The open source multimedia player MPlayerX is leaving the Mac App Store after the developer failed to get past Apple’s review process, which now includes the requirement that the application use the App Sandbox. MPlayerX is based around FFMpeg and MPlayer and offers a versatile media player for the Mac OS X platform. According to the developer, Zongyao Qu, if they adopted sandboxing then they would lose so many features that it would be “just another lame Quicktime X” which he could not accept.
Similar issues have affected other programs, such as TextExpander 4 (which monitors keystrokes to trigger expansions into predefined templates in every application), and prevented them entering the store. Apple has been introducing the App Sandbox over the last year and from the start of June sandboxing became mandatory for all new and updated applications in the store. In the case of MPlayerX, when sandboxed, the application would have issues loading subtitles automatically or playing the next episode automatically.
These issues arise from the sandboxing requirement that a user must give explicit permission, by selecting a file or directory in a open dialog, for an application to access a file. For example, where MPlayerX could previously just open the .srt file in the same directory as the movie file, now it would have to either get permission from the user to read that file or have previously been given permission to read files in that directory.
Qu says he has tried six times to get MPlayerX builds into the Mac App Store, which he notes is a “great channel to let more guys know MPlayerX”, but failed each time and now he wants to move on to implementing more useful features. A limited functionality MPlayerX, 10.0.15, will be released shortly and will be the last Mac App Store version. Version 10.1.16, which uses Sparkle appcasting to provide automatic updating, has recently been released.