Pros Sexy Interface, Seamless Streaming
Cons Incomplete Streaming Catalog, To Go Selection Full of Holes
Summary This new version of Rhapsody is, as some have suggested, the purest and most addictive of drugs for the audio-addicted. I have been using the streaming option (before and after the recent upgrade) for the past six months and I have it running 14 hours of the day, constantly at home and constantly at work. I have yet to reach the end of the ever expanding catalog and I can hook this up to my home entertainment system to blast all around the house. I go through a rough physical withdrawal if I'm away from the music for more than a day. I've sold all but a small portion of my formerly large cd collection and I don't know what I'd do without this incredible application.
The only problem here is, I don't know what I'd do without this incredible application. As detailed by many other worried reviewers, the danger is that Rhapsody could kill the service at any time and we would be out of luck with zero music in hand. Fortunately, I don't believe this will happen any time in the near future. We can all see that the digital music revolution is coming and there's not much anyone can do about it except get on board and embrace it. I understand the apprehension of other reviewers who insist that by not owning their tunes, they have no ultimate control over them. That said, the past six months "renting" my music has been amazing. Once you give it a try, like me, you'll feel stifled if you ever have to resort back to a cd collection.
Rhapsody does have it's limits, though. As outlined by Eliot Van Buskirk on this site and on mp3.com, none of the subscription services, Rhapsody included, carry the entire catalog of digital music. This means the digital music user that's attempting to keep it legal, such as myself, is left out in the cold on much of the music out there. And Rhapsody's To-Go option is even worse. Initially, I was thrilled when I heard about the new service. I went out and purchased my first mp3 player (Creative Zen Micro) and signed up for the To-Go option. After upgrading the firmware on the portable device, Rhapsody did a fair job of transferring files and the music sounded just fine. That is, the music I was able to transfer. The ridiculous part of the service, which is not advertised, is the number and selection of files one can, or rather cannot, transfer to an mp3 player. Although one can stream a good number of tunes, only about 1/3 or less of each album could actually be transferred to my mp3 player. And guess which songs they allow this for. You got it, only the songs that Rhapsody doesn't believe anyone would want to pay extra to download. This renders the To-Go option absolutely useless. So I cancelled my To-Go subscription within a week of starting it. The good thing is that at least the program was well designed so that my account was not unfairly affected. The monthly subscription was prorated and I only paid for the time I used the service.
Recap: The Rhapsody streaming service is undeniably amazing and addictive. I could not live without it and I don't plan on trying. The Rhapsody To-Go option is completely worthless. Don't waste your time on it.
"I am livid!!"on by pcnbpt
Pros $100 rebate on an iRiver H10 for an annual subscription; compatibility with Roku Soundbridge intriguing
Cons The download and the customer service
Summary I gave Rhapsody a 1 score purely on the issues I had trying to download the software and the ensuing customer service experience.
I downloaded the previous Rhapsody version over the winter via Comcast. Equipped with a new iRiver H10 and stoked about Rhapsody to Go and the $100 rebate they are offering for the H10, I eagerly attempted to download v3.0.
No luck - over and over again. I tried everything lsited on their website which was frustrating in itself in that each page of instructions for fixing the problem had more instruction links behind it.
Ultimately gave up and submittied a support request via email. It took 2 days to get a response. Isn't Real a big company? I couldn't beleive there was no chat support not to mention the 48hr turnaround. Awful.
Finally decided that $100 rebate was not worth it - a 1-year committment to a service I couldn't rely on was not going to fly with the wife. Signed on with Napster instead and so far so good.
Here's the kicker though - I go to cancel my 14day free pass and you can't do it online, you have to call. The problem is that when I clicked on the link to the phone number, where the number was supposed to be displayed there is an empty space. UGHHHH!!!!
Pros I have had 0 (thats a "zero") issues with Rhapsody. The streaming is lightning fast, songs that are queued in the playlist will be cached by the time the current song ends, initial download speeds are OUTRAGEOUS.. the list goes on. Even bands that are
Cons My doctor tells me it cannot be wired directly into my brain.
Pros Don't know, can't use it.
Cons Can't Install
Summary I have tried to install the new Rhapsody 3.0 on 3 different computers. From internet not avaiable (was connected to the internet with real player and internet explorer at the time of Rhapsody installation) to DRM component failed installation. All 3 computers failed the installation. Guess Real doesn't want my money!
Pros Large library, better audio quality than Napster, plays well with other programs, works on the Netgear MP101, reasonable monthly fee
Cons Some noticeably missing artists (where are you, Radiohead?), catered toward streamers (can burn to CD, but no direct file downloads)