Apple removes apps with music download capabilities from its App Store

iOS App Store

It appears as though Apple is removing apps that support the downloading of music from its App Store. It's an interesting move for the company, going as far as implementing a iTunes Radio banner, which is displayed when a search for 'music download' is carried out on the store. Removing said apps, including those that tap into third-party file sharing website, will surely pave the way for Apple to push through its iTunes music services.

This removal of apps covers those also connecting to the likes of YouTube and Soundcloud. Some developers have stated that Apple notified them to remove audio download functionality from their published apps. With iOS 8, Apple is set to introduce new changes to its App Store, including an improved search algorithm, explore feature for improved discoverability, app bundles and more.

It's not just music downloading that appears to be on Apple's recent blacklist as apps that incentivize ad watching and social sharing have also been hit. What are your thoughts on the removal of said apps and will you be affected by retracted content?

Source: MacRumors

Rich Edmonds

Rich is UK Editor for Windows Phone Central but you'll see him on iMore and everywhere else on Mobile Nations as part of the Newsroom team!

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There are 26 comments. Add yours.

vrikis says:

They better not remove Spotify!!

okhoo says:

Spotify is LEGAL so they won't remove ut

BooBeeNYC says:

I agree! I was just thinking I pay for Slacker just for the ability to pre-download my music to save me on my mobile data usage.

stewm says:

I don't think that it is the likes of Slacker, it is app's the specifically give a way of downloading separate specified tracks from file sharing sites and storing those on the phone rather than off-line listening from a source with a deal with music companies.

If they removed Slacker, Spotify etc where they are direct competitors it would leave them open to FTC action for deliberating restricting competition. It sounds, from the sites that are quoted that they are trying to control the 'theft' of music. All the services like Slacker Spotify etc do not allow the stealing of music. It is encoded so that it can only be played through their player and through the people that have the account and the app the the offline content has an effective expiry date so that it cannot be used without continuing the maintain a subscription.

If you know what I mean. Maybe a music company has made a claim that their music has been shared illegally through Soundcloud or a similar site and available through app's and may be worried that they, as a curated app store, may be held liable for activity of app's that allow this and they are taking action to protect themselves from any possible action.

williamsbh76 says:

I don't see slacker as a competitor because they give you a "button" to buy songs on iTunes.

Sent from the iMore App

erdichia says:

The article says nothing about illegal music downloading. It just states that apps that download music are being removed. This would mean Amazon Music, Rdio and Spotify are likely to be removed.

Hopefully that's not the case.

lucho808 says:

I agree. I wish the article was a bit more clear about this.

xcsdm says:

I doubt that Apple would remove solid, direct competitors. I believe their issue is more with apps that tread close to the legal line.
Many of the other services offer IAP for subscriptions, which give Apple a cut. (I wish Spotify would do this)

If they go too far against competition, then lawyers get involved.

Connor Mason says:

When first reading this, I was disgusted at how typical it would have been for Apple to do that. Removing illegal downloading apps makes total sense

perealb says:

It doesn't explicitly say it but it seems obvious to me. When they mentioned downloading from "third-party file sharing website", youtube and soundcloud, it screams illegal downloads. This has nothing to do with Spotify or the like.

adamwade says:

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarken, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

iRoswell says:

Your lack of faith is disturbing!

Good OL MC says:

The source link is a bit clearer about the apps being removed being ones that specifically link to file sharing sites and they posted an image of those apps as an example. Just looks like a way to limit piracy.

Lt_Solorna says:

Tune-In Radio is one that is shown. Hopefully the app can stay so I can use it to listen. I have never used the download capability and unsure of the percentage of pro users who do.

Carioca32 says:

Rdio allows this, will it be removed?

Why not be clear about this? Apple does not want any music being stored and played that does not generate revenue directly to Apple, no 30% no music. And with this new push to drop the universal audio connector in favor of the proprietary Lightning, its a matter of time until Apple comes up with a proprietary audio format that only plays through this connector, and for the connector to only play this (paid)format.

sdreelin says:

So I guess there is no hope of ever being able to buy music from the likes of the Amazon Cloud Player or Google Play Music. Great.

BrockS. says:

It's stuff like this that makes it clear to me moving back to android isn't a bad idea.

tlo07 says:

I've had the same thought.

lucho808 says:

I don't know about this article. The source link doesn't point to anything official and when I search the app store for either "download"or "Music Download", yes I see the iTunes radio banner but then all the same dowloader apps appear. Nothing seems to be missing or removed. This story seems to be pretty vague. I mean one of Spotify's best features is the ability to download your music for offline use. If that feature gets disallowed from the app store - then apple is truly shooting themselves in the foot. Need more credible info on this. If true - unfortunately I'm switching platforms.

kazn3r says:

Discrimination in the workplace at it's best.

Galley says:

This is about those countless "music download" apps that may get their files from questionable sources. It is not about music subscription services!

Saxgod says:

So are they getting rid of Amazon Cloud Player then? I was wondering WHY THE HELL they let it on there in the first place, but if they get rid of it now that's gonna irk me.

Randy Evans1 says:

Once again Apple shoved freedom in the garbage can!
I hate being told that I have to only be able to get my music
from iTunes. Screw them I still won't buy from them as long as
I can download on Windows, put it in iTunes and in my phone from there. Do they not know that,"Where there is a will, there's a way! "

Chris.Pacheco says:

Just because you can download from an app doesn't mean you are a pirate. I hope downloader pro doesn't get removed.

Sent from the iMore App

koltonh2002 says:

Ummmm...... My spotify, rdio, itube, pandora. What will happen to them?!?!?

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Cynthia Watson1 says:

I've just installed the iTube app on my Android. Its great, but it really feels like I'm stealing the music. Do the artists or labels make any money when I download a song?