This year MLB.com has revamped its streaming service after switching its media player from Microsoft Silverlight to Adobe Flash. It added high-definition picture, DVR-like controls, more picture-in-picture options, and a choice of home or away team broadcasts.
However, its switch of media players caused problems on opening day, as the feeds froze for many users. Matt Gould, spokesman for MLB Advanced Media, blamed the problems on a lack of testing beforehand. “We’ve had very small window to do end-to-end testing,” he said.
Baseball has also led professional sports leagues in creating products for handheld devices such as the Blackberry and Apple iPhone. “Today’s society, the interactive-digital society, can stay in touch with baseball better than they’ve ever done before,” said Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB Advanced Media, to CNET News. “That keeps getting better. The iPhone’s MLB At-Bat application is one example of that.”
The $9.99 app has received good reviews, including one from the Boston Herald’s Tom Rose, who wrote, “With audio added on top of the already feature-rich application, many baseball fans would have found the application attractive at double the price.”
However, users of At-Bat have had audio difficulties throughout the first week of the season, and they flooded online forums with complaints. “Crash after crash. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” said one reviewer, while another wrote, “The audio drops about once per inning and stays dropped for quite some time.”