Woodstock is perhaps the single most mythologised pop culture event of the ’60s, perhaps the most mythologised decade in pop culture history. And because your hippie aunt’s account of the historic concert can’t really be trusted (if she did it right), the interactive On the Way to Woodstock app is an invaluable resource for the tablet generation.
What is it?
On the Way to Woodstock, $9, iPad. A detailed look at Woodstock, the artists who performed there, and the social climate in which the concert arrived. The experience is organised around a timeline of of the concert, with photos, videos, songs and capsule biographies of musicians and groups supplied along the way. It’s all a bit disorganized and overwhelming, but then so was the concert itself.
Who’s it good for?
YouTube youth who want to get a sense of what all actually went on at Woodstock; aging flower children who want to get a sense of what all actually went on at Woodstock.
Why’s it better than alternatives?
Experiencing the sights and sounds of Woodstock is essential to reliving the experience, and On the Way to Woodstock does a fine job of providing them. There are over 45 hours of carefully catalogued YouTube videos embedded throughout the timeline – all of which can be beamed to AppleTV or Airport-connected speakers with AirPlay – and the app features over 100 colour photos from Barry Levine, apparently the only photographer who managed to make it to the show with colour film.
How could it be even better?
With writeups and photos and streamable songs peeking out from every corner, it’s hard to diligently move through the app, reading and watching and listening to all it has to offer. Much of the text relies on Wikipedia’s entries for the groups. All in all it feels more like a carefully collected Woodstock scrapbook rather than any serious meditation on the concert, in case the latter is what you were interested in.
On the Way to Woodstock for iPad [iTunes]