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Old 03-19-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
Muckraker
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Want to take a big bite out of Apple - iProducer Software

Last year I decided to publish my ebooks through Apple. I jump through all their hoops--federal tax id, isbns, etc. I finally get everything approved and set up and am all set to start uploading.

I see that I need to use the program iProducer to upload my books to iTunes. I go to download iProducer and discover it is a Mac-only program. I look around figuring there must be some alternative for us non-Mac people. Nope. In order to sell eBooks direct with Apple you need to have a Mac. Screw that.

Or so I said last year.

A month or so ago I decided I'd shop around on Ebay to see if I could get a cheap Mac for the sole purpose of uploading books. I checked the iProducer system requirements. It said it required a G4 or higher running OS/X 10.5.8 or better. Lo and behold, I find a great looking system for $150. So I buy it.

I receive the Mac today and fire it up. Looks great and works great. I update iTunes, hop on iTunes Connect, and download the iProducer software. I click the application and... "Program cannot be installed on this computer."

What? There must be some mistake. I have a G4 with 10.5.8. Off to the iProducer PDF. Turns out that in the time it took me to buy my Mac--for the sole purpose of uploading ebooks--Apple decided to change the system requirements for the iProducer software. I'll just download the older version of iProducer--nope. Apple does not acknowledge the existence of anything other than the current version.

Now I need OS/X 10.6. No big deal. I'll just update the OS. Sorry 10.5.8 to 10.6 is not an update--it's an upgrade. Upgrades cost money. At this point I'm fuming but I click through anyway to see how much it costs.

After navigating Apple's maze of misinformation I find out, I think, it would cost me $30 to upgrade. I'm ticked but I've come this far... So I attempt to purchase the OS upgrade. Can't find out how. I finally get to a page somewhere with the system requirements to upgrade the O/S. One of the requirements is an Intel Core processor. I check my processor... GRRRR

So...unless any Apple fans have some advice, or can point out something I'm not seeing, it appears I am stuck with a useless Mac and I'm no closer to getting my books on iTunes than I was before (Yes I know I can use an "aggregate." I don't want to.)

Let's review the process of publishing with direct relationships:

Amazon
1. Upload your book to the website.

Barnes/Noble
1. Upload your book to the website.

Apple (at least as far as I made it)
1. iTunes account
2. iConnect account
3. Long application process with no notification or status or even acknowledgement of receipt.
4. Get a federal tax ID.
5. Get ISBNs
6. Get a Mac computer
7. Install iProducer
a. Upgrade O/S to 10.6
1a. Upgrade processor to Intel.
a1a. Buy a new Mac
8. ???

Sorry for the rant. I just don't understand how a company can get that big by being that stupid and annoying. I thought Macs were supposed to be "easy."
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
johnnyb
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Just use ANY Mac to upload your book... All you need to do is find some place where you can use iProducer to publish your book, might even be an Apple Store...
Also, now that you have the Mac, why not use it, try Mellel, it's a beautiful writing program...
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muckraker View Post
...I have a G4 with 10.5.8.
This is where you are stuck. You need to get off the G series processors, they havent been supported by Apple for years.

I'm still using a 2007 Intel iMac 20". It was the first of the Alu generation. I'd recommend looking for a second hand 24" of the same gen (some of the 20s have screen problems and the reality is, the 24" screen is better, anyway). It will update all the way to Lion... no guarantees about Mountain Lion but at least you'll be up to date. It should not cost that much. I'm on the brink of selling mine (I have now got a 2011 MBP as well) and I probably won't get much more than $450-500AUD for it. Its a good buy if you look around for one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muckraker View Post
Sorry for the rant. I just don't understand how a company can get that big by being that stupid and annoying. I thought Macs were supposed to be "easy."
They are. You need to make sure you stay up to date with products and remain aware of what your needs are. Sorry, but thats the reality no matter whether you use OSX, Windows or Linux. Its just how it is. Your mistake was in buying what seemed to be a good "cheap" deal.

Last edited by kyteflyer; 03-20-2012 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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This is where you are stuck. You need to get off the G series processors, they havent been supported by Apple for years.
...
Your mistake was in buying what seemed to be a good "cheap" deal.
I can accept when I make a mistake but in this case I just got screwed. The crux of the problem is that when Apple releases a new version of the software the old version essentially does not exist.

I would be perfectly happy using the version of iProducer Apple had out last month--the one my Mac perfectly met the system requirements for. But it appears I don't have that option.

I'm wondering if people who were using the last version of iProducer were required to update it in order to continue use--and if it put some of those people in the same boat as me.

What's the logic in this idiotically long and complicated process when your competitors found a simple way to do it and your method only decreases the amount of material available on your devices? Kindle and Nook folks have been reading my eighteen books for the last year.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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What's the logic in this idiotically long and complicated process when your competitors found a simple way to do it and your method only decreases the amount of material available on your devices? Kindle and Nook folks have been reading my eighteen books for the last year.
Apple have very little interest in selling standard books, and almost no interest at all in selling self-published books. They offer the functionality so that they can tick the boxes, but it isn't a priority to them in the way that it is to Amazon/B&N.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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AHA! I may have thwarted Apple with my expert hacking skills. I went back to the Itunes Producer download page to see if there was anything I missed. There were no links to old versions, no version history, no acknowledgment that any version exists prior to 2.6.

I right-clicked the file location for the 2.6 download and pasted it in a new browser window. I changed the 2.6 in the link to 2.5 and got a file not found page. Curious. I pasted in 2.4 and bang the .dmg file starts downloading. I start experimenting and find that I could download version 2.5.1 in the same manner.

I click the 2.5.1 and it starts installing. The system requirement screen comes up and lo and behold it requires a minimum G4, 512MB, and OS/X 10.5.8--just like I remember. It says for "optimal performance" I should use an Intel processor. Click, click, click. ITunes Producer 2.5.1 is now installed on my Mac.

I have no clue why this handy information is totally unavailable on the web. News flash to Apple: When you update an application you include a version history and if you still have usable older versions available you--you know--make a freaking hyperlink somewhere. Between this "hardware upgrade encouragement," the price-fixing scheme they had set up with big publishers, and their slave labor in China I'm beginning to wonder if Apple is as benevolent as people make it out to be.

Anyway, for other owners of completely obsolete and useless Mac equipment--the stuff so old and weak and pathetic it cannot handle the simple upload of an EPUB file--here are some of the version links I verified. If I could find a version history I'm sure there would be more:

https://itunesconnect.apple.com/itun...ucer_2.2.1.dmg
https://itunesconnect.apple.com/itun...ucer_2.3.1.dmg
https://itunesconnect.apple.com/itun...oducer_2.4.dmg
https://itunesconnect.apple.com/itun...ucer_2.5.1.dmg

Hopefully Apple keeps them up even though their forced-upgrade plot has been foiled. And if you don't believe me that this is a completely intended scheme on their part then just Google the older links above. I Googled the 2.2.1 hyperlink and the top hit is an archived post here at Mobileread. https://www.mobileread.com/forums/arc.../t-101960.html
The three other hits in the entire world are old Itunes Producer PDF manuals...

Tuesday To Do List:
1. Laundry
2. Grocery Store
3. Thwart evil plot of largest company in the world.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:38 AM   #7
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AHA! I may have thwarted Apple with my expert hacking skills.
Good for you. Sometimes Apple's "you will be assimilated" attitude can be a real pain.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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Glad you were able to get by this time but if you will need to use these apps in the future you should try unloading the Mac you bought ASAP and get a newer model. I understand 'new Mac' isn't something everyone can do but even the first gen intel macs are supposed to be left behind with the next OS, Mountain Lion, so don't get caught with one of those or risk duplicating your situation all over again, or worse. If cost is big concern, look at last gen Mac mini.

Also, take a look at the help forums at apple.com as they can be very helpful for a first time user.
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