There is a point when even the most peripheral to the App Store debate begins to ask exactly what Apple seems to be getting out of all this.
Out of the ashes of the electronic 80s came a punk revival that reestablished what a thousand DIY patches never could. The post-left agitation of Berlin's working class, Atari Teenage Riot, have ceased the hiatus caused by the drug-fueled death of their former MC, Carl Crack. As part of this return to the underground Atari Teenage Riot took the newest fad technology by the horns and designed a free iPhone app that would rival almost any other in terms of the shear volume of content. Here they put every album they have compiles, song they have recorded, and video that they have burnt along with pretty much anything a fanboy would get off of their website.
In pure protest fashion they also included Riot Sounds. What this constitutes is an audio player that produces specific audio tones that anyone in a black mask at the G20 will remember, amid the tear gas. What these are is a series of low sub bass tones that, when played at an incredibly high level, will cause those listening to go into an anxiety ridden and nauseous state. This is especially familiar to anyone that has viewed the documentation of their concert on the streets of Berlin during the 1999 May Day, or International Workers Day, protest turned insurrection.
As if this was a direct parallel to their May Day chants to "fight the police," the German iTunes put a hold on the release of this groundbreaking free iPhone application. Much of stated reason for this comes from the fear from German state officials that May Day riots would reach "dangerous" levels. The content itself is stated as being under dispute, and since the music itself is already made available through iTunes and other online sources it seems to be that it is a few curious low tones that are getting their proverbial panties into a bunch. Its time to wring them out.
The assumption here is that the free iPhone application could transform your smart phone into a fully automated sonic weapon that will be used to throw a Molotov cocktail at international techno-capitalism. The fight has been put up by Digital Hardcore Records, the label established by Alec Empire and supported by Atari Teenage Riot's record sales, and when it was finally released late on May 20th it was not quite as complete as promised.
The ATR app as it appears at the U.S. app store is a failure in almost every way. The ATR app is packed with iTunes links to Atari Teenage Riot's flagship studio albums Delete Yourself, The Future of War, and 60 Second Wipe Outs. This is a dramatically different situation than the full discoragraphy for free as was promised publicly. Beyond that there is little content beyond an incredibly sparse news page, annoying bios and links, and a series of videos that just provide you with lag-filled YouTube links. This may be the easiest way to witness their call to action on May Day 1999, but this is nothing close to what we were set to anticipate. Whether or not this is a result directly of the band or Apple's repression we don't know, but either way it has crushed the design that embodied the premise on which ATR stood.