Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Worst. App. Update. Ever.

For the last two weeks, every listen to the ESPN app (shown here, it was basically just a stream of the ESPN live feed, with the ability to listen to podcasts) was peppered with the "Coming Soon - the New ESPN App". I was really hoping for a few things:
  • Better caching of data, so I wouldn't have so many dropouts when listening.
  • Easier to find podcasts, instead of the Long List Of Stuff.
  • ... and that's about it.
I was happy with what they provided; it was simple, I could "Favorite" the podcasts I really wanted to hear, and I could even listen to the Herd when I wanted to get worked up over something. Today the app update showed up, and I grabbed it while I was sitting in the park while my oldest was in soccer practice.

This is absolutely the Worst Software Update I have ever experienced. Here's what went wrong:

  • The original app cost me some money up front, but there were no additional charges. In this new version, I'm told that I have 14 more days for my free preview. So unwittingly, I just exchanged a pay-once app for a pay-forever app. In 14 days, I'm more likely to pay for the TMZ UpSkirt app then I ever will pay for this crapola. Complete bait and switch.
  • In order to spoon feed you, they have eliminated the simple "Listen to the Feed" option, as well as the "Pick a Favorite Podcast" option. Instead, you have to make a "Channel", then tell it what you are interested in. It decides what shows (or more often, what small portion of a show) you get to select. Don't like what they chose - or more specifically, can't find what you already know you want? Too bad.
  • There is already a bug that someone should have caught 10 second in: you make a "Channel", and it appears on the front screen. But for some reason, each time you listen to your channel, it makes a new channel with the same name, and no differentiation from any other similar channel. Perhaps this is some Super Incredible Amazing Usability Feature brought to us through the wonder of Rocket Surgery style user testing. But I'm just a regular guy that wants to listen to ESPN Radio instead of the screeching of kids in the "play environment", or cat-fighting among the ladies playing tennis in the nearby court. As far as I can tell, I'm out of luck.
What went right? Well, the buffering/caching is much better; I was able to drive all the way up my canyon listen to some Trinity Of Fools from an obscure Chicago-based radio show discuss Waddle's upcoming wedding in the middle of the summer, and how he's going to be all sweaty when they deliver the midnight McDonalds burgers. Really good caching of absolute shit is not really my bag, man.

Everybody's been making money off my listening to the old ESPN Radio app, through the original fee, on-going attention to advertisers and sponsors, and developing a fan relationship with the radio personalities. Now they just pissed me off. I suspect that this will go to one of those stupid class-action lawsuits at some point (because of the pay-once to pay-forever switch), for which I will probably receive a 15-cent coupon for Cold Stone Creamery (while the law firm takes home a few mill).

Gee, I can't wait.


No comments:

Post a Comment