Rhapsody vs iTunes: Which is Better, and Why?

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There’s a new bot response from Pixie in chat, responding directly to the ‘what is music’ question:

Chris downloads all his music through Rhapsody. As his friend, you can get a free 14-day trial (unlimited access) right now – it’s a personal jukebox that runs within your Web browser. Mac and PC compatible! Better than iTunes.

Why do I think Rhapsody subscription is better than iTunes? It’s not for a love of Real (the company, or its software). It’s a matter of choice to me.

  1. I consume music in such a way that ala carte purchases would put me in the poor house. iTunes does not have a music / media subscription option, and likely never will.
  2. When someone in the chat room asks me to listen to a band I’ve never heard of, it’s usually in my Rhapsody account – so pressing Play is all I need to do.
  3. I have so many CDs sitting inside a storage closet somewhere in the house. What’s the point of grabbing them if I can easily get to the same music (with the same quality) online? I could rip them, sure – but then I’d have to keep track of data across several computers or a central server, when it’s just as easy (read: convenient) to click a button.
  4. I do happen to have Sonos, though I’m not getting full use out of it because our house is already overflowing with entertainment options. Regardless, Sonos is Rhapsody-compatible.
  5. If I’m in the car, I usually tune into XM. If I’m at home, I’m usually sitting in front of a computer. If I’m away from either of those two locations, I’m likely too busy to consume anything.
  6. I hate DRM, but at least I don’t feel like I’m downloading and storing crippled files with a Rhapsody subscription. To me, a Rhapsody subscription is akin to a radio station that I can construct, in real-time. Precision.
  7. I don’t really use my iPhone as a portable media player – not even for podcasts. If I’m really interested, I just open the YouTube applet on the iPhone and do a quick search – done deal.
  8. I don’t own the music anyway, so what’s the point in purchasing it vs. renting it? I hardly listen to the CDs I already own… all that ala carte money down the drain, if you ask me.
  9. 14-day free trial vs. indefinite 30 second clips. You shouldn’t even need the trial, other than to find out if they carry your favorite artists (and yes, Rhapsody has RSS feeds for just about everything).
  10. I don’t need to load a desktop client to play music – I just install the plugin for Firefox, IE, or Safari. Works fine on my Mac, too. I have a browser open all the time, anyway. I don’t want to download an album before I can listen to it. Understand, when I endorse Rhapsody, I’d strongly recommend NOT INSTALLING THEIR DESKTOP SOFTWARE – it is absolutely unnecessary, even with a Rhapsody subscription.

Okay, now can anybody give me a list of reasons why iTunes ala carte model is better than a Rhapsody subscription?