June 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Apple Launches HD Streaming App for iTunes Festival 2011

itunes festival 2011

App developers have some new competition for music fans’ attention: Apple itself, which released a free iOS app on Tuesday that will stream live performances from the iTunes Festival London 2011 at the city’s famous Roundhouse venue, which will run for 31 days throughout the month of July.

In case you miss one you wanted to catch, there’s no need to go hunting for a torrent or wishing you had a TiVo (remember those?), because each performance will be available on-demand following the festival. An Apple spokeswoman couldn’t tell Evolver.fm how long those performances will be available within the app, or how many hours of footage will be included, but Apple says a full 62 bands will be represented.

itunes liveThis is no lightweight music festival, either. Bands include Mogwai, Paul Simon, Manic Street Preachers, Linkin Park, Gwyneth Paltrow, Arctic Monkeys, Bruno Mars, Foo Fighters, Friendly Fires, Swedish House Mafia, Coldplay, Lang Lang, Kasabian, Moby+Silver Apples, and SXSW 2011 headliners Duran Duran (full line-up).

Apple sells iTunes albums of its iTunes Live performances, including those recorded during previous festivals, which is nice. But the company’s redoubled approach of packaging the entire thing as an iOS app represents a major step forward.

Tellingly, the app too is called iTunes Live — a name that doesn’t necessarily tie it to this particular festival. It could be a sign of more live music to come from the Cupertino crew. And because Apple puts on this festival itself, it has one less party to worry about convincing to agree to license the live appcast — an issue that has dogged other companies with similar ideas.

In addition to the shows, iTunes Live includes a schedule, a news feed with descriptions of the artists, and a photo archive from previous iTunes Festivals all the way back to ’07.

Perhaps our favorite thing about Apple’s app, though, is that it includes Apple AirPlay support. This means you’ll be able to zap the audio and video stream over to your television via Apple TV. Connect that to an HD television and surround sound system, and you can have yourself a month-long music festival on your own couch.

(Top image from iTunes Festival 2010 courtesy of Flickr/The Style PA)