Color me jaded. Apple has so many delightfully pleasant to use products and apps that when an app comes along that should be what it says it is and isn’t I’m not as disappointed as I want to be.
Does that make sense?
This is the story of Free Music Player. It’s a music player. But it’s not free. It costs 99-cents.
What’s free about Free Music Player?
The music is free. It’s all a matter of perspective. And that reminds me of a story I once heard about Dennis the Menace, and his senior citizen neighbor and nemesis, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. Wilson: Well, Dennis. I see you have a lemonade stand. The sign says, “All The Lemonade You Can Drink For 5-cents.” Is that right?
Dennis: Yes, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. Wilson: Here’s a nickel. Give ma glass of lemonade (Mr. Wilson drinks the glass of lemonade).
Dennis: Did you like it Mr. Wilson?
Mr. Wilson: Yes, Dennis. I’ll have another glass, please.
Dennis: That’ll be 5-cents, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. Wilson: Uh, Dennis. Your sign says, “All The Lemonade You Can Drink For 5-cents.”
Dennis: Yes, Mr. Wilson. That’s all the lemonade you can drink for 5-cents.
Free Music Player isn’t free, but it scours the internet and comes up with a list of music that you can play on your Mac. Free.
Granted, 99-cents isn’t much money for a music player that plays free music. But iTunes plays free music and it’s a free app. Apple provides instructions and help screens on how to use iTunes.
Free Music Player does not.
And that brings me to a problem I see more and more on the Mac App Store. Apps from fly-by-night developers. No help. No instructions. Just a cheap app and a few bullet point features. No web site. No details. No support. And a few bewildered customers on MAS who complain that the app isn’t free and they can’t figure out how to use it to get to the free music.
Free just doesn’t mean what it used to mean.