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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

All Kinds of Happenings

In case you live under a digital rock, you might not have heard that Rhapsody has unveiled a new web site where you can use the service without the software-based player. Neat! It's gotten some press (Digital Music News, Coolfer) and is part of a larger effort by Real to make Rhapsody more accessible for a larger number of users, including those with Macs and who use the Linux operating system.

I gave it a thorough test drive today and overall, it works pretty well. Some minor analysis:

    The Pros:
  • The interface is basically the same from the application, just with a different color scheme

  • The player uses a small pop-up window with playlist functions and volume control

  • It is stunningly easy to create Rhap-links (no more emailing to yourself!)
    The Cons:
  • Seems to use the same amount of memory as the application (boo! hiss!)

  • No access to your saved playlists, library, or saved radio stations.

  • No miniplayer or 'always on top' option

Obviously, I recognize that the web version is still in beta and may very well add more features as time goes on. It's a giant step for Rhapsody and I've gotta believe it's going to win them more subscribers as people finally realize that 'renting' music is in some ways infinitely better than 'owning.'

What will it mean for blogs like mine? Hopefully an upswing in traffic, readers, contributors, new bloggers. Maybe more recognition from Real as they realize that the more people who use Rhapsody to share music means money in their pockets. I am hearing good things about a web function for Rhapsody to actually link to the service directly from a web page.

Thoughts from subscribers? Readers? Bloggers? General interested parties?


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