Concert Vault for iPad is a new app that offers up a treasure trove of live concert audio and video from a huge range of artists and bands. The App Store description for the app is far from reticent in describing its virtues:
Concert Vault for iPad brings you something that you truly cannot find anywhere else: the world’s greatest collection of exclusive live concert audio and video from the ’50s to the present day, all available for high quality streaming to your iPad.
The good news is that the app mostly lives up to that lofty introduction.
Concert Vault is a free app that offers a 7 day free trial. After that you need to take out a subscription to continue using it. Subscriptions are reasonably priced at $3.99 per month or $39.99 for a year. Current Concert Vault subscribers can just login to use the app. A subscription gives you access to all of Concert Vault’s content on the iPad, iPhone and on the web.
The app includes thousands of concert recordings in audio (320Kps) and video. There’s daily featured content spanning across genres. It supports AirPlay for streaming content to an HDTV via Apple TV.
The App Store description also mentions that the app is ‘built on the Groovebug platform’. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m hoping it’s something to do with the excellent Groovebug app that is one of the selections in our list of the Best iPad Apps of 2012.
— The fantastic content. It’s an awesome collection of live music. Listening to live music is always a powerful experience and Concert Vault of course features many of the world’s finest when it comes live performances. And new content being added all the time.
Just a few of the artists and groups that have been providing my soundtrack in the couple days since I discovered this app are these: Santana, Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Bob Marley, Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Los Lobos, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neville Brothers, U2, Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones, and Tracy Chapman. As well as a few Blues legends, for instance Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin Hopkins, Muddy Waters, and Robert Cray.
— Although there isn’t video content available for all the artists (or even for the majority of them), there is still plenty of epic footage and lots of great images – just as two quick examples there’s Bob Marley singing ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and AC/DC on stage towards the end of the Bon Scott days.
— The number of different concerts available for many artists is impressive in its own right.
— The app’s UI is simple and very easy to navigate around. There’s no Back button anywhere and you don’t need one as it’s easy to just swipe to move deeper into the archives or back up towards the home page. The top nav bar on the home page offers access to genres (All, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, Folk & Bluegrass, and Indie), the full Catalog listed alphabetically by artist, a search bar, and a Random selection button. The Catalog list uses icons to highlight which artists have video content available, so you can notice it easily at a glance.
— You can create playlists of all your favorites.
— The pages for each artist are nicely done too – with sections for Music, Bio, Videos (where available), News, and Similar (related artists).
— You can share favorite performances via Twitter, Facebook, and email.
— The content seems heavy on older music, though this of course depends on how you define what’s classed as older. Some of the newer and contemporary artists I’ve noticed include The Civil Wars, Dave Matthews Band, Death Cab for Cutie, Ed Sheeran, Gary Clark Jr, The Head and the Heart, Ingrid Michaelson, Macklemore, Of Monsters and Men, Train, and ZZ Ward.
— The range of genres that are placed in the nav bar seems very limited. Pop, soul, R&B, hip-hop, Motown, Alternative, and World Music are just a few missing ones that stand out for me.
— The Catalog lists content by artist and the top nav bar lets you tap to see one of the specific genres. It would be nice to also be able to view content by decade.
— Although the audio continues in the background most of the time when you switch away to another app it doesn’t continue when the iPad goes into sleep mode.
Concert Vault for iPad is a superb app, and should be a big hit with anyone who’s a fan of great live music. This is an app that you can use as the soundtrack for your work day or any time really, and one you’re going to want to spend a whole lot of time with.
I was given a media pass to check out the app and I happily took out my own subscription plan after spending a day with it.
Here’s an App Store link for Concert Vault for iPad; it’s a free app with In-App subscription options as mentioned above.