It’s that time of the year again: the smell of fresh cut grass, pine tar, hotdogs, and adult apple juice lingering in the air. It’s only fitting that MLB released MLB At Bat 2009. I think most sports fans remember last year’s painfully bad At Bat 2008, however I have good news… 2009 is a new year for your team and the MLB at Bat franchise. While the program still serves the same function, the layout is much improved and one highly requested feature has been added.
This year’s MLB at Bat added Gameday Audio, a service that is $14.95 per year, but has been included in the subscription price of $9.99 per year. I must say it has been integrated perfectly. The user simply selects any game and presses the yellow headphone icon in the bottom right corner and within a few seconds the radio broadcast of that game begins to play. Then, MLB at Bat automatically defaults to the home team’s broadcast, however the away team’s is available from a drop down menu.
I think any baseball fan that has worked during an important game knows about MLB Gameday Play by Play on MLB.com which allows you to monitor games silently. (Just in case you are new to the game, Play by Play is a virtual baseball field and scoreboard that shows the location of the pitches, where balls have been hit, what players are on the field and at bat, and the score – all updated in near real-time.) Even better, you can listen to one game and monitor the Play by Play of a completely different game at the same time. Let’s face it, when you are an obsessed baseball fan like myself, you don’t just listen to your team’s games – you absorb everything. MLB at Bat is a great way to stay informed and even on top of your fantasy team.
Many will view the low grade audio as a disappointment, but it keeps loading and buffering times down. Also, I wish there was a way to set your favorite team within the application. That way, the application would automatically start monitoring your team’s game if they were playing. Though, I do not like the idea of having to re-buy the application every year, I realize that it is probably an offshoot of the subscription to MLB at Bat audio service.
Overall, At Bat 2009 is the easiest way to follow your favorite baseball team on the iDevice. As a transplanted Red Sox fan living near Chicago, I have put this app on the first page of my springboard. The simplicity of the program is what makes this year’s version a home run. I’ve used it on the golf course and in my car, and I must say I’m much more relaxed when I know that my favorite pitcher isn’t getting lit up and my fantasy team isn’t falling apart only a few days into the season. Video highlights as well have been improved and appear more frequently than in previous versions.
From a diehard baseball fan to any fan of America’s pastime, giving MLB at Bat anything less than a Kiss would be selling it short. This program is the next best thing to watching live games on TV. It’s hard to find any faults other than audio quality which is quite listenable. Hopefully the NHL and NFL will soon follow suit and develop a similar application.
A lite version has also been released, however, it does not provide anything more than a scoreboard. Access to Gameday Audio, Play by Play, and video highlights have been disabled.
This app review was brought to you by TMA guest contributor JC
|Title:||MLB.com At Bat 2009 (v1.0)||Developer:||MLB.com|
|Price:||$9.99||App Size:||0.7 MB|