VidZone, How The Service Stacks Up

I personally love listening to music and couldn’t wait for this service to come out. I grew up when MTV was actually, you know, MTV. It was about music and we could watch music videos all day. We didn’t have to wake up at 4AM to see an hour show with the same songs every morning. 

So when Vidzone finally released, I jumped right into it. The core of the app is actually really nice. You get a varaity of Zones to choose from. You can choose genre’s, and within the genres they have artists channels you can listen to. For example you can choose “MetalZone” and then listen to a live playlist of Five Finger Death Punch. Or you can listen to “Most Popular” and get an assortment of playlists. They even have decade based Zones for 80’s and 90’s, and I normally stick to the 90’s.

However beyond that, the service starts to slip. The thing that annoys me the most is that we get the service with ads…. They seemed to have updated it as older generation users are saying the ads were not there before. You know, the service is free I can understand having a few ads to help support it. After all, the music industry is constantly begging for money for every license there is. The problem is the abundance of ads and how poor they are done.

You can listen to maybe 2 songs at most and then you have to sit through 4 ads, or 2 minutes of ads. Normally its the same ad 4 times. Imagine listening to a GEICO commercial 4 times in a row, it will annoy the hell out of you. In comparison, Pandora will play maybe 1 ad every 3-5 songs and the ad will  be only 15 seconds long before it returns to music.

The nice thing about Vidzone is that it isn’t a channel that force feeds music to you. So when Lil Wayne comes on you can change the zone or channel until its over. You can basically pick and choose who you want to listen to, with a slight random change. Unlike Pandora where you pick an artist, say Godsmack, and hear Metallica constantly then get punished for changing the channel.

The bad thing is again, the ads get in the way. The entire interface basically locks up when ads start playing. You can still scroll and look for things, but you can’t click anything. I saw several songs on the “coming up” area that I wanted to listen to. I added them to my playlist and tried clicking them, but by the time the ad was over the current song and the upcoming songs were gone. Talk about annoying.

Normally if you pick a playlist and leave it on that playlist, it functions fine. It will play 1 song, or 1 and a half song, and play 2 minutes of crappy ads, then go back to the next song. However switching around and being “choosy” becomes an issue when the ads get in the way.

In terms of streaming, the video is alright, but the sound isn’t the greatest. It’s not clear, but its not horrible either. I just have to turn up my sound system a little more than normal to hear things properly. Video is quick and is constantly playing in the background which is nice. The songs load extremely fast, but occasionally have glitches that will cause the song to skip beats. The initial load up of the app is what turns me off a lot though, it takes a good minute or more to finally boot up.

Overall I think the app is neat, and I love music videos. I just wish there was a paid side of things at this point. The ads totally ruin the entire app and I would love to get rid of them. I would also like a bigger assortment of artists. I couldn’t find bands like Godsmack or Linkin Park, but they have a lot of the latest artists that are mostly hip hop. They do have a good selection of lesser known  bands in the rock areas which is nice. There is an entire station dedicated to female singers in the metal section, talk about awesome.