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Bandloop iPhone app helps you find live music

Gig-finding service Bandloop releases a free--and very slick--application in Apple's App Store that helps you find local shows on a map.

Actually, King Cobra is no longer with us, but judging from the band's name, I probably wouldn't have gone anyway.

Bandloop is a relatively new service that helps you find live shows in your area.

I had mixed feelings about the Web version of the service--I'm not so fond of the way it forces you to pick favorite bands to follow--but today, I had a chance to try out their new free iPhone application, and I'm very impressed. It's a cut above the iPhone version of JamBase, a long-established gig-listing service.

The Bandloop app is simple, as all good iPhone apps should be. If you've got a 3G iPhone, you allow Bandloop to find your location. Bandloop consults its database of shows (which are mostly entered by members) and geocoded venues. Then it displays a map centered at your location with all of that day's local shows displayed on the map.

You can view a list of shows for more information, and toggle between today and tomorrow. That's it. There's no connection with the personalized Bandloop service, which makes perfect sense--if you're out with your iPhone, you don't care that Widespread Panic's coming to town later this month. You want to know what's going on right here, right now.

The only flaw I could find was a listing at a club that went belly-up last month, but that's not Bandloop's fault--listings are contributed by users, so it's garbage in, garbage out. (Most likely, the person who listed the gig didn't go back to delist it when the club went under.)

This is going to be incredibly useful at South by Southwest next week. The music calendar is daunting to say the least, and I've never been to Austin, so I don't know where any particular club is located. With Bandloop, I can just scan and go.

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