Concert Vault for iPad was once a very impressive iPad app. I even did a glowing review of it back in March of 2013. Unfortunately, the app now does not function at all, and that’s been the case for months as far as I can tell – yet it remains in the iPad App Store and continues to offer In-App purchases for an app that is currently completely broken.
I know there are likely thousands of apps that you could say the same of, but this one that I’ve noticed, and I don’t see how the developers justify leaving it available in the App Store with a $40 per year subscription available – especially when this screenshot shows *all* that the app can do right now, show the word ‘Loading’:
That’s not what the app promises of course in its App Store description:
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.
I noticed that this app is completely broken because I was going to recommend it to a friend recently and decided to get reacquainted with it before doing so. Then I found out that I couldn’t do that – because the app doesn’t work at all. I tried uninstalling the app and reinstalling – and there’s no change. Then I read the current ratings of the app in the App Store. As you can see in the screenshot at the top of this post, users have been reporting that the app is not working at all since at least late 2013. And there’s been no update of the app since June of 2013.
I emailed the developers of Concert Vault for iPad last week and explained that the app was not working at all and that I had just started a monthly subscription through In-App Purchase. Here is their reply:
Thank you for contacting Concert Vault!
For the time being, we are withdrawing support for the app and directing members toward the browser-based site. If you access concertvault.com through the web browser on your phone or tablet, you’ll find that the browser-based site offers the full CV feature set and it is much more user-friendly and efficient. You can even add the page to your home screen, giving it the same look and feel as the native app.
Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns!
A pretty cheerful and clear response I’d say, but it does lead to a few questions. Why not just remove the app from the App Store if you acknowledge that it doesn’t work and are not supporting it ‘for the time being’? (especially as the time being appears to be 6 months or more) Or why not at least issue an update that makes clear that you are not supporting it, so users don’t hold out hope of a properly working iPad app anytime soon? Or maybe write a blog post, or do something, anything to let users know you have, at least temporarily, abandoned this app?
I’ve tried out the web app for Concert Vault by the way, and it’s nothing like as good as the actual iPad app when it worked. The buttons and touch points are not at all optimized for the iPad or for mobile use in general – so that’s not a viable workaround or a solution that makes me want to continue my subscription. I subscribed because of the value to me of an iPad app that delivers the live music experience promised by Concert Vault, and I suspect quite a high percentage of iPad users of the app would feel the same.
If this was an entirely free app, the temptation might be to say who cares. But Concert Vault is free to download but then requires a subscription – minimum one month at $3.99 and $40 for a year – to actually enjoy the full access to its library of live music videos. I think when that’s the case, the developers should do a lot more to let users know what is going on (or in this case, not going on) with their app.
How about it Concert Vault – maybe you could whip up a little song to give your users some news about Concert Vault for iPad?