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The App Review - iTunes Festival London 2013

Release Date: 
Star Rating: 
9 out of 10

Getting to London is hard; seeing these concerts is not.

The Pitch: Chances are you’re already aware that Apple’s iTunes is the biggest vendor of music in the world. As a little thank you to fans, Apple puts on one hell of a show in the month-long iTunes Festival, happening right now in London. So you can either get on the next flight to London and hope to be there in time to see Queens of the Stone Age or you can snag this app and stream the show for free.

What It Really Is: Essentially, the iTunes Festival app is a hub that delivers all the necessary info about the festival to the folks who can’t be there to see the shows live. The month-long schedule of performers is easily accessible and the app will even remind you when your favorites are playing so you can tune in. That’s the really incredible part of the app, though, its main purpose is to deliver the live performances of the bands you like directly to your iPhone, iPad, or AppleTV for free. The catch is that these shows are happening in London, hours ahead of us here in the U.S., and we may not be able to dip out of the office for an hour-long Lumineers performance during business hours. Apple has remedied these time zone shenanigans by making many of the full performances available on-demand after the shows have ended. Ironically, the downside of this app is exactly the problem that iTunes set out to solve: Musicians can be a real pain in the ass when it comes to the rights to distribute their music. Apple is offering a ton of the full shows for on-demand streaming and that catalog will certainly grow as the festival continues, but currently, some of the most popular performances are only available in 3 to 5 minute clips that feel paltry when compared to the hour+ shows of lesser-known fan favorites. We’re looking at you, Lady Gaga. Wear that meat dress again and we’ll let our Rottweiler off its leash. Ready-Made Press Blurb: “As long as Apple continues to deliver iTunes Festival Apps each year, we’ll never have to go to London!”

Fun Fact: Apple has actually created a dedicated AppleTV app for the festival, in addition to the ones they’re offering through iTunes. This means you can stream these shows in high-def on your home television. So don’t plan anything for Friday the 13th, because Avicii is playing that day, and we’re busting out the glowsticks.


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