JamBase updates concert-finding iPhone app

The granddaddy of concert-listing services has made major improvements to its iPhone app.

JamBase, one of the first and certainly most famous online concert-listing services, released its free iPhone app last October. It was a simple affair: you entered your ZIP code and the app returned a list of live music shows in your area over the next few days. If you had a list of favorite artists stored at the JamBase Web site, it would track those artists for you. Since then, competing apps like Bandloop andiConcertCal have upped the ante with more sophisticated interfaces and GPS targeting, which lets them find nearby shows without forcing you to enter any data.

JamBase's updated iPhone app lets you track favorite artists and add their shows to your JamBase calendar.

Version 2 of the JamBase iPhone app, which was released on Thursday, brings JamBase up to speed with its own GPS feature--you don't have to enter a ZIP code unless you're searching for results in another location. You can limit search results to shows within a certain distance of your current location, or within the city limits of your town. Plus, it's much better integrated with the JamBase site: you can sign up for a free JamBase account right from the app, then add favorite bands to keep track of and even add particular shows to your calendar; all changes are synced between the iPhone app and the JamBase site.

The one place it lags is in synchronization with other apps. Here, I prefer iConcertCal because it uses your iTunes library to build a list of artists you're interested in. JamBase makes you enter them manually. iConcertCal's app has a "Listen" feature that launches the iTunes Mobile app to let you listen to 30-second samples and, if you like them, buy the tracks. JamBase features audio samples from LaLa on its Web site, but no equivalent on the iPhone app.

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