I think everyone has been through this scenario: get wrapped in your busy life, forget to check for area shows or concerts and then miss one of your favorite bands when they make it to your city. Damn. That has happened to me more often than I would care to mention. The problem is the information is never in one place. It’s all scattered in area newspapers, club and band websites, and on flyers that you unfortunately see the night of some other later show and kick yourself in retrospect. Okay, so hindsight is 20/20 but it still so totally sucks.
Thank the Gods I stumbled on a new and very clever service called BandTracker by Oodle.com. Oodle is a Meta classifieds site meaning it pulls in millions of classifieds listings from thousands of sites on the Internet and offers them in one location. It’s kind of like a search engine for classifieds. The BandTracker product is really just a small departure, at least technologically, in that it is already what they are doing i.e. collecting vast amounts of data and putting it in one place. But instead of mining classified listings they crawl the Internet for concert information (actually a combination of crawling and data feeds), organize the information, and then present it on their site: http://www.oodle.com/bandtracker.
The site is simple and easy to use and features a huge database of bands: 335,400 at the time of this post. You can search by band and view a comprehensive list of upcoming show locations and venues. The shows are listed out with a link over to the tickets for sale on the Oodle classified section. If you register you can choose to track a band by signing up for email alerts for that band in your area. Add as many bands as you’d like to this weekly email. So never again will you miss your favorite bands when they come to your city. The site also offers some cool widgets including a “Band Promoter” widget that lets a fan track a band from any website and a “My Band Tracker” widget that displays your tracked bands and allows you to share the shows you plan on attending with your friends.
A function I would like to see that is absent is the ability to search by zip code on the site. I would like to get a list view of shows based on a city or zip criteria. The other service that would make good sense would be to offer the site’s features via a mobile device or cell phone. If they had these two upgrades I think this would be an all around rocking service. In it’s current form it definitely is a valuable tool. Use BandTracker and never lose track again.
By Shaun Flagg