Tag Archives: rhapsody

Music Services I Use: Rhapsody Vs. Rdio Vs. Spotify Vs. Pandora

So Spotify is allegedly (finally) coming to the US.

I, for one, welcome our new music overlords. Rhapsody pulled a fast one on me yesterday, after years of loyal service with them (dating all the way back to when Windows Media / MTV’s Urge was enveloped). They told me I needed to up my plan. I’m basically giving them an “up yours” and likely switching to Spotify when it’s available. There’s also Grooveshark, but it’s not available in the iTunes app store (which makes it a non-option for me).

How did Rhapsody offend me? They’ve switched their plans, rendering the standing $10 a month option only viable if you have one mobile device. I happen to have two mobile devices (plus Sonos), which would push me into their $15 a month plan – and that’s a bit steep, considering the active alternative: Rdio.

For $10 a month on Rdio, you get unlimited web AND mobile access. While the library on Rdio may not be the same as what’s on Rhapsody, I can’t see Rhapsody giving that much more value for the additional $5 I’d spend with them every month. I was given a trial with Rdio but didn’t renew it. I’m waiting to see what Spotify will have to offer me (in terms of pricing and features) before I spend money with Rdio.

I’m also considering downgrading my Pandora premium account when it’s up for renewal this September — not because I don’t use Pandora prolifically, but because it’s not delivering insane value for the money I’ve spent (and higher quality audio and fewer commercials doesn’t cut it for me). Not to mention: who still uses Flash for Web services?

The good news is: I can easily float between these music subscriptions without fearing I’ve lost much. I can still get access to most (if not all) of the music I love, and not have to worry about buying tracks ala carte or going through the nightmare of managing media in any way. That, and… at least I’m trying to play along with the industry.

Tell me I’m not alone with these music subscription service woes!

Are You a Fan of Amazon Cloud Player?


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Just after Lady Gaga made headlines by releasing her full album for less than a buck on Amazon’s new Cloud Player, a community member began to wonder if this service was something he should be using. He asked the question on our Q&A site, and the answers surprised me. Nearly everyone claimed they do not plan to use the new Cloud Player – unless some big changes are made.

Yes, I plan to use it. I have several GB worth of music stored in the Cloud Player. However, I listen to another service to listen to music. I pay to access music subscriptions through services such as Pandora and Rhapsody. I happen to feel it’s important to support artists by paying for what I listen to.

I prefer to consume my music without having to manage it locally. It’s just easier that way. I’d rather just subscribe to something instead of having to buy an album outright. I like being able to rent it indefinitely. I can listen to pretty much anything that might be available in those libraries at any given time.

The Amazon Cloud Player is good for remote storage. I plan to move all of my MP3s there, but I might hold on until they offer a bit more. I want the ability to tag my stuff and sort it in the way I want. Yes, I can dump it all in there and let it import, but it’s just not for me. Not even iTunes is for me. Heck, I’m not even happy with Google’s newest offering at this point.

What do you think? Are you a fan of services such as this? I gotta admit: if I have to choose, I’m going to go with subscription services… for audio and video. I love being able to listen to a huge variety of things without having to burn a disc.

I will use Amazon Cloud Storage – but it will never be my music home.

How to Discover New Music


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How do you discover new music? Don’t sit there and tell me you only like one type of music. You can’t just stop at some point in your life and decide you don’t want to listen to anything new. One thing I like about Pandora is that I can give it a specific genre or artist, and they’ll help me discover other artists that may be similar. I got an email from TJ recently who shared with us his top 5 list of ways to discover new music.

  • Find out who your favorite artists consider to be their inspirations. Chances are, you’re going to enjoy listening to them, as well. It’s easy to go online and find a biography of musicians you like. Those will usually include a list of names of the people who inspired them.
  • Listen to a lot of music on the radio, last.fm, or any other service. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a song on the radio that I liked, and wrote it down quickly to find later and purchase for my own collection. I tend to turn the radio to stations I might not normally listen to. That helps me broaden my scope, and allows me to find music I love that I might otherwise never have heard.
  • Get out and listen to local musicians. We musicians love all the followers we can get. Getting out and hearing them is always fun, and they love your support!
  • Join music-related forums. You’ll be exposed to so many different types of music that you may not have even heard of! Read what others are saying. If they’re raving about a new artist or song – check it out for yourself!
  • Trade music with others. I remember when I used to trade CDs with a good friend of mine. Just that summer alone, I was able to discover a ton of new things that I hadn’t heard before. I went from having only about 100 songs in my collection to more than 5000.

This same thing happened to me back in college. I traded CDs with a friend of mine. The name of a particular band was strange, but I gave it a chance. Turns out, I loved their music! By sharing the cassette tape with my friend, it turned me on to a whole new style of music… which turned into sales for the artist.

I want to consume music as I want to consume it. I’d rather “rent” the music, instead of owning it. That’s why I subscribe to Rhapsody’s service. I can pull up and listen to whatever I want, when I want it.

So my question again is “how do you discover new music”?

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How Do You Get Your Music into iTunes, Rhapsody or Amazon?


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Are you a singer or musician looking to record your work? You may have set up a MySpace page, but that won’t get you very far. You want to get yourself into iTunes, that’s all there is to it. How do you get into it though? If you need help with this, you make want to take a look at TuneCore.

TuneCore has arrangements with leading digital music retailers that let us place your music in their online stores and subscription services. You get 100% of the money that your music earns from digital distribution. Sign up now for digital distribution.

TuneCore charges $0.99 per track, $0.99 per store per album, and $19.98 per album per year storage and maintenance. Or, just put up one song as a single for a flat price of $9.99 per year, all stores included.

On average it takes about 4-6 weeks to go live on all stores. Some stores review faster than others with Amazon taking under a week, Napster and Emusic about a week or two, Rhapsody about 2-3 weeks and the same for GroupieTunes. So far we have been unable to determine the average time to go live in Lala.com and Shockhound as they are so new. Remember TuneCore does not have control over when your album goes live but these are averages based on long-term distribution relationships with each DSP (digital service provider).

Assuming the stuff you create is really, really good… you can make some serious bank this way. And of course, you could just get ‘discovered’ by a major label. If you’re looking to get your music out there digitally, this is probably your best bet.

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How Do You Buy Your Music Online?

There are a plethora of ways to purchase music these days, and many of those are found online. From iTunes to Rhapsody, more people are paying for and downloading their music right in their own homes. I personally don’t use iTunes. I’m more of a Rhapsody fan. I asked some others where they get their music from, and the answers were quite varied.

Uhm, online… – Mark VandenBerg

With a credit card. Kind of hard to use cash. – Glen Campbell

People buy music? Amazing. I must alert the press! – Outsanity

by directing with ecommerce buttons under youtube videos 😀 – Erhan Erdogan

Buy music? Why would I ever wanna do that? It’s like…free everywhere – Rahsheen™

Amazon MP3. And some of you are on a fast-track to hell. Or RIAA fan mail. 🙂 – Cyndy

Where and how do you purchase your music these days?

Buying Music ala Carte vs Renting with Subscriptions

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Googler888 writes: “I’ve been a hardcore iTunes song buyer for a couple of years now, and boy has it been great. I know Chris loves using subscription-based song services like Rhapsody and Napster, so I am hoping to start a war between the two. So here are my top 5 reasons why I chose owning a song, rather than renting it.”

  • It certainly does feel awkward to be constantly giving money to “the man” every month, for an all-you-can-eat subscription. The fact is, if you don’t pay him, your tunes expire. You have then wasted around 80 Gigabytes of your hard drive space with songs you can no longer listen to. This will take forever to delete them all. It also means, of course, you will no longer have the tunes for your music player… unless you pay “the man” again, re-activate your tunes… and hope you don’t forget to pay next time.
  • Renting songs is a bad idea for people who travel a lot. Let’s say you have just loaded up your music player with these subscription-based tunes, and are headed out on your vacation. You leave your computer at home, because you shouldn’t need it on a trip to the Carribbean. You land in Barbados, only to find that your tunes have expired. Your seven days in the country will now be unpleasurable, because you forgot to re-subscribe and no longer have access to your music. Now you have to pay $25 to the hotel for their in-suite, on-demand music service, and you won’t have your tunes for when you go to the beach.
  • Piracy and Viruses. Piracy has been plaguing the music industry for years. There are now programs that strip these tunes of their DRM so that they can be kept forever. This means that services like Rhapsody will go out of business, because all their songs have been stripped and are now available from BitTorrent or Limewire. Mind you, services like Rhapsody and Napster are very cheap monthly, meaning that people are going to turn to them for their piracy-making. Also, this means that viruses, trojans, or other malware can be uploaded to BitTorrent or Limewire in the zip file that contains the song.
  • iPods. iPod does not support Windows Media DRM 10, which is what services like Rhapsody and Napster have been using to “protect” their music. That cool new iPod Touch or iPhone you just bought won’t play your subscription tunes, leaving you disappointed and in despair. Also, iPods are very sleek and cool looking. This puts people in the awkward position of choosing to get the “cool” iPod, or settle for an ugly MP3 player that “just happens” to play WMA DRM 10 songs.
  • Availability. Many places around the world sell MP3 players that support these shenanigans. Services like Rhapsody are not available worldwide. So if your favorite song that you want to rent is only on Rhapsody and you happen to be in Canada, Norway or China… you’re out of luck.

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Rhapsody vs iTunes: Which is Better, and Why?

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?

iTunes vs Urge vs Rhapsody


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Berger360 wants to know more about music subscription services. He currently uses iTunes, and wonders why I feel that my music subscription service is better, and why I won’t use iTunes.

My tastes and lifestyle give me a lot of opinions on the various music subscription services and software out there. I listen to a wide variety of music, and my preference changes daily… or even hourly. My mood, what I’m working on, whether I’m in my car… all play a role in the music mood I may be in.

I don’t use iTunes for one simple reason. I want music on demand! I don’t want to have to download software onto my computer to manage my music, then synch it to my iPod. I want to use my iPod to just say “hey! I’m in the mood for the Doors! BAM!”. I don’t want to buy the entire album. If I did, I would go out and purchase the actual CD.

The music subscription service I use is called Urge. Now at the time I recorded this, I made a comment about not ever using Rhapsody’s service. However, I found out after recording that Urge and Rhapsody have now apparently merged into one service. I haven’t checked it out yet, so I can’t comment as to whether or not it will give me the same experience. What I love about my Urge subscription is that for only about $15.00 a month, I have access to literally millions of songs. Not albums… songs. I can access this huge library, and choose to listen to whatever it is I’m in the mood for at any given moment. This is SO Much easier to manage. No way I’ll ever use iTunes unless and until Apple switches it to a music subscription service such as this.

Which service do you use? I know you use one of them! Leave me a comment, and let me know what your preference is… and why.

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