Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby thajeztah » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:11 pm

Just released in the app store (9 july 2009): ItemShelf...
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=298454705&mt=8

http://itemshelf.com/
The ItemShelf is an application for iPhone/iPod touch to manage your favorite items in wishlist and virtual bookshelf. For example, when you find some items at shop, you can check the information of the item easily with this application, and save it to wishlist. You can manage your owned items with virtual bookshelf.

The information of the item can be read from barcode via camera, or you can input barcode manually.

Features:

You can read barcode with iPhone's camera, and search with Amazon. (You need macro lens)
You can enter ISBN, barcode number (JAN/EAN/UPC) or ASIN manually.
You can search items with title at Amazon, Rakuten, and Kakaku.com.
You can manage items with your own wishlist and virtual bookshelf.


How come this application IS allowed?
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby Conor » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:34 am

There are other apps that use the API still available on the App Store, including one of our competitors who originally released the iSight scanning feature for cataloging apps on the Mac. With the improved 3GS camera it was only a matter of time before he ported his code over to the iPhone. It would be very interesting to know if these guys have written consent from Amazon, but my guess is we will unfortunately soon see them pulled from the store as well.
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby thajeztah » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:39 pm

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but the only reason Amazon is legally capable of blocking PocketPedia (apart from the search function inside PocketPedia) is because it's syncing Amazon data from the desktop version.

I read in another post that you store the original Amazon link in the database for all items that contain data from Amazon.
Will it be a viable option to just sync basic data (title, publisher, isbn, date purchased, format etc.) of those items, omitting copyrighted material? That way people are able to, at least, sync their own data to the iPod.

Holding tight to my installed PocketPedia for the time being :P
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby Conor » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:49 pm

We are trying to figure all that out. If stripping the Amazon specific information would be enough to satisfy them. It's not really a question of only the copyright material. They provide access to facts (that can't be copyrighted) through their servers and they can block us from having access to that data, if they don't approve of the way we use it.
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby bosco9700 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:50 pm

Pocketpedia was & still is my fav app. I love having all my dvd's, games & books in one place since I have a bad habit of buying a DVD more than once. I hope either Amazon changes it's policy or pocketpedia can change it where I can manually log in items. I will be following this site to see what happens. Thanks for a great app. I didn't even know you had programs for the Mac, I guess I'll check those out too!
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby thajeztah » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:05 pm

Conor wrote:and they can block us from having access to that data, if they don't approve of the way we use it.

If they don't want people using their data, then why do they provide an api to retrieve it?

I'd be happy to pay a small fee for using their services if that's what they're after.
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby Conor » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:16 am

If they don't want people using their data, then why do they provide an api to retrieve it?


We haven't been able to get an answer about why it's not okay on a mobile device but okay on anything else.
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby Nora » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:02 am

Thanks to everyone who sent letters to Amazon and voiced their opinion about the Pocketpedia removal. We've written our own letter now too. Here's a copy.
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby jenv » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:59 am

Conor wrote:We haven't been able to get an answer about why it's not okay on a mobile device but okay on anything else.

The obvious (but not necessarily right) answer is they're developing their own mobile app, like B&N did, except that Amazon's won't be free. The anti-mobile rule just eliminated their competition. They should know by now that proprietary lock-in doesn't improve profits and results in negative word of mouth, but maybe Amazon figures they're in monopoly position and don't need to care about that.
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby sjk » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:09 am

jenv wrote:The obvious (but not necessarily right) answer is they're developing their own mobile app

Yeah:

Daring Fireball Linked List: SnapTell Was Acquired by Amazon in June
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby thajeztah » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:15 am

You've got Dugg :)
http://digg.com/d3yRwS
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby Conor » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:36 am

The anti-mobile rule just eliminated their competition.


This only makes a little sense, as in the end we are all promoting Amazon products. An App Store with tons of programs using the Amazon API is quite lucrative to Amazon as the final retailer with very little costs. It what made them so popular on the web with all pages linking to them as associates get both a monetary gain on the sale and an easy API to produce these links. It would be no different in the mobile platform. In fact we are all now looking around for another database and any retailer with an extensive catalog could step in and fill the void that Amazon has left in the mobile market.

@thajeztah Thank you for adding us to Digg.
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby jenv » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:29 pm

The comments over at SnapTell's blog make the same presumption I do, that Amazon's mobile API snafu is intended to stifle competition for SnapTell. They are also uniformly negative.
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby ltcarter47 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:34 pm

Just out of curiosity, if I update my Pedias to 4.5.1 (I have DVDPedia 4.4.3 and BookPedia 4.5.0), will I lose the ability to sync to Pocketpedia? Actually I haven't even tried to sync my pocketpedia since all this went down for fear that something would stop working and I would erase pocketpedia's library, so does it still work as of now with the versions I have? I'm about to do some revamping of my libraries, change nearly every media link and probably add/delete some titles.

Thanks guys,
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Re: Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data

Postby Nora » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:15 am

You can update to 4.5.1 without fear (actually, you really should because otherwise you will not have an Amazon search option). The Pocketpedia sync will work as usual.
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