February 25, 2014 Last Updated 7:36 am

It must be baseball season, as the MLB At Bat app gets its first spring training update

It is almost baseball season again, really. Today there are actually two spring training games being played, though they are MLB teams against college opponents.

That means it is time for the first MLB.com At Bat app update of the year. Today’s update brings the app up to version 7.0.0, which tells you how long the app has been around. The biggest update took place before the 2012 season – version 5.0 – when the iPhone and iPad apps were combined into one. (Oh, and the Giants won the World Series that year.)

MLBatBat-iPad-scroreboardThis year’s update beings a minor redesign and iOS 7 compliance (we hope).

Here is the “what’s new” info:

What’s New in Version 7.0.0
New for At Bat in 2014
• Complete app re-design to optimize your At Bat experience for iOS 7 (iPhone and iPad)
• Redesigned to deliver inline video playback
• New league-wide scoreboard functionality for single-tap expansion

The way MLB.com handles its apps can be a bit confusing for those unfamiliar with the scheme. One can buy MLB At Bat access through the app fro either $19.99 for the season or $2.99 per month. This gives you access to the radio broadcasts of the games, the scoreboard feature, live look-ins of games and the game of the week.

But to have access to live broadcasts of all the games, with the exception of blackouts, you will need MLB.TV Premium, which costs $24.99 per month or $129.99 for the season.

MLB.TV has been one of the pleasures I allow myself, being a big baseball lover. But MLB.TV steams so poorly that I am always frustrated with the service, especially through the Apple TV. Buffering, low resolution, pixelated pictures, MLB’s streaming has been very poor for me, even though I have a very fast broadband connection through Comcast.

Another annoyance is the policy of limiting the number of devices you can use. If you have two Apple TVs at your home you’ll find MLB cutting you off thinking you are somehow cheating them. Don’t bother calling support, they the polar opposite of Apple in this regard: rude, of little help, and eager to cancel your service for you.

More than likely I will try again to see if the service works for me this year… and if the Giants make it worth my while to continue it throughout the full season. But my expectations remain rather low (for both MLB At Bat and the Giants).

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