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App Review: Concert vault – great idea, limited execution

Allan Swann
April 2, 2013

App Review: Concert vault – great idea, limited execution
iPad
£free trial, then £2.49p/m or £27.99 per year

3star 100px

Concert Vault is a fantastic idea that looks like a great work in progress, but still needs some work. Basically its an app that gives you access to lesser known concerts (in both video and audio form), from some of music history’s biggest artists.

The app is easy enough to navigate, dividing each artists up into Music, Bio, Videos and news sections, along with a nifty recommendation tab. The home page shows the latest additions (such as a new concert by U2) and an alphabetical  catalogue  to go through. The categories are limited to Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, Folk/Bluegrass and Indie (so no symphonies, pop or electronica here).

There is a merchandise store (very limited) that sticks to Concert Vault’s own merch, and a good recommendation tool.

Unfortunately, this application is so inconsistent, its nearly impossible to recommend without a trial. Unlike Apple iTunes, where almost every artist, ever, is represented, there are some serious holes in this app ‘ which should surprise no one due to the licensing difficulties involved.

For example, The Beatles aren’t present, but the Rolling Stones are ‘ and what is there is mostly audio, with a single video of an iffy concert in 1981 (hardly their high point).

Pink Floyd’s offerings are audio only, but less poppy artists (by that, I mean sales) such as Wire, Lou Reed and Frank Zappa have more video content on offer.

However, some of this is cheating ‘ many videos come from music festivals such as Black Oak Ranch and from Daytrotter studio (that is, the company got the rights to those catalogues and simply broke them up into artists)

As you may have ascertained, the artists offerings are mostly of the ‘Father’s Day CD’ variety.  A press release said there was supposedly a new ‘Alternative’ section going live with bands like Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins in it ‘ but there was no sign of this at the time of the review.

There isn’t anything terribly Generation X here, and much of the modern Indie stuff is limited. I had no idea who most of them were except for luminaries such as Ani Difranco. By the same token, there is next to no pop here (even classic) ‘ so no Madonna or Michael Jackson (although there is Michael Bolton!).

One day, an app like this could be absolutely killer ‘ especially if backed by several record companies and bands (yeah, right), but otherwise this is more of an expensive curio ‘ stick to Youtube methinks, there’s just not enough here.

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