All About N-Gage - Next Generation Ready

The Mystery of the "Sorry, this item is no longer available." Message

Published by Tzer2 at 13:01 UTC, June 9th 2009

Ovi Store had capacity problems on the day it launched as demand for the service apparently far exceeded Nokia's estimates, but they seem to have cured that and Ovi Store now loads reliably. However, another problem has appeared which is rather annoying and frustrating: some items seem to be disappearing and reappearing at random. All too often people click on a game, app or other content and are greeted with the message "Sorry, this item is no longer available." even when it should be available. Let's take a look at the availability problems one by one, hopefully someone high up at Nokia is reading this.

 

 - Some games appear in search results but clicking on them produces the message "Sorry, this item is no longer available." For example searching for "chop sushi" lists a game by THQ, but trying to visit that game's page gives us the oh-so-familiar error message.

 - Some games' pages are accessible in certain countries but not others. For example one of our readers has reported that visiting the Katamari Mobile page in the UK gives a "Sorry, this item is no longer available." message, whereas here in Finland the same page at the same URL works fine.

 - Some games' pages used to work fine but now don't work any more. For example the game page for Go Go Rescue Squad used to be accessible to this writer, but no longer is.

 - Some games don't appear at all any more, even in searches. For example Nokia's own N-Gage games are supposed to be available through Ovi Store and n-gage.com even has a front page news item telling people about this, but the N-Gage games are absolutely nowhere to be found on Ovi Store. They're totally invisible in searches.

 - All of these problems apparently occur on both the website and the Ovi Store application, so they seem to be problems to do with the main Ovi Store database.

 - All of these problems occur even when the website's "All Phones" option is selected.

 

Now you see it...

Search results for chop sushi on Ovi Store

 

Now you don't...

Chop Sushi game page on Ovi Store

Categories: Software, Miscellaneous, Editorial Thoughts, Games
Platforms: Series 60, N-Gage, S60 3rd Edition, N-Gage, S60 5th Edition

News Discussion

bbj
Most likely cause - and weve seen it here is that

i) browse store via web brower - it does not know what phone you have so either you enter any old one or not bother.

ii) send link to phone which fires up the phone wap browser. It now knows what phone you are but the content item you were looking for is not compatible with your phone. As such the item you were originally attempting to download gives the impression of 'disappearing' but in reality whats happened is the 'app filter by device type' has changed between the two usages so whats available to one is not available to another.

The above is also a bit of a problem for the 'send to friend' - if friend does not have same device....

I imagine differnet publishers will work better/worse depending on their device support. E.g. Publisher a) that supports most devices from single app will work alot better - as there is a single Ovi Store content item, compared to Publisher b) that has differenet content item (even for same scn sizes) for each different device....
Tzer2
Quote:
i) browse store via web brower - it does not know what phone you have so either you enter any old one or not bother.
No, because these problems happen even when you've selected the "any phone" option which should display all available software.

Also, even when you select a specific phone (for example the 5800) there is software missing which should not be missing. For example Go Go Rescue Squad which I reviewed on the 5800 now no longer shows up for the 5800, so it is impossible to even click on the "send this" link because the entire page for that game is missing.

This is not a compatibility problem, there are games going totally missing from the index for all phones which clearly shouldn't be happening.


Quote:
ii) send link to phone which fires up the phone wap browser. It now knows what phone you are but the content item you were looking for is not compatible with your phone. As such the item you were originally attempting to download gives the impression of 'disappearing' but in reality whats happened is the 'app filter by device type' has changed between the two usages so whats available to one is not available to another.
It can't have anything to do with WAP, because all of these problems happen on the PC website and the Ovi Store application too.
doonit
Lets face it, none of Nokias PC or web apps have ever been worth thier salt. I love the phones dearly, but evrything else from Nokia is bloated, resourse hungry and just plain crap!!! And they're calling themselves an Internet Company now. Haha!

I've read that Ovi has THOUSANDS of apps available but, having laboured through the site a few times, the most applications listed in any of the categories is 91. I'm in South Africa.
viipottaja
Tzer2, have you/AAS communicated these concerns directly to Nokia as well (beyond just hoping someone in Nokia will read this)? I would imagine you guys have some contacts there. :) At the minimum, I'd suggest you email/comment to the Ovi Blog administrators. Perhaps they would volunteer at least some explanation on what the heck is going on.
RogerPodacter
I cant believe nobody has reported on what happens if you purchase an app and the download stops half way thru. you are forced to re-purchase the app. if you reset your phone? you are forced to re-purchase the app. try emailing the ovi store support and see what their response is. hint, they tell you there's nothign they can do.

doesnt anyone else find this insanity????!!!?!?!?!?!?!?
Hooksym
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerPodacter View Post
I cant believe nobody has reported on what happens if you purchase an app and the download stops half way thru. you are forced to re-purchase the app. if you reset your phone? you are forced to re-purchase the app. try emailing the ovi store support and see what their response is. hint, they tell you there's nothign they can do.

doesnt anyone else find this insanity????!!!?!?!?!?!?!?
According to Tier 2 support, which I managed to get on the phone, this is happening because, in fact, the US Ovi store is not officially open. He did not have a date when it would be, but he said he hoped it would be when the N97 was released.

I have no idea exactly how we can tell when the store is officially open since there were no indications that it wasn't officially open. However, the way it should work (accoding to this person) when it is open is that you will be able to redownload without purchasing by sending an SMS to your phone.

This person seemed competent and knowledgable, but in the unenviable position of not being able to do much about the situation.

Yes, this IS an idiotic way to do things. :rolleyes:

So this may not be getting more play here because I get the feeling that this forum has a very large non-US contingent (kind of fun, that). :)
killermobile
This occurs when a developer unpublishes the application - there seems to be a huge lag between the app actually getting removed from the system completely. Why would a developer unpublish an application you ask? Well, it seems there's more than a handful that are upset by Nokia's utter lack of DRM, even when insisting that the developer provide a FULL non-time limited application. It's been proven that Ovi's so-called DRM, doesn't work, so developers are yanking their apps until it gets resolved, which could take an eternity.

Plus, if you want to temporarily unpublish your app, there's no way to do so! Once you choose to unpublish, you have to literally re-add the entire application again, from start to finish - and the current Q&A testing time for one of our apps is 12 days and counting, which means there's absolutely no quick method of getting your app online, or even updating it to a more recent release.

Cheers!

Josh @ Killer Mobile
pool7
As simple as it may sound, I've only seen this issue due to expired cookies. That is, I would open Ovi Store, login, then leave it open and do other stuff outside (browse other websites, etc), then when I came back and tried to click an app, I'd get the error.
Of course, this is most likely just one of the situations; since the store is quite new (and, IMHO, sucks) and most likely other issues cause this error.

@RogerPodacter
Not sure if this works, but once you purchase an app, it will show up under My Apps (when you login to Ovi Store). If I'm not mistaken (sorry, can't check right now) there's an option from within My Apps to resend the app to your phone.
Please try that and let us know if it works; hopefully it does, and many people will be happy to know (Nokia should definitely improve the available documentation re: how to purchase through Ovi Store, etc).
namtastic
The real problem with the store right now is that this error page is being used for ANY error that makes a page unavailable. Expired cookies, wrong phone model, etc., etc.. If they'd at least make some proper error messages to actually say what went wrong, things would be a whole lot better.
Rafe
Quote:
Originally Posted by viipottaja View Post
Tzer2, have you/AAS communicated these concerns directly to Nokia as well (beyond just hoping someone in Nokia will read this)? I would imagine you guys have some contacts there. :) At the minimum, I'd suggest you email/comment to the Ovi Blog administrators. Perhaps they would volunteer at least some explanation on what the heck is going on.
I'll make an extra effort to make sure a couple of people see this, but I know that this problem (and the re-purchase if your download is fluffed issue) are known about.
Tzer2
Viipottaja, hopefully Rafe's contacts will get the message across.

I've tried to tell third party publishers about this problem so that they can nag Nokia too, and I passed a message onto one very large third party publisher which should hopefully put pressure on Nokia to fix this as soon as possible.

IMHO the main problem isn't the server problem itself, but Nokia's reluctance to talk about it openly. If they have problems but refuse to say anything about them, people will wonder if Nokia even knows about the problems.


Quote:
Originally Posted by doonit View Post
Lets face it, none of Nokias PC or web apps have ever been worth thier salt. I love the phones dearly, but evrything else from Nokia is bloated, resourse hungry and just plain crap!!! And they're calling themselves an Internet Company now. Haha!
Doonit, if you have ever actually used Ovi Store even once you'd know that the apps aren't made by Nokia, they're all from third party companies that are dedicated entirely to software such as Electronic Arts, Gameloft, THQ, Namco etc etc.

I'm a bit puzzled why you're discussing Nokia's reputation for app making, as they're not actually selling any of their own apps on Ovi Store.

In any case, the problems with Ovi Store right now are nothing to do with the content itself, it's entirely an infrastructure issue. Ovi Store's servers aren't behaving properly, which is causing some items to disappear when they shouldn't.


Quote:
I've read that Ovi has THOUSANDS of apps available but, having laboured through the site a few times, the most applications listed in any of the categories is 91. I'm in South Africa.
You only have to go to the front page, select your phone and click on "Applications" to see how many apps there are. The same goes for games and for other content.

By Ovi Gaming's count, there are 275 games available right now, though not every game is available for every phone.

The "thousands" Nokia mentioned are the number of companies that have registered on Ovi Store, but not all the software has made it through the QA process yet. It apparently takes three months for an app to go all the way through, so the only apps you can see right now are the companies that submitted software three months ago. In three months time we should see all of the software submitted when Ovi Store launched.

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