In a nutshell, what you need to know about on-the-go music subscription services.
The concept of on-the-go music subscription services is (understandably) confusing to many people, but the quick tips below should help. First, check out the pros and cons of each service to decide which, if either is right for you.
Napster To Go
Pros: Preprogrammed playlists ready for one-click downloading and transferring; completely interactive radio stations that can be saved as playlists; can access all other members' subscription-based music libraries; can add content to a player continually while it's syncing; editorial content shows personality and attitude.
Cons: Graphically intense interface isn't immediately easy to use.
Rhapsody To Go
Pros: Most easy-to-use interface; excellent editorial content; playlists are publishable for sharing with other members; only service that you send full-length tracks (and playlists) to nonsubscribers; generous monthly syncing restrictions; allows for up to three device relationships.
Cons: No autosyncing of subscription-based downloads.
- Portable device: Make sure you have a compatible player and that the device's firmware is up to date. Remember: none of these services work with the Apple iPod.
- Try it out: Sign up for the free trial for either of these services, and make sure you're comfortable with the jukebox software as well as the service itself. It's likely that you'll use the service's software for other audio tasks such as ripping, burning, and managing your music library.
- Keep the music playing: Remember to sync your device with the service at least once a month. Otherwise, the licenses for your songs could run out, and you'll be stuck with a bunch of songs that won't play.
- Be organized: If you don't want subscription-based music mixed in with your general music library, make sure to designate a specific folder for your subscription downloads. This setting can be adjusted under the Tools or Preferences menu.
- Experiment: The best part of these services is that you can sample and discover tons of music as well as get recommendations from others. Go crazy and download songs and artists you wouldn't have tried otherwise.