Apple has reversed their earlier decision and have approved Trent Reznor’s iPhone NIN application. Earlier this week, Reznor was informed the app was declined due to “objectionable content“. The NIN app apparently includes music from “The Downward Spiral”, an album that earns it’s parental rating. This led Reznor, a pro-Apple guy, to go on a rant filled with another set of expletives comparing Apple’s move to a similar issue the band had with Walmart a few years prior.
I’ll voice the same issue I had with Wal-Mart years ago, which is a matter of consistency and hypocrisy. Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and “clean” versions be made for them to carry. Bands (including Nirvana) tripped over themselves editing out words, changing album art, etc to meet Wal-Mart’s standards of decency – because Wal-Mart sells a lot of records. NIN refused, and you’ll notice a pretty empty NIN section at any Wal-Mart. My reasoning was this: I can understand if you want the moral posturing of not having any “indecent” material for sale – but you could literally turn around 180 degrees from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film “Scarface” completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense? You can buy The Downward Redacted Spiral on iTunes, but you can’t allow an iPhone app that may have a song with a bad word somewhere in it. Geez, what if someone in the forum in our app says REDACTED or REDACTED? I suppose that also falls into indecent material. Hey Apple, I just got some SPAM about redacted THROUGH YOUR MAIL PROGRAM. I just saw two guys redacted right there in Safari! On my iPhone!
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.
The latest NIN iPhone app hasn’t gone live yet, but we suspect it won’t be long. Reznor puts in perspective the need for Apple to implement parental advisory warnings, thus avoiding similar situations going forward.