Apple removes apps with music download capabilities from its 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
  • They better not remove Spotify!!
  • Spotify is LEGAL so they won't remove ut
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I don't see slacker as a competitor because they give you a "button" to buy songs on iTunes. Sent from the iMore App
  • 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.
  • I agree. I wish the article was a bit more clear about this.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • "The more you tighten your grip, Tarken, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
  • Your lack of faith is disturbing!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It's stuff like this that makes it clear to me moving back to android isn't a bad idea.
  • I've had the same thought.
  • 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.
  • Discrimination in the workplace at it's best.
  • This is about those countless "music download" apps that may get their files from questionable sources. It is not about music subscription services!
  • 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.
  • 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! "
  • 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
  • Aaaaand it's gone. -_-
  • Ummmm...... My spotify, rdio, itube, pandora. What will happen to them?!?!? Sent from the iMore App
  • 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?
  • I had iTube but deleted it because it used up so much memory, but now I can only find crappy knockoffs. Guess it was removed
  • NO ONE UPDATE MUSIC DOWNLOAD APPS. Turn off auto update immediately
  • I really do not appreciate all this changes Apple is doing way too much...they can't make us be using apps that we do not want to use, that is going to make people switch from Apple products to other products....
  • Antipiracy. Antipiracy.
  • They can't delete your spotify because the fact that You pay A monthly bill
  • I don't agree with this at all I only download music for me I don't sell music or anything like that , right now I have 7 hrs. Of songs listed on my phone I listen to them while I'm driving on the road , if somebody is selling songs deal with them . Apple is wrong I'm getting pop ups now that says searching for music is going to end if apple does this I'm no longer a customer of APPLE going to SAMSUNG on my next upgrade
  • How dare apple pull a stunt like this just because nobody likes iTunes? What happened to our freedom? Apple is forcing us to spend money on music? Screw it, I'm switching back to android.