The science fiction reality
Songkick Concerts: app of the day
What is it?
Songkick's website has been around for a while, storing a list of bands that you like and letting you know when they're playing gigs. Its iPhone app came out last year, and now there's an Android version too.
The fact that you'll never miss out on a chance to buy tickets to see an artist you like again. Songkick's notifications regularly beat even official announcements of tickets going on sale.
Heaven knows what the 18-year-old me in 1995 would have made of the Songkick Concerts app. Coordinating a hectic concertgoing schedule was all about scanning the NME's live ads and gig listings sections every week, then queuing up outside actual ticket offices to buy tickets.
The idea that, one day, there'd be a little piece of software on mobile phones - a startling enough concept in itself back in 1995, of course - that would handle this process for you would have been mindblowing. In fact, it still feels pretty special in 2012.
So, Songkick Concerts. It's the mobile app of the Songkick website, and it's very clever indeed. It starts by scanning the music you have on your smartphone, but can also suck in data from your Facebook Likes and Last.fm scrobbles.
Then, it shows you a long list of upcoming gigs by artists that you like/own, customised to your nearest town or city - although you can manually add others (for example, I have both Cambridge and London set up, as I live midway between the two).
Tap on a gig, and you'll see when and where it is, and can then tap through to buy tickets. At that point, you'll be directed to the ticket companies' external websites. Social features include the ability to share details of a concert on Facebook and Twitter, and mark yourself as attending an event.
Owners of Android Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones get an additional feature: a homescreen widget that shows gigs that have just been added to your gigging calendar. It's a neat and useful feature - although push notifications perform a similar duty on the iPhone version.
Songkick Concerts is easy to use, and takes the effort out of keeping tabs on when your favourite artists are playing live. The only downside - and this is something that pretty much every music-fan friend who has the app admits to - is that once you start using it, you'll be spending a lot more money on gig tickets.
It's not so good for your wallet, then, but Songkick Concerts is marvellous for your musical life. An essential download.