Expectations run high when you’re tied to Songkick.
The British-based concert tracking site, founded in 2007 (previous coverage), has earned a solid reputation as one of the most valuable music tools around on the strength of its massive show database, easy calendar integration, social features, and search flexibility.
Site visitors can find practically everything there is to see live music-wise, from concert tickets to reviews to venue calendars. But for all of Songkick’s features, the site’s most valuable attribute is the way it integrates with Pandora, Last.fm, and iTunes to provide users with personalized show calendar.
A fully functional Songkick app is on its way, the company says. For now enthusiasts can use Gigkick, a free third-party app that makes use of the Songkick API, as the iPhone version of the service.
Gigkick carries out all the essential functions of its web-based brother with one exception: The app boasts an inferior version of the personalization we appreciate so much with the web version of Songkick. That feature is built around customizability, but Gigkick’s app-ness apparently requires a more stripped-down approach.
You can’t search for artists to track — one of the web version’s most gratifying actions. Worse, the app only scans your iPod (or iPod program on iTunes) for personal favorites, meaning that your list will be shorter on your phone than it is on your computer, where the web version factors in external profiles.
It’s a questionable choice, because users log in to Gigkick with the same accounts that they use for Songkick, so fully integrating personalized calendars across the two platforms seems logical enough.
Gigkick’s lack of flexibility may hinder how it functions as a weeks-out planning tool, but it’s at the top of its game when your question is, “Who can we see play tonight?”
A simple Google Map mash-up showing Gigkick hot buttons, which lead to show information, makes this the ideal concert tool for the here and now given the excellent depth of Songkick’s show database. Regular Songkick users can access their “Going to” and “Might be going to” lists for easy access to shows. And the map — also viewable in list form — displays the concerts happening around town from Songkick’s database.
With those two features, Gigkick succeeds in making it easier to get out and enjoy shows, although hopefully the official version is better at figuring out what you want to see based on your listening habits.