Apple rejects app for showing iTunes 11 notifications

Mac developer Sherief Farouk has a Mac app called Listening To that shows what song is playing using Mountain Lion’s notification system. It’s a cool and useful app, but Apple doesn’t seem to agree.

Farouk told The Loop that Apple rejected an update to the app this week claiming that showing the “iTunes ‘now playing’ or track changes is a misuse of Notification Center.”

Here’s the funny thing. The app was already approved and in the Mac App Store for some time with the notification functionality working perfectly. Apple rejected the app when Farouk submitted an update adding a preference to remove the menu bar icon. No changes were made to the notification functionality in the update, according to Farouk.

The app, in its current version, is still available for download from the Mac App Store. I downloaded it last night and it works just fine.

  • Coming soon to iTunes 11: artist / song notifications.

  • So did he go through the appeals process, or go straight to the “complain to the press” route?

    I use GrowlTunes, myself. Same cost.

    Growl isn’t even a requirement to run it, though having Growl also means you can customize the alerts (I prefer the “Music Video” style alert for track changes)

  • Incidents like this just makes Apple seem petty and erodes good will. If Apple does indeed update iTunes with notifications, wouldn’t people notice that this app is now irrelevant and simply stop using/purchasing it without this hard-handed ban? It just seems like a “Dick” move.

    Of course unless there’s more to the story than meets the eye…

    • That’s exactly what it is and should be the title of the post. 🙂

      As a dev this is disheartening as you spend N hours on a feature only to have Apple tell you no. Sucks.

    • lucascott

      With the mini player that’s basically what they did.

      From everything I’ve read about the app it went from an app to more like a notification center plug in and that is why it was rejected. Not to mention the principle of the matter that it is Apple’s right, as the developer, to decide if they want their app’s data in NC and some third party doesn’t have the right to ‘fix their mistake’

  • The app’s name is “Listening To”, not “Listen To”. >_>

  • KvH

    huh. i use a keyboard maestro & an applescript to display this info on demand. Currently uses Growl because I’m too lazy to switch it to Notification Center.

  • TT

    Each approval or rejection is up to each individual reviewer. I’ve had three apps get approved and one get rejected, all three which were identical in code, within hours of each other.

  • Great news. Nobody wants iTunes notifications cluttering up the new Mountain Lion system.

  • Jörg

    Check out “CoverSutra” as alternativein the MacApp Store. When launched (which can be linked to a iTunes launch), It sits in the menubar of MacOs and provides features like the iTunes miniplayer (instant search, start/stop/back/forward,) and also shows the actual starting titel (pref option) popping out of the menubar icon in a notificationlike manner, but with cover art. Another additional pref option shows the coverart on the desktop as a jewelcase-like artwork. The software is created by a beautiful german lady, by the way.

  • It’s petty things like this that keep me away from Apple products. A company shouldn’t decide what’s good or bad for me. If I don’t want it cluttering up my notifications, I’ll just uninstall it. Simple as that.

  • I can’t imagine a single use for this anyway. Do you seriously need notification center to tell you (every 5 minutes) what the song is that’s playing which you yourself put in iTunes?

    • lucascott

      It’s meant more for cases where you it play with random turned on.

      But I agree with the basic notion. If you want to know every second what’s playing, turn on the mini player