Well my two recent posts on Amidio’s ioLibrary have raised some interesting questions about ioLibrary. I think it would be good to get this debate out in the open and get an upnderstanding on what other developers and users think about the issues. To start I’m going to use the comments left by Richard as a prompt:
I would love to see an open dialog on the subject of interoperability standards among iPhone music apps. Palm Sounds seems like a great forum to get that started.
There are a number of legal and practical concerns around any solution where competitors are working together to create a mutually beneficial solution.
– Is the solution verifiable as compliant with the terms of Apple’s SDK license agreement and the App Store approval practices?
– Is the solution legal with respect to US and other antitrust laws (a.k.a. competition law)? (Any time competitors enter into agreements for their mutual benefit this is a concern.)
– What is the form of the interface? (i.e. proprietary binary, open source code, proprietary source code, open specification, proprietary specification etc.)
– As with all standards there needs to be accountability for compliance. How is that going to happen? Who will validate compliance with the standard? How will an end user know that the product will work?
– Why would a developer put a competitor’s binary code in their app without source code?
– What do end users actually want and need?
(CAF files. Really?)
– Are the solutions practical? (e.g. WAV file export and import over the cell network is moving huge files (approx 10MB/min of music) and uses huge amounts of device power and network bandwidth. (An implementation might violate Apple’s rumored 4.5MB/5 minutes maximum rule for cell network bandwidth use causing the app to be rejected from the App Store.)
– Are the solutions properly licensed? For example, ZIP files and MP3 files may be covered by various patents. If some of the implementation’s functionality may use patented functionality who would be responsible for the license and royalties? The library creator or library user?
Are there any OSS licenses involved in the library that need to be disclosed?
Creating standards is not easy. For better or worse the days of the wild west on the App Store are over. Apple will force compliance with laws and proper practices if only because they are a party (as an agent) in App Store sales transactions.
These are just a few of the issues that come to mind. I’d like to see the discussion driven into the full light of day.
I’d really welcome comments on this post please, and let’s make this as constructive a debate as we can, as it is in everyone’s interest to make this work and get it right.