The AIO Club app has not been updated in 2 years, and the online version has maintained its infamous design and structure since its launch in 2014. So when a new Club was announced, it was a big deal. Over the past week, I took a look at what has been the most significant update in 8 years.
At first glance, it appears as though this may double the new AIO website. That doesn’t seem likely. However, this may be what many Club members did already, which was just using this as the radio website if that makes sense.
There is a radio link, as well as a podcast one. It looked to me like there would be a shop as well. It did link to the store, but didn’t have a place to buy books right on the site, likely for security reasons.
I went back to log in, and it seemed the login page hadn’t been quite refined yet. It wasn’t rounded, which didn’t keep in theme with the rest of the site. I also noticed it redirected to a different site. Still, not too much to complain about, but not perfect either.
The website homepage changes a bit when you log in. You get a list of suggested episodes, but they don’t seem related to anything you’ve listened to previously. It is again, still a better experience. You also see some of the new episode images that have been popping up on the AIO Instagram and Facebook pages for the past few months.
Next, I was intrigued by these things called badges. Apparently, these are some of the ‘quests’ AIO was talking about in their advertisements. They can be partially filled, as I saw when I began to complete the first badge. I’ll look forward to completing these later. Another great new feature.
As I was going to find an episode, I stumbled upon another great new feature in the Club. The search function is significantly improved in this new Club. You can now search for albums, episodes, and even crew members. This is a huge jump from what we had in the past, and I cannot wait to fully take advantage of this.
*At this point in my review, I went back, and images stopped loading. I’ll still include screenshots. I found that obvious bug annoying. Anyway, enjoy these imageless screenshots of the new, improved search tool.
The randomizer is another excellent tool. Sometimes I’ll want to listen to something, but I’ll be scrolling for several minutes just trying to find the perfect episode or an episode I’ve not listened to yet. This feature is perfect for that. It’s also great for a reason given in the promo, listening with family or if my parents want to listen to an episode. Great job, AIO team, I love this one.
One of the last two things I want to cover in this review is the new player. It now resembles the new player found in the app. It’s not as advanced as I would have hoped, which is too bad. I expected a little more of the Apple Music or Spotify player experience. I also would have liked a skip recap and intro buttons, like found on Disney Plus. I’m not sure how much work those would take, but those would have been nice features as well.
In conclusion, I think the new Club was genuinely thought out, announced, and had a great test team. It still is riddled with bugs, and is missing some features, but really, it delivered on everything it promised. It’s really not too bad, but it’s not extremely incredible. What I can say is that it is a huge, significant update, and I appreciate the work and time put into it. For tonight, I’m Don, signing off.