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Great concert-finding app for iPhone

iConcertCal for iPhone automatically looks at artists in your iTunes library and alerts you when they're playing a show in your area. It also serves as a more typical concert-finding app.

It's been a couple years since iConcertCal introduced its iTunes plug-in, which scans your iTunes library and creates a personalized concert calendar for your city.

The Butthole Surfers and Yo La Tengo? It's going to be a busy birthday month for me....

Now, Apple has accepted an iPhone version of iConcertCal into the App Store. The concept is the same: it scans songs stored on your iPhone, then uses the iPhone's GPS to create a list of shows by those artists in your area. If you install the iConcertCal plug-in to iTunes, the app can also create a list of artists from your entire iTunes library (which is probably larger than the number of artists stored on your phone). In my quick test it worked flawlessly, alerting me that Yo La Tengo--who put on one of the best club shows I've ever seen a couple years ago--has just announced a show right around my birthday. You can even click a link to buy tickets, although it launches Safari and takes you to the difficult Ticketmaster site--it would be cooler if you could actually buy tickets from within the app.

The iConcertCal app also has a more traditional listing of all shows going on in your area tonight. It's similar to what JamBase offers, and what Bandloop promised (I've found Bandloop's listings to be so incomplete lately that I actually deleted it from my iPhone the other day--that's the hazard of user-contributed content). But I like the iConcertCal interface better than either of these competing apps--in particular, I like the way you can list shows by venue, and it automatically divides them into categories by how far away the venues are.

Future versions will also incorporate a calendar with album release dates and a way to track concerts by your friends' bands. A very worthy download for live music fans, iConcertCal costs $2.99.

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