I’ve spent the past few days trying to figure out a good way to find local shows/concerts on my iPhone. I assumed this would be a simple task. Sure, I could use Upstate NY’s Step Up Presents‘ website, although, I do not want to use a WebApp. I would like a native iPhone application for this task.
So I got down to business. I’ve been using Bandsintown for a while now, without realizing what it lacks. So I brought in Songkick (the second runner-up) to see if that could work for me. I compare and contrast them both throughout this article. Here’s how the process went, starting with Bandsintown.
In-Depth Review After The Jump:
Update 1.10 October 12th 2012 — Yelp
I will go over what the update fixed and what it didn’t fix, but first I would like to throw out some information about the newly added Yelp support.
Yelp Support. There’s now a small (i) information button just above the small map window. (Map showing the concerts’ location) When clicked, a floating Yelp pop-up with the venue’s rating, photo, and phone number comes up.
Note: I was going to give more information on the Yelp support, although it seems to have completely disappeared from my app! I managed to grab a screenshot of it yesterday, though. Goes to show the tone of this review!
What the update failed to fix
Indexing band names. There’s 2 or even 3 results for the same band here and there. I see it too often for my liking.
When selecting the first of the duplicate band results, you would likely get the correct information. Whether or not they were touring, and where they were going to be playing on that tour along with the dates of the shows.
If you select the second result, you will probably get a dead-end. You won’t see anything sometimes. You won’t see where they’re playing, when they’re playing, or even if they’re on tour at all.
Concert Lineups. Even when there are no duplicate band names, etc, you will still find that two times out of four, there are no lineups. It will only state the one band is playing, when—with local shows—there’s always more than just one band that night.
Posters. There’s a photo for each band on the lists. (3/4 of them anyway) But sometimes they have listings for a specific tour that’s going on. A tour titled, ‘The Summer Slaughter Tour,’ has a photo too. In fact, they have a poster showing all of the bands that are playing.
Don’t you think they should make them enlarge-able? I think so, because once again they do not show the lineups, at all! If there were lineups, we wouldn’t worry at all about enlarging the photos, although It’d be nice either way.
What the update actually fixed
Search. Somewhere deep in their algorithms, they did something wrong, and it’s taken quite a long time to bring it to attention.
Say I searched for a band named, “As I Lay Dying.” (Just for the sake of this demonstration) I could type ‘As’—I could type ‘As I’—And everything but the full band name, and I would see the band in the search results. When I typed the full band name in the search box, the result I was looking for, would be gone.
Sometimes this even worked vice/versa. You couldn’t pull up the proper result, until you actually typed the entire band name.
Now let’s get into Songkick. It has some of the same flaws as Bandsintown.
pros and cons of Songkick
Good: First of all, it’s pretty much a spitting image of Bandsintown, with a different color scheme. You can track artists the same way, the buttons along the button are almost identical in function, and they have more or less, the same bands.
Both: Calendar. This is both good and bad. They have a calendar built into the main app. It’s supposed to be used to show you all the concerts you RSVP to. Although, I cannot, like some features of Bandsintown, get it to work at all. It’s just a dud, that shows me nothing, zilch.
Update 10/17/12: The calendar is actually used as a ‘jump to date’ function for your upcoming concerts. It’s not obvious.
Bandsintown has one thing over Songkick, and that’s built-in iOS calendar support. Instead of having it native to the app, they send information to your calendar and automagically give you a separate calendar in the native iOS app.
Good: Songkick has a website. Just like most startups, they start from a website, and then decide to go with a mobile app. Bandsintown does have a website, but few users actually use it/know about it. They all stay with the redirect page via Facebook, it’s very annoying.
Songkick has links to Ticketmaster tickets, etc, on their site. They allow you to drop by the site from within the mobile app.
Bad: The app itself has all the same issues. I thought, at first, that it was all cleared up when I stumbled on a band that actually had all its information place like the lineup, etc.
I started to get further into it and look at more bands, just to find that it’s practically the same. Where are they getting their information? I wish I knew that while writing this post.
Should these applications be user fed?
That’s a tough question. I’m imagining if us, the users, were the ones supplying the show information, lineup, etc. Maybe from fliers we’ve read or internet information we’ve received from other apps. I’m not sure how this could actually work.
I mean, they’re not getting all of the information whilst doing it all themselves are they?
I think to solve this issue, they need to work harder. Have a division to go over certain areas and get into the local-ness of it all. I know that if they cruised some of the local websites that have show information, they could have a 200% gain in how much information they’re able to supply throughout the app, regarding my area.
You tell me, should they be user fed? And what do you think of these two apps? Which one do you use? Do you use another app besides these two? Any information I missed feel free to bring to my attention!