For as little as we know about Apple’s approval process for iPhone apps, I kind of expected the nin:access program — which allows fans of the band Nine Inch Nails to enjoy streaming music and other perks — to pass with flying colors. Apparently I was wrong, as the latest update to the application was denied.
In a scathing, profane forum post, frontman Trent Reznor said the objectionable content resided in music from NIN’s “The Downward Spiral” album. If you’ve ever heard the tune “Closer,” you can probably imagine what lit up the censor button.
These songs could just as easily corrupt virgin ears through iTunes, except that the iTunes Store has parental controls. It’s high time the App store added similar functionality, if only so adults capable of withstanding the occasional f-bomb won’t be subject to draconian censorship.
Such a feature is on the way with the iPhone’s 3.0 operating system, and rumor has it that apps with explicit content may have a better shot at approval. iLounge reports that one developer, Makayama, heard as much when its Newspaper(s) application was blocked for including The Sun, a British paper notorious for including a naked centerfold in each edition. In a rejection notice, Apple reportedly said it “would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available.” (Makayama instead removed The Sun and successfully resubmitted the program.)
We’re still waiting on an official release date for the 3.0 OS, but it’s losely scheduled for this summer. In the meantime, Reznor has no plans to ditch the iPhone (though he may take nin:access to jailbreakers) because “nobody has an Android phone,” Blackberry has “inconsistent” hardware and “WinMo straight-up” um, does not meet his quality standards. (We have self-imposed parental controls here, Trent.)