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Old Sep 10, 2009, 10:07 AM   #1
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Apple Approves Rhapsody App





RealNetworks' Rhapsody app has been approved and is now in the App Store. The app, which provides on-demand streaming music, had reportedly been submitted to Apple just over two weeks ago.

The RealNetworks blog elaborates on how the app works for subscribers and those who wish to try out the service:

Quote:
If you're already a Rhapsody To Go subscriber, all you need to do is download the app and sign in. If not, we invite you to try out the all-you-can-eat service for free! The app is yours to test out, and learn to love, for seven days (no credit card required). After that, you'll need to either subscribe or continue not hearing what you want, when you want.
When first opening the app after downloading it, Rhapsody subscribers can get started right away by entering their username and password. Those who want to use the free 7-day trial will be directed to a web page via Safari to sign up.



Initially, it appeared doubtful that Apple would approve an app that would provide competition to its own iTunes app and store. However, with the recently-approved Spotify app - another music streaming app that also requires a subscription - the approval of Rhapsody no longer seems out of the ordinary.

The Rhapsody app is free and can be found here in the App Store (link opens iTunes).

Article Link: Apple Approves Rhapsody App
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 10:30 AM   #2
retroneo
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Thing are looking better....

Now approve Google Voice and Google Latitude...
And allow Skype over 3G!
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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Very cool. The app works nicely. Yet another app I'd love to have running in the background and respond to the earbud controls.

I was wondering if you can use the iPhone app and the computer app at the same time on the same account?

Does anyone know if the two can run simultaneously?
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 11:35 AM   #4
boxstboy
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14.99 a month for a 64kps stream? Wow, they're making Sirius XM look good!

Last edited by boxstboy; Sep 10, 2009 at 11:52 AM.
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 12:05 PM   #5
hanpa
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Not available in Europe, at least not in Sweden

Spotify is not available in the US, Rhapsody is not available here in Sweden. Really annoying, if I pay for a service it should not matter where on the globe I live.

On the other hand, I'm glad that I have Spotify instead of Rhapsody:

"Unlike iPod Touch users, iPhone owners will be able to stream music over both WiFi and their cellular connection. But with that comes a huge caveat: the max streaming bit rate is 64 kilobits per second, something the company claims will prevent interruptions. Reality check. Apple and AT&T probably mandated this bit rate as to prevent a bottle neck in AT&Tís 3G pipes. Iím just surprised they donít offer a higher bit rate option when connected over WiFi."

The Spotify iPhone app uses 160 kbit/s, much better quality.

I understand why though, this is because US is stuck in the 20th century regarding mobile Internet capacity.

I normally have 2-3 Mbit/s effective 3G cellular bandwidth here in Sweden and my plan allows me to use it for anything, including Skype calls and YouTube with high quality. But since the US haven't left the Cambrian period, Apple (in non-agreement with AT&T...) will not allow me to use the bandwidth that I've paid for and that my iPhone can handle.

Still positive that it was approved just like Spotify was.
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 03:53 PM   #6
severe
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Originally Posted by hanpa View Post
But since the US haven't left the Cambrian period, Apple (in non-agreement with AT&T...) will not allow me to use the bandwidth that I've paid for and that my iPhone can handle.
Quoted for truth.

(from California)
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 05:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanpa View Post
"Unlike iPod Touch users, iPhone owners will be able to stream music over both WiFi and their cellular connection. But with that comes a huge caveat: the max streaming bit rate is 64 kilobits per second, something the company claims will prevent interruptions. Reality check. Apple and AT&T probably mandated this bit rate as to prevent a bottle neck in AT&Tís 3G pipes. Iím just surprised they donít offer a higher bit rate option when connected over WiFi."
I don't know what the Pandora app uses over 3G, but it's surely more than 64kbps (I'd guess at least 128kbps as it sounds fairly good), so this is kind of a weird limitation.
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 05:43 PM   #8
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I don't know what the Pandora app uses over 3G, but it's surely more than 64kbps (I'd guess at least 128kbps as it sounds fairly good), so this is kind of a weird limitation.
Since we're on the subject, I've had an issue with Simplify for the same reason, though it's been a while since I've checked for improvement.

After streaming music from home, over 3G, for some time, it was like lifting a wet towel off of my car speakers when I began listening directly from the iPod. There was a night and day difference. I had just decided not to use it anymore.

I'm not sure of the rates that Simplify streams at for Edge vs. 3G vs. Wi-Fi.
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 06:06 PM   #9
Lara F
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Glad to see it approved, and as much as the 64kbps limit sucks AT&T really can be that bad in NYC, so it may be worth it not to deal with buffering. I'd have to compare with Pandora and Slacker though.

My annoyance is more that Rhapsody is charging about the same monthly amount as Spotify, yet there's no download for offline listening capability which would be huge for me since I take the subway all the time. These country limitations are maddening.

PS - if you have 3GS, jailbreaking for Backgrounder is a must and totally worth it. But I hope apps like these will further increase desire for multitasking in 4.0...
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 09:30 PM   #10
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I've been using Rhapsody for iPhone on the 7-day trial since this morning and its pretty nice. I'm a fairly avid music listener, so having a deep catalog that you can either play by genre or specific item feels like the best of the Pandora/Slacker and the XM/Sirius models. I'll have to give it a few days to determine if I remain as enthusiastic, but from the POV of selection and depth of catalog, it's NICE. I've been trying to stump it and so far have failed. Any song you want anytime, and ALMOST anywhere (not in the DC Metro where it goes underground, unfortunately, but that is supposed to change this Fall).

On the other hand, the bit rate is lower than one would ideally like. What I would really like to see is some kind of combination subscription/ownership model, where for the fairly steep price you get the option to own for keeps high-bitrate versions of a certain number of songs per month.

Another potential downside: My research tells me that, unlike Netflix, which lets you sort of go off and on at will very easily or put your account on hold, Rhapsody at least in the past has given people a hard time about leaving. There are a number of threads on that scattered around. Also, it seems a tad expensive for what you get. I would definitely only recommend for people who like to listen to music a lot.

As far as the iPhone app streaming goes, all day I only had a couple of very brief hiccups for buffering, which I would say is good for my area where network usage is heavy. That is only one day's experience, so we'll see.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 12:28 AM   #11
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Not quite

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxstboy View Post
14.99 a month for a 64kps stream? Wow, they're making Sirius XM look good!
My friend, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail, doesn't it?


Rhapsody & Sirius/XM are not even close to the same service. Sirus/XM is canned music. Rhapsody is anything YOU want, not whatever THEY want. Feel like listening to nothing but They Might Be Giants? So be it! Want to listen to nothing but bands that sound like Iron and Wine? No problem. Try that with Sirus/XM.

And, you quoted only the lo-fi rate. The hi-fi rate is 160Kbps for Rhapsody.

By the way Sirius Sat signals are quite lo-fi, with rates as low as 38 Kbps. Nothing to brag about!


Two entirely different services for entirely different markets and needs.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 12:35 AM   #12
AlphaBob
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Originally Posted by vtmikevt View Post
I was wondering if you can use the iPhone app and the computer app at the same time on the same account? Does anyone know if the two can run simultaneously?
I started my iPhone app running playing one set of music, and had my desktop PC playing another set of music -- both using the same account.

I don't know if they will allow that all the time, but at least for now it is working.

(Got to admit I never tried multiple PCs at the same time)

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Old Sep 11, 2009, 03:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by AlphaBob View Post
My friend, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail, doesn't it?


Rhapsody & Sirius/XM are not even close to the same service. Sirus/XM is canned music. Rhapsody is anything YOU want, not whatever THEY want. Feel like listening to nothing but They Might Be Giants? So be it! Want to listen to nothing but bands that sound like Iron and Wine? No problem. Try that with Sirus/XM.

And, you quoted only the lo-fi rate. The hi-fi rate is 160Kbps for Rhapsody.

By the way Sirius Sat signals are quite lo-fi, with rates as low as 38 Kbps. Nothing to brag about!


Two entirely different services for entirely different markets and needs.
If the iPhone app can't play the "hi-fi" rate then your point's fairly weak. We all know that they are different types of services but they still compete with one another.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 04:39 AM   #14
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Cool - looks like Apple is turning over a new leaf, which is great. Maybe I should try submitting my own music app that got rejected because it was somehow in competition with iTunes (even though it was my own music and was in no way in competition).

This app has one up on Spotify in that you can try the app for free - I'll be willing to give it a go. I don't care that it is from Real Networks.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 11:40 AM   #15
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Not sure about this Rhapsody. I'm on day 2 of the 7-day trial, I happen to be at home today, and I decided to try the Web site on my Mac. Decidedly a poor experience. I had a lot of unexplained cutouts and, oddly, a couple of times when everything appeared to be connected and working, the music showed as playing, but there was no sound (??). The only way to fix it seems to be to restart. The mobile interface seems better--less cluttered, more responsive, and more consistent sound. Definitely a strike against--for $15.00 a month I'd want the computer (higher bitrate, better sound system) stream to work when I'm home.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 07:02 PM   #16
boxstboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaBob View Post
My friend, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail, doesn't it?


Rhapsody & Sirius/XM are not even close to the same service. Sirus/XM is canned music. Rhapsody is anything YOU want, not whatever THEY want. Feel like listening to nothing but They Might Be Giants? So be it! Want to listen to nothing but bands that sound like Iron and Wine? No problem. Try that with Sirus/XM.

And, you quoted only the lo-fi rate. The hi-fi rate is 160Kbps for Rhapsody.

By the way Sirius Sat signals are quite lo-fi, with rates as low as 38 Kbps. Nothing to brag about!


Two entirely different services for entirely different markets and needs.
Well if you know what you want to listen to, then fine, get Rhapsody at 64kps. Or maybe just buy it on itunes?

However, a couple points I'd like to make are:

-DJs give you new artists you might not have otherwise heard about. This is why I like Sirius XM. It allows you to discover new music.

-XM premium service gives you 128kps on the iphone app, while it appears that Rhapsody limits you to 64kps regardless, which sucks.
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Old Sep 12, 2009, 04:14 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by boxstboy View Post
Well if you know what you want to listen to, then fine, get Rhapsody at 64kps. Or maybe just buy it on itunes?

However, a couple points I'd like to make are:

-DJs give you new artists you might not have otherwise heard about. This is why I like Sirius XM. It allows you to discover new music.

-XM premium service gives you 128kps on the iphone app, while it appears that Rhapsody limits you to 64kps regardless, which sucks.

I couldn't agree more about the DJ service on XM -- That's why there are hammers and screwdrivers -- different tools for different reasons. XM is great for casual listening and their channels are fantastic (I have XM in my truck and love it).

However the Rhapsody service is 160KBps if you are going over WiFi and 64KBps if you are going over 3G. AT&T set that limit. I don't know for sure but I would expect the 64Kbps limit applies to the XM app in 3G mode as well.
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Old Sep 12, 2009, 10:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by boxstboy View Post
Well if you know what you want to listen to, then fine, get Rhapsody at 64kps. Or maybe just buy it on itunes?

However, a couple points I'd like to make are:

-DJs give you new artists you might not have otherwise heard about. This is why I like Sirius XM. It allows you to discover new music.
Actually, to be fair, Rhapsody has tools for discovering new music also, and they seem to work fairly well. And, as I confirmed with my netbook running WinXP, it works much better on Windows because there is dedicated software. One area where XM prevails is in the car, because, of course, Rhapsody drops out when you are driving through cellular dark spots.
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 02:38 AM   #19
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What are you talking about

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Originally Posted by boxstboy View Post
14.99 a month for a 64kps stream? Wow, they're making Sirius XM look good!
You must be kidding, the quality is GREAT both on the 3G network and WiFi, it's seems more than 64kb. My problem has been the stream stops both on the PC and Mac and think as well on the iPhone. I contacted support Live @ 1:30 am and there was a person there.. I have hope they will make it work..

It really rocks in my car AUX jack too..
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 02:45 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by sishaw View Post
Not sure about this Rhapsody. I'm on day 2 of the 7-day trial, I happen to be at home today, and I decided to try the Web site on my Mac. Decidedly a poor experience. I had a lot of unexplained cutouts and, oddly, a couple of times when everything appeared to be connected and working, the music showed as playing, but there was no sound (??). The only way to fix it seems to be to restart. The mobile interface seems better--less cluttered, more responsive, and more consistent sound. Definitely a strike against--for $15.00 a month I'd want the computer (higher bitrate, better sound system) stream to work when I'm home.
Try this Rhapsody Support gave me this info below to try..

===============================================
Kevin: Please follow the steps given below to fix the issue: Kevin: 1. Visit the following URL:
http://playback.rhapsody.com/-static...eryToggle.html
2. Now select "Use HTTP" option. 3. Click on apply. 4. Close all the Web browsers. 5. Now open the Rhapsody online player and try streaming the tracks.
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 10:01 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by RussOniPhone View Post
Try this Rhapsody Support gave me this info below to try..

===============================================
Kevin: Please follow the steps given below to fix the issue: Kevin: 1. Visit the following URL:
http://playback.rhapsody.com/-static...eryToggle.html
2. Now select "Use HTTP" option. 3. Click on apply. 4. Close all the Web browsers. 5. Now open the Rhapsody online player and try streaming the tracks.
Russ, thanks for the tip, I will try this and post here with results!
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 06:03 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by RussOniPhone View Post
Try this Rhapsody Support gave me this info below to try..

===============================================
Kevin: Please follow the steps given below to fix the issue: Kevin: 1. Visit the following URL:
http://playback.rhapsody.com/-static...eryToggle.html
2. Now select "Use HTTP" option. 3. Click on apply. 4. Close all the Web browsers. 5. Now open the Rhapsody online player and try streaming the tracks.
Yes, this works for me. Thanks for posting it.
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