Trent Reznor speaks out on the App Store approval process

Mon, May 4, 2009


A few days ago, Trent Reznor tweeted that an update to the much-acclaimed NIN iPhone App was rejected from the iTunes App Store due to “objectionable content”.

Apple rejects the NIN iPhone update because it contains objectionable content. The objectionable content referenced is “The Downward Spiral”

Trent Reznor correctly points out, though, that the album “The Downward Spiral” is not actually contained in the app itself, though the song of the same name is available as a “podcast that can be streamed to the app.”

And, of course, the annoying irony is that the album is available in all of its explicit entirety on iTunes.

This, however, isn’t the first time Apple has donned its “objectionable content” police cap in a hasty fashion.  A few weeks ago, an update to the popular iPhone app Tweetie was rejected because a trending topic at the time was the phrase “Fuckitlist.”  After realizing the absurdity of the rejection, the update was approved a few hours later, and we can only assume, or hope, that the same will happen for the NIN app as well.  For all we know, Apple is taking a more stringent approach in reviewing iPhone apps after Babshaker was mistakenly accepted, and this is just an example of them being overly cautious as a result.

In the meantime, though, NIN frontman Trent Reznor wrote an interesting message on the NIN forums yesterday praising Apple and dissing its competitors:

Everyone – let me be clear. I love Apple products and as goofy and out-of-touch as their app approval process / policy is, I will still use them because they work 1000X better than the competition. This is not a debate, it’s a fact. The iPhone is THE most elegant, modern smartphone at this point in time and it’s perfect for what we want to do with the NIN app – except for the ludicrous approval process, and that’s what I want to draw attention to.  Android is cool, but nobody has an Android phone. Blackberry is OK but the hardware is inconsistent and WinMo straight-up sucks balls. If Apple doesn’t get it together, we will most certainly make it available to the jailbreak community. I didn’t invest in this app to see it languish on the sidelines from an idiotic policy while this tour is in full swing.

Wow, Trent Reznor knows what he likes and makes no bones about it!

Update: An administrator on the NIN forums writes:

we removed the song “The Downward Spiral” from the server, hoping to appease apple and get this bug fix through. however i have yet to receive a reply.

Seeing as a lot of this transpired over the weekend, we can only hope that Apple’s team of inconsistent iPhone app reviewers will get on this first thing Monday morning.


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