At Bat for iPad 1.01 now available

The first update for MLB.com At Bat for iPad went live in the App Store Saturday, April 10.  The release addresses a couple issues with application performance and usability.

  • Interface improvements for faster loading, smoother scrolling, and easier to find content on Previews and Recaps
  • Faster access to pitch-by-pitch and live Box Score.
  • General performance and stability enhancements

Another update, v 1.02 is in development to address the frequent sited issue of the periodic stops of live game updating under low memory conditions.

Once bug fixes are out we will be moving on to v1.1 with new feature updates including league news, expanded scoreboards, additional pitch tracking detail and more. So keep a look out in the App Store for the updates.

19 Comments

I am so fed up with the iPad app. Great in theory, but you’re simply failing at it. Tonight is a classic example of what I’ve experienced for three weeks now. Games simply won’t load. I was literally ecstatic when I first opened the app and tuned to the Giants/Padres game. The video quality was remarkable and like nothing I’ve ever seen on the iPad for this app. I was stunned. So I made the mistake of wanting to check out other games to see if the quality had improved dramatically. Eh, not really. But here’s the real pain the ***: I can’t view the Giants/Padres game any more. I get a black screen of nothing. Nada. Now really, is this a product worth $150 (MLB.tv+iPad app+iPhone app)?? Of course, you won’t even think of refunding my money, so I’m stuck with games of poor quality and now I can’t even watch games. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered the black screen of nothing, either. What gives? Can’t you guys support this properly? Why can’t I do the simple task that this app is supposed to provide, especially for us “premium” subscribers: to watch a baseball game?

We apprecitate the feedback. It seems like there are two issues going on. First is the issue with video quality. Last night we began streaming games in much higher bitrates than in the past. It took a couple extra weeks to roll out because of differences in the way the streams worked on the simulators and the live production iPads. So you should have the higher quality video going forward. The iPad streaming video adapts dynamically based on your connection speed and device performance so it usually initiates at a lower quality but gets sharper when it verifies that you can play the better quality streams. This can sometimes take a minute or so.

The second issue is the blank screen. I have not seen this issue reported before, so I will raise it with the engineers immediately. Since you said it has been happening for weeks, it does not appear to be tied to the new streams. It may be something in our media player or it may be tied to overall device memory. We do have a new release v1.02 in submission waiting for approval designed to address memory issues which may help.

Additionally, any information you can provide us about the issue would be helpful. The next time you have this problem can you see if this only effects the live games or if it effects highlights as well? Does the problem only effect our app or do other apps with media players also come up blank? If you restart device (home button + power) does playback return? Other useful information would be knowing if you have multiple safari windows (these run in the background) open and what other apps you have been running prior to seeing the blank screen as these can all effect device performance.

Thanks again for your input.

And to clarify, I am unable to view any games now, not just the Giants/Padres. So frustrating.

Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate it and the customer service. I’m glad the quality is so much better. I knew it looked much better last night and appreciate the effort.

As for the blank screen, it lasted for nearly two hours last night. I finally was able to access the Cards/Dbacks game and then tried the Padres/Giants. I missed most of the Giants game. It is only with the app. Other video apps like Netflix work just fine. I do have multiple open Safari browsers, but again, the blank screens have been inconsistent. It just happens for no rhyme or reason, Safari windows open or not. I report the next time it happens to help you diagnose the issue. Thanks again.

Thanks any additional information you can provide would be very helpful. After talking to the engineers we are wondering if the media player is somehow getting corrupted by something in the stream. It would be helpful to know if, when our player goes black, does the problem then extend to other applications on the device, or does it stay local in our app. Additionally, would playing media in another app, clear the problem or would it persist. A force boot should definitely let you back in without waiting two hours. (Clearly this is not a long term solution)

If you happen to know how to recover logs from your device, that would be the best way to track the issue down. We’ve reported the problem to Apple and logs usually help uncover if there is an issue at a deeper level than our app.

Thanks again for reporting this issue.

Your FAQ clearly states:
“Will archives of completed games be shown in At Bat? 2010?
No. Currently archives of Live games will not be available in At Bat?. However, Condensed Games showing all the key pitches of the game will be available.”

If this is true, why are all condensed games only 50% viewable ?

Every games I try and view gets cut off after approximately 8 min or so. I bought the app specifically to watch condensed games and I feel ripped off. Your advertising and FAQ are completely different than what is reality.

Any insight? At this point, I feel I deserve my money back.

Thanks for the report. We haven’t had a report before of condensed games not playing yet. This is happening to you on every single Condensed Game? I just went through and played about half of last night’s condensed games without problem on the iPad without issue, so the media is available. It does appear that the clip lengths being displayed for the condensed games are incorrect. For example yesterday’s min-det game is showing a length of 21:06 even though the actual clip through to the end of the game is 10:41. So that is definitely a bug.

Are you able to use the media player scrubber to jump ahead to the final innings of the game? Do the clips tend to end at a certain inning? And lastly, when the playback cuts off, does the app close or do you end up with a blank media player? Any additional information will help us track down where the problem is. Thanks.

Dropping by again to to report the blacked out screen. I’ve been watching the Dodgers-Mets just fine tonight. The game went to commercial and never came back. It’s just an empty screen (but this time with the b/w MLB logo). I’ve closed the app and reopened — nothing, same result. Thanks in advance for fixing this issue and preventing this from happening again.

Thanks for the additional information. We have been able to reproduce the black screen issue on one device here, so the engineers are working to see what the root cause of this is, however it is not coming back as an application crash. If you saw the b/w MLB logo, then that could be another issue. Has the b/w logo been a recurring problem or is this new to you?

Live video playback tends to completely lock up my iPad after a few minutes. Nearly every time. I have to hard reset my iPad. Could it be possible I’m the only one experiencing this? Please help!

Thanks for the feedback. Yours is the first report on this blog regarding Live Video completely locking the iPad. We’ll check with customer service to see if there have been other incident reports. Sorry I can’t give you more info at this time, but we’ll have the Engineers look into this to see if we can replicate the behavior.

Ive run into a similar issue. I bought the iPad so I could watch games at the gym. Ive been using my iPhone there for months with zero issues. I got the iPad and go to the gym and try to watch games and it works for a couple mins then brings me to a blank screen and the video never starts back up. I have the same issues everywhere regardless of location while on 3g. Video will play for a few minutes then blank screen. Please do what you can to fix this. Its frustrating beyond belief its pretty much the number one reason I bought this device.

Thanks for the feedback, the engineers are looking into this issue. We use the same stream serving technology on both iPhone and iPad (with a few higher bitrate HD feeds on iPad) so there shouldn’t be any differences in playback. However, the version of iPhone OS on the iPad does have a different implementation of media player than on the iPhone, so we will have to dig in and see if there is something going on there.

Are you also experiencing these issues on wifi or is it 3G only?

Using my iPad to watch game Highlights has become frustrating, as the Highlight starts, then abruptly quits. This has happened pretty regularly the past week, after working flawlessly before.

Other than this…I love this app.

Thanks for the feedback. Nothing should have changed in the application so we will need to check in on the server. A couple of questions to help debug:

1. Are you on 3G or wi-fi when the issues happen?
2. Are you having the issues while the game is live or during in the postgame view?
3. Can you tell us the version of the application that you are using?
4. When the highlight quits, if you sit on it for a while will it eventually start playing?

Thanks for the help.

I have this app for both the ipad and the iphone. I also have “padres.tv” which uses the same mlb.tv interface when I use it online, I just select the “padres.tv” account when logging in. This allows me to watch padres games while I’m in the “home viewing area”. It doesn’t seem like this is possible on the mobile applications. I sent an email to customer service asking and didn’t really get a specific answer. Is this possible? Is it going to be possible in the future? As far as the infrastructure to make this work, I have to think it’s in place and should only require adding a simple drop down menu from the account log in screen. Thanks.

Thanks, for the feedback. You are correct that currently the padres.tv package does not apply to mobile devices. We’re not sure if the package will be made available on mobile yet, so unfortunately we can’t provide you with more specific information. But we’ll pass on your request.

I’m wondering if the Gameday app is available in audio-only format and how much it cost for the full year this year. I’m test-driving a borrowed iPad and am accustomed to using Gameday Audio on a PC format when I’m out of town. Thanks.

I’m wondering if the Gameday app is available in audio-only format and how much it cost for the full year this year. I’m test-driving a borrowed iPad and am accustomed to using Gameday Audio on a PC format when I’m out of town. Thanks.

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