Quick App: MLB At Bat 2009 for iPhone

Well, Baseball season is fast approaching and you all know what the means: Major League Baseball is taking full advantage and is releasing two new MLB At Bat apps.

The first is available right now in the iTunes store, MLB At Bat Lite. Good thing is, that app is completely free. It's essentially the same app as last years paid app minus in-game video highlights.

The paid version of MLB At Bat 2009 will be available on April 3rd in the App Store with a price as yet-to-be determined. What this version offers in comparison to the lite version is actual in-game live audio and in-game video highlights (not to be confused with actual live video feeds). With the live in-game audio you will have some options. You have the choice to listen to the home or away teams' own broadcasters, which is a really nice feature.

The big question here is the price for this app. MLB.com mobile has the same in-game audio feature currently and that alone costs $4.99 a month. So what does that mean, if anything, for this iPhone app? Are we looking at a subscription fee on top of the price of the app? If so, why not simply update the app we purchased last year for $5.00. Seems to us like MLB is double dipping here...

So all of you Baseball fans out there, what is your take on this?

[Via Macworld]

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Jeremy

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Quick App: MLB At Bat 2009 for iPhone

22 Comments

This is totally in keeping with the monetizing of MLB.com Digital Media that began 5-6 years ago. They are essentially taking a subscription model and applying to the App Store by forcing you to purchase a different app for each season (i.e. purchasing your subscription).
The Gameday Audio and MLB.TV features have been big money-makers for them over the last few years, and there's no reason to believe they will back off now, especially with the popularity of the iPhone. Ultimately, MLB.com is a business, and their business model has shown that fans are willing to pay for these services. Double-dipping? I don't think so. The app and the service are two different things that happen to work well together this year. You don't want to pay for that, then you have MLB.com At Bat Lite.

I subscribe to gameday audio already via MLB.com. I wonder if they'll make us pay another subscription for the pleasure of listening away from the computer via the iphone?

@JackD keep your lame comments to yourself. If you don't like baseball why click on the comments field? All around awesome app. Totally used it every day. The stats are up to the second. Who could ask for more? Live game audio would be super. I can't wait.

I already listen to the games on my portable XM radio. As long as they stay in business I'll be fine.

@Jason, people paid for this app last year already... that is double dipping. All MLB did was add in game audio. Any other app would apply a simple update to the app instead of making people pay - again. Glad I'm not a hardcore baseball fan.

And let me add - what I said above is if they make you pay a subscription fee on top of paying for the app. If and that is a big if there is just one simple price for the app and all of the streaming - then that's fine.

I had the paid app last year.
They do NOT (did not last year anyway) require a subscription in addition to the APP.
So it was 4.95 for the whole year, but it did not include live audio, but did include pitch by pitch, play by play in game data for every game for the entire season, as well as video highlights.
When you bought the App, it CLEARLY STATED it was for ONE SEASON ONLY. So, it was not double dipping last year.
Adding streaming live audio for every game is a significant improvement to the service. Especially if you travel out of market and want to follow your favorite team.
So a subscription may be needed this year, in which case it WOULD be double dipping unless it came with a code to download the app for free.
Too bad the iphone battery really can't handle this type of load. Listening to a two or three hour audio stream will likely exhaust it before the game is over.

Again, well aware of what they said last year. My point is if they charge a subscription fee why not just upgrade last years app.

They will more than likely charge a flat rate... Like $50. And then decrease that amount as the season goes on so you're essentially paying month to month
What annoys me is that I already paid $110 for a premium MLB.TV subscription which includes audio as well... Maybe they'll make it coincide with the desktop subscription? Ah who am I kidding...

I was thinking about this app just the otherday. Gameday audio is $15 for the season, I'm expecting the 2009 app to cost just that. I think if they make it more expensive than that no one will buy it. It'll be a tough decision for me, I'm on the fringe of the phillies broatcast area, I've been listening on xm the last few years, but dropped the sub last month. If it comes in at 15 I think I'll do it.
Another note to people complaining about the price, last season for non-iphone owners MLB offered a similar service except it sent you video links via text message and had no interface at all and cost $3 or $4 a month. The $5 app was a good deal. If you just wanted scores the app wasn't for you.

Have any of you guys seen the Lewis CK bit from Conan... we kind of all sound like the people he describes in this day and age. Do you realize how amazing it is that on my phone no matter where I am traveling for work I will be able to listen to my Yankees as they implode another season? And likely for a nominal fee that I can make up by drinking my crappy free work coffee for a week instead of stopping at the good shop on the corner.
Oh and if I don't want to pay I can use the lite app with a great interface and pitch by pitch coverage.

I figured out how to stream games to my iPhone from my computer. I have the $15 internet subscription to gameday audio. I use something called Audio HiJack Pro to capture the audio from the MLB player, then I stream the mp3 file I captured through something called iPhone remote. There are a few steps to get this set up, but it works great. And, it's free.

I loved last year's app, even used it at the ballpark for instant replays. I also subscribe to MLB Audio (just renewed) at $15 and was hoping that I could bind the new 2009 app to that. Did I hear that the new app will let you listen to your own team's broadcasters? It would be cool to use my iPhone to listen to games broadcast by my pals Jon Miller and Dave Flemming, using the iPhone as a portable KNBR radio as it were. Away games (and the occasionally missed home game) live on my iPhone? Yes, I'd pay for that.

Can't believe people are knocking this. I don't care to pay for an XM subscription when I have Pandora on my iPhone, but being a Met fan who moved to Chicago and now being able to hear my Mets on my phone anywhere...I'm literally weeping with joy here especially being able to get the home broadcast. Sure I had mlb.tv and the live audio on the PC last year, but that did me no good in the car. $5 a month? That's chump change for something that brings me that much happiness.

My audio won't work. It says it's connecsting then stops and give me an error message. Anybody else having this problem? Any suggestions?

Same error occurred with me. The support person has stopped returning my e-mails now.
Has anyone found any resolution?
The audio error only occurred after I downloaded the 3.0 software. It's for all the radio broadcasts. And my when I'm watching the TV broadcast on my iphone, I can hear and see everything just fine.

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