Rhapsody Relaunches with iPod-Compatible MP3s

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Rhapsody announced the opening of a DRM-Free MP3 store today. The music tracks will be compatible with the Apple iPod as well as most other music players. This represents a significant shift in strategy for the company, who previously sold tracks on a subscription model exclusively. Rhapsody, however, has not completely abandoned the subscription model and still offers this option to their customers.

Rhapsody believes that their incompatibility with the iPod was in part to blame for their lack of market penetration:
"We're no longer competing with the iPod," Rhapsody Vice President Neil Smith said. "We're embracing it."
The new MP3 store from Rhapsody is only available to U.S. customers and contains 5 million songs. Music will be priced similarly to other services at $.99 per song or $9.99 per album.

One unique feature to Rhapsody's service is the ability for customers to preview an entire track, rather than a 30 second window.

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netnothing

macrumors 68040
Mar 13, 2007
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C'mon Apple.....your on deck. Let's get this done on iTunes.....do what it takes.

Very cool you can listen to the entire track before buying....I like that.

-Kevin
 

samh004

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Mar 1, 2004
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I think the entire-track-preview is much more of a gimmick than an actual feature that wont help switch users over. It could even lead to piracy of the previews.

Granted sometimes the previews on iTunes aren't in the spot that identifies the song, I don't think I'd be more likely to use a service because I could listen to the whole track.
 

Buschmaster

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2006
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I think that entire track previews could lead to piracy when these are the things that are supposed to lead us away from piracy.

Hm...
 

netnothing

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Mar 13, 2007
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I think the entire-track-preview is much more of a gimmick than an actual feature that wont help switch users over. It could even lead to piracy of the previews.

Granted sometimes the previews on iTunes aren't in the spot that identifies the song, I don't think I'd be more likely to use a service because I could listen to the whole track.
Piracy....don't think so. Listen to one. 8-track quality.

I like it for the exact reason you said....getting the exact part of the song in that 30 second clip on iTunes is sometimes difficult.

I don't think it will make people run to the Rhapsody store just to hear the whole song, but it is a nice feature.

-Kevin
 

Doctor Q

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Sep 19, 2002
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Part of their strategy is to sell from various sites owned by Viacom. That helps them attract attention to the service.

I'm surprised to hear about the full-song previews. Why weren't the record companies too paranoid to allow this? How much concern do they have that some people will capture the preview audio rather than make a purchase?

I've been fine with 30-second previews. Only once have I purchased a song without realizing it was an alternate take and not the version I wanted. I don't always play the entire 30 second preview as it is (I'm a busy person!), but of course being able to listen to more of it, or choose which portion to sample, can be a nice convenience.
 

macintel4me

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2006
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I guess I now know where I am going to preview my songs. Doesn't change by buying habits via iTunes. iTunes integration is too good (iPhone, AppleTV, iPod) and too complete. Once I preview it in Rhapsody (if I cared too), I am only 20-60 seconds away from hunting it down in iTunes.

Oh yeah, I can still buy songs on in my iPod touch or iPhone via iTunes as well. I guess Rhapsody is grasping at straws since they are failing so they have to do something different. Far from compelling with this change alone.
 

GSMiller

macrumors 68000
Dec 2, 2006
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Now they'll just come out with a confusing advertising strategy:

"All the music you want for only $14.99 a month, now compatible with iPod"
 

Small White Car

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Aug 29, 2006
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Doesn't change by buying habits via iTunes. iTunes integration is too good (iPhone, AppleTV, iPod) and too complete.
Uhm, if you buy from iTunes, from Amazaon, from Rhapsody, or just import a CD it all comes out the same.

What does that mean "integration is too good" ?

A Rhapsody MP3 or an iTunes AAC will work exactly the same!
 

LillieDesigns

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Oct 18, 2005
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I think Apple is just waiting to lose a percentage of market share. Record companies will think they succeeded in taking the 'monopoly' away from Apple and then Jobs can announce 100% DRM free music store and weekly sales been with various artists.

I can't see Apple sitting on their prices and limited DRM free music unless they are forced.
 

Small White Car

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Aug 29, 2006
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Apple needs to be listening to the part about DRM free music.. previews are nice... DRM free keeps me going to amazon.
It's not Apple, the labels have to let them.

They're all ticked that they gave Apple so much power and so they're 'punishing' them by forcing them to use DRM while letting others sell plain MP3s. The labels are hoping that this will give the smaller companies an edge and let them catch up. They want a world with many online providers, not just one.

Of course, it's they're own darned fault in the first place...DRM is what prevented that from happening...but now they've wised up and are trying to fix their mistake.

I'd imagine they'll let Apple go DRM-free in a year or two. But they'll wait for Amazon's store to grow before they do it.
 

macintel4me

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Jan 11, 2006
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Uhm, if you buy from iTunes, from Amazaon, from Rhapsody, or just import a CD it all comes out the same.

What does that mean "integration is too good" ?

A Rhapsody MP3 or an iTunes AAC will work exactly the same!
Does Rhapsody (or any of the others) automatically copy the MP3 file into the right place in my iTunes Library automatically? Do I get album art too?
 

Spagolli94

macrumors member
May 22, 2002
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Uhm, if you buy from iTunes, from Amazaon, from Rhapsody, or just import a CD it all comes out the same.

What does that mean "integration is too good" ?

A Rhapsody MP3 or an iTunes AAC will work exactly the same!
It means that when I buy from iTunes, my new songs automatically show up in my iTunes library, ready to be synched to my iPod, iPhone, etc. When I'm shopping in iTunes, it's all done inside the same app. When I'm listening to my songs, it recommends other music I might like - the store is always just a click away.

With some other services, you have to go to their website, register, browse for and buy your music. Then you have to download it and import it into iTunes so you can enjoy it. Why bother? If it's the same price, why not just use the store that is integrated with the player? Hence the success of iTunes.
 

Fotek2001

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Jun 16, 2005
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I wish iTunes had either longer previews or full length ones. I've bought a lot of completely awful music based on a preview that was entirely unrepresentative of the whole track.
 

Small White Car

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Aug 29, 2006
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It means that when I buy from iTunes, my new songs automatically show up in my iTunes library, ready to be synched to my iPod, iPhone, etc.
Does Rhapsody (or any of the others) automatically copy the MP3 file into the right place in my iTunes Library automatically? Do I get album art too?
Haven't tried Rhapsody, but Amazon does all of this.

Why bother? If it's the same price, why not just use the store that is integrated with the player?
Because if I get the non-DRM version I can play it on both Apple hardware and NON-Apple hardware. With iTunes I can't do that unless I burn-n-rip from CD, which is a LOT more trouble than simply shopping from a different website. And since it goes right into iTunes (from Amazon, anyway) I don't really see the problem.
 

macnews

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2003
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C'mon Apple.....your on deck. Let's get this done on iTunes.....do what it takes.

Very cool you can listen to the entire track before buying....I like that.

-Kevin
I don't need an entire track preview to buy a song. Likely I have heard it on the radio already for free, which is why I'm looking to buy it.

Plus, doesn't that open up the potential for people just coping the song? I know of a few programs that will capture anything played through your speakers. Spend $20 for one of those programs and 20 previewed songs later I have made my money back.


As to Rhapsody doing DRM free and "embracing the ipod" I think it has more to do with the integration of iTunes and the iPod than just mp3. Not saying the DRM free mp3 won't be used by some, just think they still don't completely get it.
 

netnothing

macrumors 68040
Mar 13, 2007
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Does Rhapsody (or any of the others) automatically copy the MP3 file into the right place in my iTunes Library automatically? Do I get album art too?
The Amazon downloader copies it to a Amazon folder in your Music folder, and automatically copies it to iTunes as well. Works nice.

According to Rhapsodys site:
http://mp3.rhapsody.com/about.html

The easiest way to get your MP3s onto your PC is use the Rhapsody MP3 Download Manager. It's fast and it's free. It lets you quickly download all your music at once, and automatically imports your albums and songs into iTunes, Rhapsody or RealPlayer.
-Kevin
 

137489

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Nov 6, 2007
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It means that when I buy from iTunes, my new songs automatically show up in my iTunes library, ready to be synched to my iPod, iPhone, etc. When I'm shopping in iTunes, it's all done inside the same app. When I'm listening to my songs, it recommends other music I might like - the store is always just a click away.

With some other services, you have to go to their website, register, browse for and buy your music. Then you have to download it and import it into iTunes so you can enjoy it. Why bother? If it's the same price, why not just use the store that is integrated with the player? Hence the success of iTunes.

Personally I like having to do it the long way. reason is I store all my music in MP3 format, which is a platform independant standard. This way I can have my music on my ipod, burn an MP3 CD for my wife with her favorite mixes (her car does not have an aux jack for her MP3 player (ipod nano), but her CD player supports MP3, WMA with text folders.

Also, since my DVD player in the house that is hooked to my surround sound system plays mp3 - I can burn a DVD with MP3 in the root folder and have hours of my favorite music playing while I am working around the house.

With so many 3rd party companies making accessories that include an ipod doc - maybe Apple needs to release the AAC format so that we can have DVD/CD players that support this format was well? But then again that may drop ipod sales (but i doubt it, my mother-in-law won a free 1 gig MP3 player - it was the most difficult thing to work with ->even with the instructions :mad:) ipod is just so user friendly.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
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maybe Apple needs to release the AAC format so that we can have DVD/CD players that support this format was well? But then again that may drop ipod sales
Seeing as how Apple doesn't own AAC, that's pretty unlikely!

It's a Dolby format. Anyone can use it. The Zune supports it for goodness sake.
 

bbeers

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2007
159
5
Maryland
Can't go wrong with a full preview - allows you to hear it in all its glory. :)
I don't know if I would say in all it's glory. If you listen to the full preview you can hear the difference. They arn't bad for previews, but I hope a purchased one would sound better.

But on another note, i don't know if Rhapsody know this or not yet, but if you leave the player window open and just click through different song to play them, it leaves them in a track list. You can then click the first track after you have "added" all the song you want it is will then play them through like a playlist. But the player won't open on the iphone.


Edit: I just saw that you have 25 free full samples, after that it switches you over to 30 second sample.
 
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