Roughly 10 years ago, I purchased a first generation AppleTV the same day it hit stores.
As I sat around using an early version of MetaX spending far too much free time at night entering the details of a TV series by hand. I realized the need for some way to automate the process. Perl was the only programming language I was familiar with, it was also the language best fit for the pattern matching necessary to parse information out of the file names, so I wrote a perl script I titled iDentify. I wrote primarily for my own use, though I did share it publicly.
A couple years later, I decided to turn it into an actual app. I programmed it while simultaneously teaching myself Cocoa and XCode 3 on a first generation (single core) white Intel iMac. I got a lot of help from the #cocoa channels on IRC. It worked. Though I clearly didn’t understand the Object Oriented structure, and the resulting file was a god-awful mismatch for procedural and OO style programming. I would not have received a passing grade for the code in a programming class. But. It. Worked. Again, I wrote it primarily for myself. I got the features in it I would use for myself. Then I cleaned it up, added a couple of nice, but unnecessary paid features, and released it as shareware. A bit later the Mac App Store (MAS) was released. I jumped through hoop after hoop to make it work with the MAS. The documentation was terrible, and not very helpful. It took a few months to make it work and get it approved.
OSX Leopard was released… with Xcode 4. Programs were supposed to port easily. iDentify didn’t. I blamed Apple and Xcode at the time, though looking back now my terrible programming was probably just as likely to blame. The attempt to move to xcode 4 screwed up the .xcode files and other configurations and I had to restore the entire project from backups. I eventually ended up just making a second bootable partition with Tiger on it to continue development. I eventually got newer Macs, and more versions of OSX came out. Tiger wouldn’t run on the newer hardware, so I had to keep my old, first white iMac around just to maintain iDentify, as it was the only thing I could build the program on.
I have started and restarted and restarted a complete ground-up re-write more times than I care to say. Every time I came back I found myself unsatisfied with the UI I had made the previous time and just started over. I’d always lost my momentum. Primarily because iDentify, a program I had initially written for my own personal use, I never used myself anymore beyond testing reported bugs or fixing things when various APIs changed.
Apple implemented sandboxing somewhere along the way. I could not implement sandboxing without using the newest xcode at the time. Programs without sandboxing were grandfathered against the new MAS rules requiring that, but only bug fix updates. if new features were to be added, sandboxing would have to join them. Recently Apple announce it’s plans to deprecate support of Garbage Collection (something iDentify uses) in favor of ARC. Additionally, Apple basically got a bug up their ass and decided to basically ONLY display square artwork for any newly added files. Why? I don’t know, but it is exactly these kind of “we do what we want you all you had better fall in line” changes that make me sick of Apple. There is also a new API for access to the TVDB and they will be retiring the API that iDentify is using. A ground up re-write will be required to implement any of these features and changes.
Point is, I no longer use iDentify. After 14 years, I’ve become disillusioned with both Apple and the Mac platform and intend to switch back to PC. Additionally, when iDentify was released, it was normal for digital copies to be stored on the customers systems. This made tagging far more important so that you could easily find which files you are dealing with. These days streaming is the way to go. Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Ultraviolet, VUDU… The options are many.
So, it has come to this.
Effective immediately, iDentify is being retired, and though I may answer an occasional question, I will no longer be officially supporting it. In the coming days, it will be removed from the MAS and MacUpdate. Since iDentify’s functions do not rely on any services I maintain, it will continue until… well.. until it doesn’t. I thank you all for all your support over the years. The fact that so many people love and use this program has been a great source of pride for me for quite a while, and I have not come to this decision lightly. In fact, this post has been sitting on my laptop waiting for me to hit publish for over a week now. So, again. Thank you.