The latest casualty in Apple's App Store blacklisting is Podcaster. A native app built according to exact SDK specifications, it goes beyond its creator's web-bound streaming-only Podcaster.fm by letting you download and manage podcasts in a nice straightforward interface. Insidious, right? Apple thought so.
According to Podcaster's blog, Apple at least explained why it booted Podcaster from the App Store: "Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes."
The funny thing to David Chartier at Ars—who broke the news—is that so many other approved apps duplicate Apple-made functions, like the calculator and the stopwatch.
The funny thing to me is that podcasting was a grassroots thing that Apple coopted only after it had blown up on the internet. This has nothing to do with playing back copyright-protected music—it's just a manager for freely distributed internet content. What next, Apple bans other people from building software to access third-party web pages via the iPhone? Oh wait... that's pretty much already happened.
If you still want to check out the Podcaster app, you can sign up here, and the developer will e-mail you back with instructions. They say it will be distributed ad hoc—so no jailbreak required—for a donation of $9.99, but if it gets popular, we don't know how the ad-hoc distribution system would hold up. (I thought there was a limit of 100 for that, but maybe I'm wrong.) [Ars Technica]