Although sometimes overlooked, community features can go a long way toward saving you time and helping you discover new music.
Community features in music services are an integral part of the structure as they present fun ways to discover new music and share with your friends. In the case of Napster To Go
and Rhapsody To Go
, community aspects are quite disparate, so they could be the deciding factor for some.
All of the services offer a simple send function for sharing tracks or playlists, but Rhapsody is the only one where the recipient doesn't need an account to listen to the full song or playlist; a recipient can listen to as many as 25 songs every 30 days, which we think is pretty nifty. You can share only tracks from Rhapsody's catalog, not those in your own library. In either case, the recipient needs to have the corresponding app in order to listen. Both services use e-mail for sharing (Rhapsody will also let you send a link via IM), and they allow you to send multiple songs.
With Rhapsody, you can also create playlists, then publish them for other users to access. Rhapsody's Playlist Central holds all user-created lists, editorially created lists, and some celebrity picks, which you're free to listen to as well as save and download, if desired (they can then be transferred to your MP3 player). You can publish only playlists created from Rhapsody's catalog, not your own library.
Napster lets you browse all other members' collections, rather than just those of your own contacts. You can listen to any track or playlist, as well as save them to your own library. Once you've done that, you can download the music to your computer and transfer it to your portable device. Want to find members with your taste in music? Right-click a track, and select "Find in Members' Collections;" all the members who have that song in their library show up in the window.