by Dan Kricke
Taken individually, Willie Nelson Live has much of what you’d expect out of a good music iPhone app. Links to mentions of Willie in the news, Willie’s Twitter updates, tour dates, and even a discography displayed using cover flow. Unfortunately, the design of the app overcompensates in such a way that you can feel overwhelmed by information.
Things start off innocently enough. The main screen of the app is a slideshow of some Willie Nelson photos. Even the tour dates page is spaced well, with different pages for upcoming and past tour dates.
But when you get to the “Live News” feed, there’s just too much to digest. The “Live News” tab has three buttons, one for “Official News,” another for Tweets, and a third for “Buzz.” From what I can gather, “Official News” is a “Willie blog” of sorts, while “Buzz” is more concerned with articles about, or which mention, Willie. The “Tweets” page, also splits off into “Mentions” and “Official” tweets. While I do appreciate all of that information, throwing it under one “Live News” banner, even with the individual tabbed out sections, seems like overkill.
Similarly, using a whole button for a mailing list, but then relegating live photos, videos, discography and a store to a “More” button seems ill conceived. Shouldn’t the mailing list be thrown into that, while something more multimedia friendly, like the videos, are thrown to the front of the app?
About those videos — some of them are pretty cool, showing Willie playing in various places, sometimes accompanying other bands and other times playing his own tunes. But for an app called Willie Nelson Live, there’s a distinct lack of a live music feel to this app.
If you’re a fan of Willie Nelson, you’ll find this an adequate way to get closer to one of your favorite musicians; it seems to me that with a little time and polish, this app would make a lot more sense.