Bugs & Fixes: Amazon forces a Delicious Library update

Back in June, Delicious Monster released an iPhone companion app to its Delicious Library application for the Mac. The app allowed you to sync the contents of your Delicious Library database directly to your iPhone, via Wi-Fi. Once synced, you could view the data on the iPhone, even without a Wi-Fi connection. Very nice.

Sadly, the app did not stay around for long. Delicious Monster was forced to remove the program from the App Store—because the app displays data obtained from Amazon.com and Amazon objected to this. The basis of the retailer’s objection was section 4e of Amazon’s recently revised API License Agreement, which states (edited for brevity): “You will not, without our approval, use any Product Advertising Content on any application designed for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device.” Amazon was not giving its permission here. So goodbye Library app.

One bright note: If you were lucky enough to have grabbed the Delicious Library iPhone app before it was ejected from the App Store, your copy continues to work—at least for now.

The Mac version of Delicious Library has long been connecting to Amazon. This continues to be done with Amazon’s consent. However, things just got a bit stickier. Which brings me to why I am mentioning all of this in Bugs & Fixes.

A new 2.2 version of Delicious Monster for the Mac is in the works (it may be out by the time you read this). While Amazon is not requiring that Delicious Library sever its ties to the Amazon database, it is instituting a new procedure for maintaining the link-up. “Amazon now requires all users of their data (e.g., Delicious Library) to digitally ‘sign’ requests for information.” The 2.2 update contains the code needed for Delicious Library to comply with this new requirement.

For Delicious Library users, the upgrade is essential. If you decide to pass, “you will not be able to scan in, update, or look up new items automatically as of August 15, 2009.”

P.S. The Delicious Library 2.2 update also fixes one of the unlikeliest bugs I have ever seen: “A display bug where ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (or any movie with the consecutive letters ‘umd’ in its title) would display as a Sony mini-disc.” Oh yes, it’s the old umd bug.

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