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Desktops (Apple) Media Software Apple

MplayerX Leaving Mac App Store 225

Posted by timothy
from the kicked-out-of-the-hothouse dept.
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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MplayerX Leaving Mac App Store

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  • Procrastination (Score:2, Informative)

    by Fls'Zen (812215)
    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.
    • They said they were arguing back and forth for 3 months, not that they only had 3 months to attempt to implement changes.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday August 17, 2012 @10:17PM (#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.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Friday August 17, 2012 @10:17PM (#41033017) Journal
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by javacowboy (222023)

      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

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        • by macs4all (973270)

          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.

          Um, some of those "Professionals" work for Apple. Do you really think they don't know what "Pros" need?

          • by narcc (412956)

            Apparently they don't.

            A quick google search will turn up article after article about the "royal clusterfuck" that was the release of Final Cut Pro X. Hell, I have no interest in the app at all and even I'm familiar with that mess of a release.

            Anyhow, the biggest complaint seems to be that Apple removed a shit-ton of essential features from the program, turning a once professional tool in to a play-toy. See for yourself. Apple, once again, fails to understand working professionals and their needs.

          • by paulatz (744216)

            Um, some of those "Professionals" work for Apple. Do you really think they don't know what "Pros" need?

            The point is not that they do not know, but that they do not care.

      • by CritterNYC (190163) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @01:40AM (#41034005) Homepage
        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.
        • by arkhan_jg (618674)

          he 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

          There is one group of professionals they can't drive off though; the people that write those lovely profitable apps that go in the app stores.

          If people can

          • "If people can't get their dev environment running, they won't dev apps"

            Why wouldn't they be able to get their dev environment running? I understand what you are trying to say but realistically Apple does supply Xcode and any other tools needed to make apps on it's platform. If you don't like it Apple will just tell you to piss off like they do on everything else. It's not fair but then again Apple has never been about fair.

        • And this is a particularly risky move for Apple. While shifting from a mix of professionals and consumers to just consumers is paying off very well right now, it could prove to be a horrible long-term decision. Consumers are much more fickle than professionals. Professionals need to have domain knowledge of their hardware and software which makes switching platforms for them much more difficult. However, with two years of no updates for the Mac Pro, the huge debacle over Final Cut Pro X, and the removal
    • 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.

      • by mark-t (151149)

        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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ToasterMonkey (467067)

      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"

      • 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

        • 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."

          Let me get this straight. By Apple faithful, I presume you're referring to users - not the company itself. If I'm wrong there, who was it who said this? With that presumption, I'd like to parse what you wrote.

          You claim that Apple is going to do x because their fans in the past said that Apple would not do y, yet Apple did do y. What?

          • The apple users, lovers, people who owned Powermacs... said on forums, in editorial print magazines, and just about everywhere else "No, Apple's not going to Intel"... and gave a myriad of practical reasons (they thought) why it wouldn't occur. What that means in context is everyone who says "OS X is never going to be iOS" and "OS X will always be what it is today..." etc... are more than likely incorrect in their predictions.

            Given Apple's past performance is it not unreasonable to assume that Apple won't j

            • The apple users, lovers, people who owned Powermacs... said on forums, in editorial print magazines, and just about everywhere else "No, Apple's not going to Intel"... and gave a myriad of practical reasons (they thought) why it wouldn't occur. What that means in context is everyone who says "OS X is never going to be iOS" and "OS X will always be what it is today..." etc... are more than likely incorrect in their predictions.

              Heh, a possible tl;dr coming your way.

              Ah, I get you. Still, it doesn't follow that they're probably incorrect, and this whole lock-down thing is pretty subjective. I agree that the battery thing could be a pain, and 12 years ago I'd have thought it crazy if my PowerBook G3 came that way. No way I'd be getting much work done if I had to rely on a single battery, but these days battery life is way better. Still, when this thing gets old, I'm going to have to send the entire thing off. That part could be pain.

          • Oops.. I should've mentioned this in the previous post.. (sorry!) but you can see even in my posting history (I'll spare you the tedium) where I stated "if Apple goes Intel, I'll eat my hat." (I gave a bunch of now inconsequential reasons for the claim too... but at the time they seemed relevant)

            My hat tasted like shit. :)

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      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

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      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 (c

      • by mark-t (151149)

        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

    • by ClaraBow (212734)
      You may need to join forces with John C. Dvorak, as he is brilliant at making predictions about all things Apple! He's yet to get one right, but hey, that's the nature of the game!
  • by cheesybagel (670288) on Friday August 17, 2012 @10:23PM (#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?

    • by mccdyl001 (808761)
      Nothing to do with Apple - Stanza was bought out by Amazon when the Kindle app came along - thats why development was stopped, they didn't want competition for their own app. It still beats other e-book readers in quite a lot of ways, I just wish they'd implemented syncing across multiple devices before development shut down.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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. Cano

  • MPlayer leaving the app store? Guess I'll use TEN and Kali instead
  • The Real Deal (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rabtech (223758)

    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 m

    • by vux984 (928602)

      In this App's case, it would mean reworking his UI slightly to have users select folders with content in them, not individual movies.

      Except that I play movies by finding them in finder, and double clicking them. I can't remember the last time I opened a movie from -within- an application's user interface.

      So, no, reworking he UI would be pretty irrelevant.

  • 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.
  • Maybe there is à market for a non-Apple app store? If someone gets in the act now, and Apple pulls the rug, then it would be possible to apply anti-trust laws.

    With regards to sandboxing, I can understand why Apple is doing this, but have they gone too far with their sand boxing model? What needs to be improved and does a better model exist elsewhere?

  • I'm going back to Linux.

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