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Amazon Sidesteps App Store Business Model, Plays Back MP3s From Safari

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the cutting-out-the-apple-man dept.

Businesses 114

Press2ToContinue writes "Amazon has found a simple way around Apple's tight-fisted App Store rules: give users a web app to buy MP3s that runs in Safari. This way, they have no need to pay 30% per tune to Apple. Freedom of choice of vendor in Apple-only territory? Is this a big breach of Apple's walled garden? I wonder if Apple with have a response to this."

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Well... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633247)

We'll see Apple changing the rules to ban it.

There... that wasn't hard was it.

Re:Well... (1)

jools33 (252092) | about a year ago | (#42633929)

So Apple are gonna ban streaming music through their own phones browser - that should make them popular...

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42634017)

So Apple are gonna ban streaming music through their own phones browser - that should make them popular...

Like all of their other crazy-ass restrictive ideas have made them less popular with their paying audience before?

Re:Well... (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#42634345)

About as popular as making people drive through the everglades to get to Queens.

Re:Well... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42634715)

You ever met an Apple fan? They love it when Apple restricts their shit. It has to do with the masochistic relationship Apple has with its employees and customers.

Nonsense... (5, Interesting)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42634611)

Apple has been clear from the start on this: "Don't like the App store's policies? Make an html5 app!" In fact, it was the only way to build apps for the original iPhone -- with Apple's blessing, at that. (And it still is how unwelcome vendors, e.g. porn operators, build iOS apps.)

Re:Nonsense... (-1, Offtopic)

mihahalu (2819363) | about a year ago | (#42635557)

http://www.cloud65.com/ [cloud65.com] until I saw the bank draft of $8485, I didnt believe that my friend woz like they say realie taking home money in their spare time on their apple labtop.. there dads buddy had bean doing this less than thirteen months and just paid the dept on there appartment and got a great new Toyota. we looked here,

Re:Nonsense... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42637527)

Yes, this is how it is supposed to work.

Apple is the one who ported the World Wide Web to iPhone and has done as much or more than anybody for HTML5. App Store is an alternative to the Web. When running native apps, the user has a right to expect the app vendor to use the native payment system. When running Web apps, the user will be presented with a diverse set of payment systems they must manage.

Apple is not surprised by any of this and makes money either way.

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42635077)

anti-trust anyone?

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42635243)

Really? Why? Does Apple take a cut of every item sold on eBay, Wal-Mart's online store? Best Buy's online store?

I don't think so. If Apple does try to ban this, they are on very shaky legal ground and will end up being sued, yet again.

Apple wouldn't be that *STUPID* - oh wait, yes they are.

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42635375)

Apple Marketers with Moderator Points out in full force this fine Saturday afternoon.

Re:Well... (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42635771)

Apple Marketers with Moderator Points out in full force this fine Saturday afternoon.

The Apple Mod Army is not to be trifled with. Their attention span is short, but their attack is vicious.

The iPhone was designed for web apps. (5, Insightful)

stevenh2 (1853442) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633251)

When the iPhone came out, there was no third-party native apps. People were expected to build web apps.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633565)

Indeed. The question of whether this is a breach of the walled garden is stupid.

One might also note that people have been playing music from YouTube from the start. For free.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (2, Informative)

mevets (322601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633677)

Did you notice who the submitter was?
It would be notable if it was not stupid.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633589)

Hahaha.. Apple has been removing and crippling features in mobile Safari to prevent this with each release.

The next version will probably drop mp3 support.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633603)

That would require removing quicktime support or mp3 support from quicktime. There goes mp3 support in iTunes.

Hurray, that would make it an easy choice for anyone with an ample mp3 collection.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42633755)

> That would require removing quicktime support or mp3 support from quicktime. There goes mp3 support in iTunes.

No, it wouldn't.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636387)

Uh...no. Apple could drop mp3 support merely by using QuickTime to determine the codec and not play it. I'm sure they'd also say something about dropping licenses to use MPEG 3 and how it's an old technology and that everybody should be using AAC anyway...

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about a year ago | (#42633967)

Hahaha.. Apple has been removing and crippling features in mobile Safari to prevent this with each release.

Which features would that be? In iOS 6, Apple added support for the media capture API. One if the main reasons some apps were written was because there was no way to upload pictures and video on the web.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42635237)

They also finally added normal file upload support for pictures in iOS 6. In iOS 5, they added contentEditable support, among other things. I don't know of a single feature that Apple has removed from Safari.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about a year ago | (#42634433)

Could you please point to a source? I just bought an album through the web app and it doesn't actually play the songs in the browser. After you purchase the album, there is a link to the Amazon Cloud Player, which is an native app -- which works great!

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (1)

landoltjp (676315) | about a year ago | (#42634817)

The Amazon Cloud Player may be a native app NOW, but I'm betting that Apple with remove it from the App store within a few days unless Amazon shutdown down the web music store.

And they can do that sort of thing, to protect their market share. This has nothing to do with "user experience"; it's all about Apple getting their money.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (2, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year ago | (#42635191)

Why? Amazon's been doing this since day one with the Kindle app. This article is anything but news, as people (including Amazon) have been sidestepping in-app purchases for ages.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (1)

am_fek (2007416) | about a year ago | (#42635859)

How much are you betting, exactly, and where? How much will you lose if your bet is wrong? Oh, you aren't really betting at all and you're just talking shit? Carry on then. As usual the Slashdot Apple threads are full of complete dunderheads, except for the few people actually pointing out that HTML5 apps are exactly what Apple encourages outfits like Amazon to use if they can't abide by App Store policies. Some of the conspiracy theories on show here are even wackier than 9/11 or moon landing truthers. "They are going to take HTML5 out of their browser!", "They will remove Amazon apps!" - I mean, honestly. What the fuck have you been smoking? People dreamed stupid shit up about competing browsers in the App Store, but they are there. Same with Sparrow mail. Same with the Kindle app. Same with the Spotify, and MOG, and Rdio, and Pandora, and and and and... All companies competing with Apple.

Good thing you don't really have the stones to actually bet on this, right?

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#42635273)

When the iPhone came out, there was no third-party native apps. People were expected to build web apps.

On that release yes, but if you recall Jobs's story about how the web apps were the future, etc. that was all just blowing smoke because an SDK wasn't ready.

Re:The iPhone was designed for web apps. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42637597)

When the iPhone came out, there was no third-party native apps. People were expected to build web apps.

And Apple still expects people to do so - they could choose to make an app, or choose to do it as a web "app". The latter is completely free from Apple's app store policies - no 30%, no restrictions, no approvals, etc.

Hell, Apple was one of the first promoters of HTML5 to do stuff - first as a Flash alternative, but also adding things like sensor support (accellerometer, compass, gyros, even GPS) so web apps can act like native ones.

Heck, GMail went to use HTML5 local storage to give the webapp version a "native" feel and speed.

Anyhow, it's not a big surprise - Apple lets through a lot of competitors - like say, Google. Hell, Google stopped supporting their old GMail method using IMAP and the iOS mail.app and used their own Gmail app instead. (Apple still maintains a GMail accessor, though).

Comes down to Contract (5, Insightful)

irtza (893217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633257)

I am sure amazon does not have the same contract as the small time developer and it will come down to licensing terms. They had to pull the link from within their old app before http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/amazon-others-cave-to-apple-on-in-app-purchases-today-html5-tomorrow/53116 [zdnet.com] so it was just a matter of time that they made it easy to purchase the apps on a phone conveniently. I don't see how this should even fall under terms of their license but I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some broad reaching terms in the contract that apple will try to use as leverage.

No Breach (4, Insightful)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633287)

A bit of a sensationalist summary, but this is absolutely not a breach of the walled garden; the App Store rules and guidelines only apply for apps which are published in the App Store.

Web apps, due to their very nature, are not covered by these guidelines and I suspect Apple isn't bothered by this. It's no different than buying a Kindle book via a web page and then downloading & reading it within the Kindle app itself.

Re:No Breach (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633353)

i totally agree with you.

Re:No Breach (-1, Troll)

paiute (550198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633363)

Too many damn Reddit users here trying to get imaginary link karma by submitting provocative and incorrect summaries.

Re:No Breach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42634717)

Yep, agree 100%.

Re:No Breach (3, Informative)

vakuona (788200) | about a year ago | (#42635949)

Not only that. 7digital has an app that allows you to download all the songs that have been bought on their website, and so you can actually have them on the phone all the time, as opposed to streaming them.

Much ado about nothing!

Re:No Breach (1)

whoop (194) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636109)

The important thing to remember here, though, is ... it could! Duh-duh-dunnn, cue overly dramatic chipmunk.

The point is to sell the hardware... (2)

tk77 (1774336) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633299)

Isn't the main purpose of the iTunes Music Store to sell iOS hardware? If I recall, doesn't most of the 30% of Apple's cut go into running the store?

Apple is predominantly a hardware company, and they want people to buy their hardware. If the main purpose of their music/app stores is to sell the hardware then why would it matter where people actually get their music/apps from? Amazon is just giving people another reason to get an iOS device. They now have more options for their music purchases. Win/Win.

Re:The point is to sell the hardware... (4, Insightful)

dakohli (1442929) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633515)

Isn't the main purpose of the iTunes Music Store to sell iOS hardware? If I recall, doesn't most of the 30% of Apple's cut go into running the store?

Apple is predominantly a hardware company, and they want people to buy their hardware. If the main purpose of their music/app stores is to sell the hardware then why would it matter where people actually get their music/apps from? Amazon is just giving people another reason to get an iOS device. They now have more options for their music purchases. Win/Win.

This may have been the case when it all started, but at some point, Apple realized the earning potential to monetize the entire experience. They provide the Hardware, and the mechanism to provide Apps, as well as provide the content. It is not in Apple's best interests to allow the user to acquire content through other sources. Period.

ITunes is central to Apple's system of consumption. Through this one interface, users can get all the content they would ever need. It is the easiest way to get content onto your iPhone, or Ipod. It is fairly trivial to get videos and songs into Itunes without purchasing it through Apple although many Users will never really do it on a large scale because it involves a couple of extra steps.

Apple can claim all day long that they are just a Hardware Company, but I haven't believed that for a long time.

Re:The point is to sell the hardware... (3, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633649)

This may have been the case when it all started, but at some point, Apple realized the earning potential to monetize the entire experience. They provide the Hardware, and the mechanism to provide Apps, as well as provide the content. It is not in Apple's best interests to allow the user to acquire content through other sources. Period.

The problem with your belief is that there are no facts to back it up. We know that Apple make lots of profit on the hardware. But there's no evidence that they make very much profit from iTunes.

Apple can claim all day long that they are just a Hardware Company, but I haven't believed that for a long time.

It's not Apple that are claiming it. It's just the conclusion that most people who watch Apple closely have come to.

Re:The point is to sell the hardware... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#42634721)

Check the annual report. We know that Apple took in 8b in net revenue (i.e. their take) last year – of 156b in sales. Not sure how much of that is profit but I would assume it higher than Apple’s 40% gross margin – so yeah – it is a considerable chunk of change.

Re:The point is to sell the hardware... (1)

KaptajnKold (575207) | about a year ago | (#42635977)

"would assume it higher than Apple’s 40% gross margin – so yeah – it is a considerable chunk of change."
It'a actually less. 10% for music, 30% for apps.

Re:The point is to sell the hardware... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636425)

hmmm - interesting - where are you getting that figure from?

Re:The point is to sell the hardware... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636771)

Check the annual report... Not sure....

As I said. No evidence of profit on iTunes there.

how much of that is profit but I would assume it higher than Appleâ(TM)s 40% gross margin â" so yeah â" it is a considerable chunk of change.

Sounds like a very bad assumption. Certainly not one based on evidence.

Re:The point is to sell the hardware... (1)

sootman (158191) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636477)

The problem with your belief is that there are no facts to back it up. We know that Apple make lots of profit on the hardware. But there's no evidence that they make very much profit from iTunes.

How about this? [businessinsider.com] The amount is so (relatively) tiny it's almost a rounding error.

Re:The point is to sell the hardware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42637371)

" It is the easiest way to get content onto your iPhone..."

How about "only way to get music to play in the native media app" since the uploading of music requires a correctly calculated checksum be added to the iTunes app database on the device for the media to be available to play... and the method for calculating this checksum? Not public.

Ask any linux user with an iPhone

There will be no response (5, Insightful)

Archibald Buttle (536586) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633313)

Apple will have no response to this, and nor should they.

This is exactly the path that Apple have been telling companies they should follow if they wish to sell media outside of the iOS app store.

Amazon are simply following Apple's own guidance.

Re:There will be no response (1, Informative)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633355)

Because they know what a hassle it is to do everything through your browser, especially on a mobile connection. How long do you think battery life is going to be for your average user streaming mp3s over 3g? They cannot download them or otherwise usefully cache them locally, unlike Google Music for Android, so I'm not sure how many people are going to be willing to use this despite the massive disadvantages.

Re:There will be no response (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633425)

I don't think they have to stream the MP3s - they could be using Safari's persistent storage [apple.com] .

In any case, on my Android phone I use Subsonic and get decent battery life. Subsonic streams music from your home server, but in practice it spends a few seconds downloading each song and the data connection sleeps for most of the time you are listening. I also use Pandora and find it to be acceptable.

Re:There will be no response (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42634475)

I don't think they have to stream the MP3s - they could be using Safari's persistent storage [apple.com] .

I thought Mobile Safari was limited to 5MB of persistent storage [stackoverflow.com] (then it has to ask the user to allocate more). It would hardly be a seamless transaction, unless newer iOSes have different behaviour. I don't see a justification for that to change any time soon.

Re:There will be no response (1)

xombo (628858) | about a year ago | (#42634871)

5MB of persistent storage... per host. They could just setup a bunch of subdomains for each song, which typically come in at just under 5MB.

Re:There will be no response (1)

xombo (628858) | about a year ago | (#42634881)

n/m looks like the subdomain work-around was anticipated and most browser implementations still limit the entire domain to 5MB.

Re:There will be no response (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633579)

Isn't that version of Safari also crippled so that only certain types of files can be uploaded (video and photo)? It doesn't matter in this case, but it blocks some others.

Already do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633331)

The kindle is an actual app but you buy content online. This is no different they just didn't bother with an app.

Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633343)

And Safari will be broken In 3... 2... 1... At least that's what would happen when Steve was alive. Along with an explanation that the Amazon Web app was compromising stability and user experience. 'People don't want Amazon web app stores. People want iTunes.'

Re:Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633643)

And Safari will be broken In 3... 2... 1... At least that's what would happen when Steve was alive.

Uh, no? That's the Microsoft way, dating back but not restricted to a time when Gates was at the helm.

Along with an explanation that the Amazon Web app was compromising stability and user experience. 'People don't want Amazon web app stores. People want iTunes.'

Yes, definitely Microsoft. The Apple way would be to change the terms of use. Apple does not really have to mask its thumbscrews: the users are not of the kind with opposing thumbs, uh, mentality.

Re:Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633739)

And Safari will be broken In 3... 2... 1... At least that's what would happen when Steve was alive.

That would be the same Steve that told everybody that the official way of getting apps onto the iPhone was through web apps when he first launched it?

Mobile Safari and web apps have always been a vital part of the iPhone. It changed the mobile web landscape completely, because it was the first popular mobile phone with a desktop-class web browser built in. Your revisionist history implying that Steve would happily throw Mobile Safari under the bus to hurt a competitor is at odds with history.

Along with an explanation that the Amazon Web app was compromising stability and user experience.

Presumably you are referring to mobile Flash. I think it's abundantly clear that this was actually the case and not an anti-competitive move. Even Android and Adobe dropped mobile Flash.

Re:Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (1)

headcase88-2 (2613991) | about a year ago | (#42634007)

It sounds like web apps were the official way with the original iPhone, before the App Store existed, and they needed a selling point for their device. How altruistic of them. Then Apple made the App Store. Now they want you to use that, but they can't really justify shutting down web apps, so all they can do is ignore them and hope users do the same.

Re:Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (2)

falcon5768 (629591) | about a year ago | (#42635249)

Actually the move to the App Store happened because developers balked at not being allowed to have native apps like Apple had on the device. Steve had no intentions to ever have a store beyond their music/movies/tv/ and eventually books. It was only when developers demanded native app space that Apple looked to get something out of allowing it.

Re:Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#42635475)

Actually the move to the App Store happened because developers balked at not being allowed to have native apps like Apple had on the device. Steve had no intentions to ever have a store beyond their music/movies/tv/ and eventually books. It was only when developers demanded native app space that Apple looked to get something out of allowing it.

I would bet that the SDKs for native app development were in development simultaneously with iPhone development, but not ready for prime time when the iPhone was released. As typical for Steve Jobs, if Apple can't deliver it, or not in the quality that people would expect, then you don't actually want it and Apple will never do it. Until it suddenly appears and it was always the greatest thing in the world.

Re:Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (1)

zbaron (649094) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636155)

I would bet that the SDKs for native app development were in development simultaneously with iPhone development.

Of course they were. How do you think the Apple provided native Apps were built? In fact, when the SDK was announced, it was announced as giving third party developers access to the same tools that Apple used to build their own native Apps.

Re:Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about a year ago | (#42634457)

How does hyperbole get modded insightful? Oh, I just asked a stupid question -- a very stupid question!

Re:Safari Broken In 3... 2... 1... (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about a year ago | (#42635283)

If only you'd said "I just asked a stupid question - an astoundingly, brain-numbingly, dumber than the Bay of Pigs crossed with the Lindsay Lohan, stupid question!", I would have modded you up...

So they made a mobile optimized website (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633361)

That was always one of Apple's suggested options. Heck, it was the original option.

I want to see more of this (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633385)

Apple designed this as an "alternative", albeit crippled alternative, to "Apps" from the very beginning. The Financial Times was the first major organization to challenge Apple's greedy little scheme by making their subscription a web-only affair, thus avoiding the 30% Apple usury. I have been disappointed that more people have not gone this route and I am certainly glad to see the Amazon has grown a set and gone that way.

Re:I want to see more of this (1)

emt377 (610337) | about a year and a half ago | (#42637661)

30% isn't usurious. It's a pretty common cut for retail in general. It's how you make money selling stuff. Many specialty markets have higher margins; many commodity markets lower. But 30% is pretty much smack dab normal.

NEWS FLASH! Corp follows another Corp's guidelines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633457)

Film at 11.

Apple tends to ban rules-lawyering. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633479)

This shouldn't come as a surprise for Amazon.

Amazed (2)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633569)

I'm constantly amazed at the hoops people jump through to help the tech giants control their lives in the name of convenience. This sure as hell doesn't sound convenient to me. Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook.... It just never really ends.

I'll keep my CD's, thank you. Better sound quality, and I don't have to sell my soul to one of these parasitic companies just to play music. More convenient and infinitely simpler.

Re:Amazed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633623)

I'd rather have my FLACs on my Android phone. Same (or sometimes better) sound quality than CDs. I can listen to them anywhere without a data connection, and put them on the phone with open source tools.

Not all platforms are deliberately designed to remove the user's freedom. Google may be pushing their cloud apps with Android, but they still give you the choice to do things the traditional way and they give other companies the choice to build their own systems. unlike Apple.

Re:Amazed (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633639)

I'll keep my CD's, thank you. Better sound quality, and I don't have to sell my soul to one of these parasitic companies just to play music. More convenient and infinitely simpler.

By all means, keep your CDs. Since most of the mp3s come from a CD source, they DO have superior quality. But you don't have to sell your soul to anyone to play music. Most people will download from Amazon on their PC and upload to their iDevice just like they've been doing all along, and everyone else can use Amazon's actually quite good mobile site. Or, if their device is sufficiently powerful and has a good web browser, the full site. I have no problems pulling up the full Amazon site in Opera Mobile on my Nook Simple Touch which runs Android 2.1. In short, you are complaining about a non-issue.

Re:Amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42636401)

You are an idiot if you think MP3s ripped from a CD matcg the CD in quality.

Re:Amazed (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636531)

You are an idiot if you think MP3s ripped from a CD matcg the CD in quality.

You are an idiot if you can't parse my comment sufficiently to tell that the "they" I was referring to was CDs.

Re:Amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42637807)

I'm a different anonymous cowards, 'cause I'm too sleepy to log in, but I'm afraid you can't really do that in english with that punctuation. See - the MP3s are the subject in your sentence, hence "they" always refers to the subject. Your sentence would have been properly expressing your thoughts in written form as:

Since most of the mp3s come from a CD source (they DO have superior quality)

not a comma, but a parenthesis.

Chris

Re:Amazed (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636233)

I'll keep my CD's, thank you.

I'm constantly amazed at the hoops people jump through to help consume media. Going to the store to purchase a round fragile piece of plastic? Having to put it into a player? Having to convert it to another format to load on their phone? This sure as hell doesn't sound convenient to me.

I don't understand how you could possibly think that is more convenient than typing what you want in the phone from wherever you are and clicking download, and while I am not a fan of Apple, the ability to download the song while you're on a train and then it magically appears in your collection on your home computer ... that my friend is damn convenient.

Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (3, Informative)

DavidinAla (639952) | about a year ago | (#42633823)

The rules for iOS are very simple. If you want to sell apps through the App Store — or sell anything inside those apps — you give Apple a 30 percent cut. If you want to sell through the web browser, you're own your own. The idea that Apple has any interest in controlling what are essentially web pages is sheer idiocy. There's absolutely no evidence to cause a rational person to even ask the question. It's only insane hatred of Apple and the desire to attack the company that could be behind such a question, because there is no rational reason to even bring it up. If you want to sell something through what is essentially a webpage that has a link on your screen, Apple has never shown the least bit of interest in stopping you. It's sheer delusion to suggest otherwise.

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42633905)

t's only insane hatred of Apple and the desire to attack the company that could be behind such a question

or a 20yo someone who has no concept of freedom on their computing devices because walled gardens have always been a part of their life, school inet, mobile, home PC (Win8?) they know not any other way, hence the question ?

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42634151)

I don't think 'freedom' on computing devices is a very noticeable concept to the average user. Nowadays if they want a program, they open an App Store and try to find and buy one. Back in the day, they went down to best buy and tried to find and buy one. Nowadays if you want 'warez' you jailbreak your device and download some seedy software and pray it doesn't screw you. Back in the day, you perused seedy websites and downloaded seedy software and prayed. Most users didn't enjoy software piracy. With modern App Store prices, most users don't even consider software piracy. Past that, 'freedom' just isn't really on the radar. Users are generally happy that computing has been made easier and safer.

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (3, Informative)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year ago | (#42634173)

Or, you simply installed Linux and moved on from the idea that you have to pay for something to get quality software....

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42634913)

Yeah I get all my "quality hardware" Linux tablets for freeeeeeeeee! Freeeeeee software, freeeeeeeeeeeee hardware!

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42637791)

Lay off the fermented carrots, Rabbit... you know how you get.. ;)

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42638253)

I am an ardent fan of free software. I pay good money for good hardware!

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636259)

quality software....

*sigh* I want to love Linux, I really do. But between Gnome Shell, Unity, and programs like Amarok peeing on the interface design 101 textbook, and productivity apps forever split between various stages of community angst and forks (what the hell is the difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice again?), I really don't know what "quality" software you're talking about.

Recently I have found the only quality software for linux is the stuff that runs in a shell which user interface designers can't screw up.

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42637787)

(what the hell is the difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice again?), I really don't know what "quality" software you're talking about.

OpenOffice is now Oracle's. Oracle hates Open Source. LibreOffice is the "unencumbered by Larry Ellison's ego" version of the Office suite.

Quality is in the eye of the beholder when you're talking about interfaces. I have not found a single app that doesn't do what I need it to straight off the repository. The beauty of OSS is that if you don't like something, you can make it your own, without having to wait for the author to fix/enhance the app. That makes it worthwhile for me... of course YMMV...

I use Fluxbox (which gets out of my way)... and the added bonus of not being part of the Gnome 3 beta test. That's another beauty of Linux and OSS... choice and freedom to choose what you want. The way I finally decided on Linux (off and on user since 1993) was because I didn't have enough horsepower to run Windows 7 effctively... so rather than go get a new PC (the one I have is still kicking after many years), I decided to retire XP and try Linux. It's been nearly smooth sailing since. I had many of the same hiccups I did with my XP installation (drivers)... but once I ironed them out, my machine hums along perfectly... I've since added many new (new to me) eBay PCs to my Linux group... :) It's amazing how fast Linux runs (full GUI) on a relatively old PC... Nothing's perfect, but for my needs, I've found little that I don't like about Linux.

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42637915)

OSS is that if you don't like something, you can make it your own

I keep hearing this but it simply isn't true. For 99.9999% of the people out there the best they could crunch out of a computer is "Hello World!". This oft repeated ideal appeals to very few people and very few companies too.

I have to say while open source software is functional most programs are generally split between options and settings overload, and simplifying to the point of being unusable.

I have said it for years, what FOSS needs is some paid GUI designers (not like the ones that Microsoft and Ubuntu are currently paying, but rather those which brought us the first jump to windows 95).

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#42635845)

or a 20yo someone who has no concept of freedom on their computing devices because walled gardens have always been a part of their life, school inet, mobile, home PC (Win8?) they know not any other way, hence the question ?

Yeah, right, a 20yo someone who has no concept of using the web and buying something on the web. Care to try again?

Re:Speculative idiocy about Apple never stops (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636207)

Not entirely correct. You can't link from your app to your web store directly unless you also offer in-app purchases. Amazon can't, for example, put a link in their Kindle app to their web site where you can buy books because they don't support in-app purchases because Apple would want 30% of those.

What it boils down to is an inferior experience for iOS users. Android, Blackberry and WP users can all buy direct from apps where iOS users can't even get a link directly to the web site where they can make the same purchase.

2 things (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42633859)

1) As an iPhone customer, this is not appealing. Can I dock my phone in our car and control it through the steering wheel controls? nope. Can I dock my phone in the speaker on the kitchen counter and control it through the buttons on top of the speakers? Nope. Can I listen to music and play Field Runners 2? Nope. Sorry, but the few cents of savings are not worth the hassle.

2) "Is this a big breach of Apple's walled garden?" What sensationalizing asshat even had the balls to post that?

surcharge (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#42633937)

why dont amazon just add a surcharge for people who want to buy things using apples app store.

Of course Apple will respond (0)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year ago | (#42634167)

They will claim Amazon violates their patent on Safari's rounded corners. Then they'll go to court and try to ban Amazon. (It's funny, laugh...)

Re:Of course Apple will respond (0)

dishpig (877882) | about a year ago | (#42634999)

(It's funny, laugh...)

Funny because your diamond-tipped intellect sliced right through all logic and pithy wisdom, thudded straight into the heart of cliched and lazy humour, shivering there with barely-containable ironic energy, because we know that you, the Physician of Quippery are so much smarter than that and this seemingly inept, utterly sad excuse at humour was just a meta commentary on the sad, sickly state of slashdot commentary?

Fucking hilarious

Re:Of course Apple will respond (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42637747)

You should really pull that stick out of your ass and enjoy life more....

Google already does this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42634237)

Fire up safari and go to the Google Play Music and you can buy and listen to music. Amazon isn't being innovative or anything.

Re:Google already does this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42637435)

That was my first thought, but Google doesn't let you buy new songs from within the simple iPhone-friendly interface. It's a great interface, but no buying.

You can buy using the "Desktop" version of the site, but that's a pain to use.

Amazon's "innovation" here is to let you buy music through the same easy-to-use interface.

Google's interface is still better. When you save it to the iPhone's home screen as a home-screen bookmark; that link launches it without any Safari UI elements - it looks like it's a native app. Amazon's makes you buy in the website, then forces you to launch Amazon Cloud Player to play it. They should unify it - using the nice iPhone-friendly store interface and player as a direct home-screen-webapp like Google Play Music.

Google Play even shows up in the iOS task switcher as if it were a separate app, rather than just showing the Safari icon.

The rumor is.... (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year ago | (#42634283)

The rumor is they are hiring Steve Ballmer to give the response.

Apple employees are hiding their Herman Miller chairs, just in case.

I've said this before... (1, Informative)

Roogna (9643) | about a year ago | (#42634293)

Apple's %30 is less about making money from what I've seen (This is also substantiated by SEC reports) and more about customer support management. Remember, those of us here on /. are perfectly capable of knowing that when we buy app from Vendor B, and it's billing breaks, that it's not Apple's fault, but Vendor B's. For most consumers that is simply not the case though, they buy the wrong thing from Vendor B and the charge gets messed up? They're not even going to look up that company's phone number, they're going to call Apple and complain about the charge. Who can't do anything because it didn't even run through their system. A whole lot of people -still- don't realize that their ISP isn't the whole Internet, that their Dell isn't every computer, and that their iPhone and everything on it wasn't produced by Apple.

So we get this, where every charge runs through their system.

On the flip side, people who do their subscriptions through web apps should damn well know where they went to buy, since they had to literally type in the company's name in some fashion (Google search, the URL bar, SOMETHING) to reach the checkout cart.

Re:I've said this before... (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about a year ago | (#42635373)

I don't think so. When people buy ebooks via their amazon kindle app they know they are dealing with amazon. Apple shouldn't be involved in any step along the way, so why should they get 30%?

Re:I've said this before... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636237)

Apples customers are chumps.

There is value in that big a group of chumps. Same as AOL of old and facebook.

Why would Apple have a response? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#42635205)

"I wonder if Apple with have a response to this."

Sure, the same response they've always had: If you don't like our app store rules, build a web app.

People keep thinking that Apple is going to be surprised by people building web apps or taken aback. Apple's line from the beginning is that the store rules were acceptable because if you didn't like them, you could still build a web app and get around the rules.

Amazon stooge (1)

pbjones (315127) | about a year ago | (#42635275)

Apple will not give a sh!t. You can load mp3 files onto any iDevice and Apple does not care, why should this be different? Yes, you use iTunes to do it, just as I needed to use Nokia software to load stuff onto my old Nokia phones. Bah, the OP is just drawing your attention to a new serviced, it is just and advert.

Re:Amazon stooge (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about a year ago | (#42635385)

I agree that Apple shouldn't care and I hope they don't. They also shouldn't care if I want to buy an ebook through a kindle app.

A website to buy MP3s!?!? Brilliant!!! (1)

sirwired (27582) | about a year ago | (#42635819)

Shorter summary: Amazon creates mobile-optimized from which you can buy MP3's.

As many others have pointed out, this is what Apple has said for years companies should do if they don't want to go through the app store. Amazon didn't "find it" It's not a sneaky loophole or unique, innovative, or new. I'm puzzled why this is even a story at all, much less worthy of a Slashdot article.

This is to be used with Amazon Cloud Player (1)

gozar (39392) | about a year and a half ago | (#42636321)

What the submitter missed was the fact that the Amazon MP3 store for the mobile web is used for purchasing songs and to then play them using the Amazon Cloud Player. In fact, you can't even listen to mp3s through the website.

Basically, Amazon optimized the website to make it easier to purchase MP3s. You could do it before with their website, it just wasn't as nice. Nothing to see here, move along.

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