosystem is like a prison. I'd rather have my freedom. Microsoft and other companies are moving more and more in the direction of Apple (and Apple just keeps moving in the wrong directions). Even Canonical, Red Hat, System76, ZaReason, and quite a few others have really annoyed me in recent years. Not so much because they have taken drastic steps towards imprisoning you although more for their ignorance and complacency. Canonical and others are giving in to Microsoft's secure boot crap and moving away from GRUB. GRUB isn't the problem. Microsoft is. STOP GIVING IN.

There is enough crap I have to go through to get from point A to point B when I travel because of societal complacency in the criminal (I'm using that word loosely) actions of our world's leaders and the systems they've implemented (authoritarians who love censorship and promote thuggish behaviour). I don't want that experience when I go online.

The only company I've even got any respect for any more is ThinkPenguin. For those who don't know this company sells computers and accessories for GNU/Linux and they actually have a respectable set of values. The company doesn't sell hardware dependent on non-free software (drivers or firmware) and supports freedom like nobody else. They contribute a significant percentage of their profits to the Free Software Foundation and Trisquel project (one of the few strictly free distributions) amongst others. I believe 10% of certain distribution channels go to the Free Software Foundation and 25% of sales from libre.thinkpenguin.com (a version of the site tailored to free software users) go to the Trisquel project. And they are supporting a lot of other projects as well.

I always got it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033397)

from the website, before they started pointing to the app store instead.

Why not just use VLC ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033537)

Maybe there is something I don't know, but why do these other apps exist when
VLC is such a useful app for playing all kinds of file types and pretty much
can deal with anything you throw at it ?

If I missed something please explain.

MPlayerX .... not a that good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41034085)

I have it installed ... rarely use it ... because it sucks at playing almost every format I have tried.

On the other hand, VLC has never failed to play what ever I have thrown at it.

So yes ... use VLC and skip the drama. MPlayerX is not ready for primetime.

The Real Deal (1, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033653)

Some of this is just a learning curve on the part of developers. As has been pointed out, a lot of the issues surround access to the file system but as long as the user selects a folder (via the OS' built-in privileged process proxy that presents the selection UI for your app) or drags it to your app, you can store a link to it that is part of your sandbox, including across reboots.

In this App's case, it would mean reworking his UI slightly to have users select folders with content in them, not individual movies. Then he can show a list of movies in that folder and let the user pick, all the while reading separate subtitle files or moving to the next movie with no issues.

There does need to be a category of Developer Utilities / System Utilities that allow things like asking for Admin rights. This is one place Apple is totally wrong. Sure, make the review process extra detailed and don't allow apps to go into that category unless they are truly utilities, but it is definitely needed.

The days of [app permissions] == [user permissions] are long over... We're just stuck with a broken security model that never anticipated people would be running so much code from so many sources, code that can't necessarily be trusted (or that itself loads data/code from untrusted sources). It's like the difference between traditional Unix permission bits and ACLs: once you use ACLs you realize how primitive user/group/owner is. Sandboxing is an attempt at limiting the permission of apps but it remains to be seen if that's the best way.

Sounds like a GPL violation. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41033675)

Mplayer in the app store? Sorry, no. Mplayer is GPL. That makes binary-only distribution a problem. (Unless I'm to petition Apple, who doesn't have the source, to give me the source per GPL...)

I'm guessing that the guy behind this "mplayer x" has nothing to do with the original mplayer, either.

The sad fact is, this sort of flagrant GPL violation is very common in the various app stores. We should demand more of app developers. Apple and other should actively work to take down people who are just trying to make a buck off of other people's work, against their wishes.

Re:Sounds like a GPL violation. (1)

MassacrE (763) | about a year and a half ago | (#41033965)

How is this any more a flagrant act of GPL violation than a linux install CD (which does not ship source due to space)? The help menu takes you to the project's github repo.

Audio sync bug (1)

debilo (612116) | about a year and a half ago | (#41034181)

Unfortunately, MplayerX is unusable at its current state for a significant number of users because of this issue [google.com] that has been open and unaddressed for months. The lag is unbearable and keeps me from switching from VLC. I would like to do so because MplayerX' killer feature, remembering the play position, is missing from VLC even though it has been requested by its userbase for years.
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