In the event that you didn’t see, Major League Baseball announced over the weekend (at least, that’s the earliest that I, personally, saw it) that, while they’d be streaming spring-training games on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, they would not be doing so on connected devices (PS3, Roku, Boxee) until opening day.
Obviously, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t what one might call a “tragedy” — and is likely something that, like snow in the first week of the season, will be forgotten quickly — but it’s a bit frustrating for this author who (a) purchased a PlayStation 3 almost expressly for the purpose of watching baseball and (b) sometimes needs/enjoys to work on the computer while a game is playing.
In any case, this prompted me to download (for $15) the MLB At Bat app for the iPod Touch — another device I acquired over the winter as part my civic duty to resuscitate the global economy. For those who already subscribe to MLB.TV, there’s no additional cost beyond the app.
I watched parts of yesterday’s Phillies-Yankees and Angels-Dodgers games. Here are some notes on the experience of watching those games on the iPod Touch.
• Make sure, when prompted, to approve location detection. If for whatever reason you don’t approve it, go back to the main screen and go to Settings → General → Location Services, where you’ll be able to change location detection to “Yes.” Otherwise, video won’t work.
• In terms of video quality, I was accessing the internet via my home wi-fi connection (< 3mbps), and the video streaming was very clean about 90-95% of the time. The Dodgers game was choppy for the first couple minutes, which prompted me to go back to the PHI-NYY game. After returning to the LAA-LAD game about 10 minutes later, it was working fine.
• I got kicked out of the app back to the main screen maybe a half-a-dozen times. This never happened mid-stream, but generally when I was trying to load video or a new screen. Given that the app loads rather fast, this is only minimally inconvenient; however, I can imagine that for a fan wanting to toggle between games, for example, it could be frustrating. I'd wonder if this would be addressed in a software update.
• A slightly unrelated note: if you're watching spring-training baseball games, be prepared to hear the word "berm" with some frequency. Both the YES Network's Michael Kay and (Seattle-based) KIRO's Rick Rizzs used it. It's the grassy area beyond the outfield wall in spring-training ballparks.