Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hallelujah, MLB At Bat 2010 Is Finally Available (For $14.99, But Still)!

Amazingly, it did indeed come out today (only one day delayed). And yes, it costs $14.99, a 50% increase over prior year. But here are the highlights (at least for the iPhone version):

Listen LIVE to every regular season and postseason game

  • Watch LIVE streaming games (blackout restrictions apply)
  • Follow every pitch with MLB.com Gameday
  • View up to the minute box scores and player statistics
  • Watch in-game highlights and condensed games
  • Get push notifications

And new for 2010:

  • Spring training statistics, LIVE audio and LIVE video (mid-March)
  • Breaking league and team news
  • Schedules, rosters, and player stats for every team
  • Video library searchable by player and team
  • Enhanced LIVE game video (regular season)
  • Home/away broadcast feed selection (regular season)
  • Background audio playback
  • Additional enhancements to come during the 2010 season

From the three screenshots, the interface looks largely the same, save the top-level scoreboard which now puts little red dots on bases to indicate men on. All the other screens look largely similar to what we've seen prior.

And I'm not sure if all of that "new for 2010" stuff is in fact new. We already had home/away broadcast feed selection--unless this means video selection, which would be cool. I am concerned that "Background audio playback" means "elevator music from Nancy Bea" (come to think of it, that wouldn't be too bad as an extra feature!), rather than the radio broadcast, but I suppose we'll see. And "Additional enhancements to come" says to me that they don't yet have their shit together, and they're just throwing something out there to be updated later.

Fine, I'm still plunking down the $15. Let's hope the enhanced live game video is truly enhanced this year, so I can justify the price hike.

UPDATE 11:50a: Reviews are saying that the audio doesn't work properly yet...


drewdez said...

Background audio would be outstanding! Is Apple really allowing it though?

Wesley Vento said...

I subscribed to this last year and was largely disappointed. The DVR-type features weren't very good, and neither was the "HD resolution". It was pretty grainy on my shiny iMac. There's always stat tracker for Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball. That's free this year. Woo Hoo!!!

Josh S. said...

I'm with drewdez. Background audio means the game runs while you're doing something else on the iPhone, doesn't it? (Doodle Jump! Words With Friends!)

Eric Stephen said...

I'll be in again, even at $15. I will be sure to have an iPhone charger with me at all times though. :)

drewdez said...

That's what I assume (and hope) background audio means, Josh S. Vin Scully's voice would certainly make a nice soundtrack for Words with Friends.

Steve Sax said...


Nothing seems to work exactly right except for the news bits. But there IS a part called "At The Ballpark" with the information that says "coming soon, features specific to certain ballparks"!

I hope that Dodger Stadium is one of these ballparks.

I sincerely doubt that it is, however.

Josh S. said...

There's already an app specific to Dodger Stadium.

drewdez said...

I too took the plunge. Pretty much useless for the moment (at least until they get the audio working), but the interface does seem a little more polished than the versions from the last two seasons.

Ballpark-specific features could be cool if well-executed. I'm guessing they won't be though.

Josh S. said...

I notice they're not quick to mention that viewing live streaming games with the app requires an MLB.TV Premium subscription. (I found this little tidbit in the At Bat article on MLB.com.)

Not shocking, but they should be a little clearer about that.

Kyle Baker said...

I have a Dodger Stadium app that is essentially a compass (home plate) pointing not magnetic (or true) north but to Chavez Ravine. I refer to it frequently, and it was well worth the .99 I paid for it.

Kyle Baker said...

From some really poorly written and reasoned MLB.TV post on MLB.com's site today:

"13. The 2010 MLB.TV media player will deliver a fleet of enhancements in a convenient, cutting-edge Adobe Flash format, offering an unparalleled live viewing experience for every out-of-market regular-season game. When the iPad comes out, it might not have the full set of the Flash version at the launch, but features will be added over time."

Why must Apple and Adobe fight it out over Flash using MLB.TV as its cruel pawn?

Orel said...

@Josh S.: Very nice.

Jason said...

Slightly off topic but there is an in-stadium app at Safeco Field in Seattle called the Nintendo Fan Network. It only runs on the Nintendo DS but they will loan you one for free during the game. It has the pitch tracker from ESPN along with streaming video and a bunch of other surprisingly useful stuff. And most importantly, you can order beer through it and have it delivered to your seat.

Josh S. said...

Bought it. (Forgot I still had iTunes gift card credit, so the price was a non-issue.)

Audio is working for me. Bucs/Yanks is streaming fine over 3G...in the background, to boot. It's not the Dodgers, but it's BASEBALL!

Josh S. said...

Well, it's kind of the Dodgers. Jamie Hoffmann's on deck.

drewdez said...

Background audio is rock solid! Pretty clever how they rigged it up to open a one-time use safari link. It probably didn't even require them to sell their souls to Apple (although that ship may have sailed already).

Speaking of former Dodgers, there's been a Mitch Jones sighting in Orlando.

Fite Club said...

I am a recently transplanted Dodgers fan living in South Carolina. I have an iPhone. Will this app allow me to listen to Vin Scully call Dodger home games?

It sounds like that's what you're saying. If so, $15 is a pittance and I'll happy pay it.

Josh S. said...

Fite Club: Yes and no. It will stream KABC radio's coverage of Dodger games, but Vin's TV call is only simulcast for the first three innings. (If they make the playoffs, he calls the first three and the last three innings.)

I still think it's worth it.

drewdez said...

He also only does road games against NL West opponents (and all home games).

If you subscribe to MLB.tv (which is $100-$120 for the year), you can watch the games and hear Vin's call throughout.

I agree with Josh S. that even the first three innings of most games is worth the $15 though, especially given the uncertainty of his broadcasting future.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the news on this app....I couldn't find much online about this app and I have been swindled by MLB before, good catch on the video neededing the MLB TV package, which is worthless to me...I hope the day comes when I can buy baseball feeds over the internet and be done with cable once and for all...but this is a step in the right direction.