Version Reviewed: 1.0.7
Device Reviewed On: iPad
iPad Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
I wasn’t yet born when Woodstock happened back in 1969. But, like many things, I’m curious to know what happened. I haven’t gotten around to reading up on this pivotal music festival yet, but when I saw On the Way to Woodstock it jumped to the top of my list. Like the Civil War Today app, when an iPad experience is created for a historical event, it just makes it so much more interesting to check out.
On the Way to Woodstock is set up in a timeline. The three green pieces on the left and right (shown as roads) are the “roads” to and from Woodstock. It starts with a background of what the 1950’s were like, which would be the decade that starting forming the views of Woodstock attendees. And it ends with how Woodstock lives on today through other festivals. The yellow pieces in the middle talk about the historical festival itself.
The app is packed with features that come together to make learning about Woodstock an experience instead of just a passive lecture or reading. Videos are sprinkled throughout the whole timeline. Stars indicate longer explanations on various topics and the stars within those explanations reveal more videos and biographies. Essential songs
and albums are also available in this view if the information was about an artist. In the essential songs and albums view, playable samples (likely provided by iTunes) become available. A picture gallery that spans the entire timeline is linked to at various points in the app with captions for each one. Samples of songs are linked to appropriate sections and can be played by tapping the play icon in the top-right.
While I love the experience that On the Way to Woodstock provided me, I was disappointed with quite a few parts of it. For one, the app is full of song SAMPLES. I couldn’t find a single, full-length song in the whole app. Understandably, there are probably licensing problems with embedding full songs in the app. But it was an expectation I had and definitely needs to be noted for anyone going to buy the app with similar expectations. Another major disappointment is that the app is almost useless offline. For the people who pay monthly for their 3G iPads, this wouldn’t be a problem. All of the videos must be streamed (via YouTube) as well as the song samples which are likely streamed from iTunes. Pictures, text, and the functionality of the app isn’t effected by internet access. But the videos and songs are incredibly important to the experience of the app.
On the Way to Woodstock is $9.99 which seems kind of expensive for an app that contains no full-length songs and video content that’s apparently already on YouTube. In essence, the $9.99 is for pictures that may or may not be available somewhere online and the text. The experience was definitely enjoyable, but the $9.99 price point is going to be the deciding factor for many potential iPad users.