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Monday, December 22 12:01 EST

Reviews: Digital Music Stores: Rhapsody

By Brian Briggs

iTunes Music Store - Napster - Musicmatch
Rhapsody
- Wal Mart - BuyMusic - EMusic

RhapsodyWhat does Rhapsody offer?
Rhapsody is the music offering from Real. It gives you the ability to stream songs from 15,748 artists, which includes 422,196 tracks. You can build your own radio stations by selecting artists, or listen to one of the 71 programmed stations. You can burn songs to a CD.

How much does it cost?
Rhapsody costs $10 per month and $0.79 for each song burned to CD. Unlike the other services, you do have to be subscribed to buy songs. There is not a choice for buying albums for one price, but you can burn each song from an album individually.

What about selection?
Over 400,000 songs give it a comparable selection to the other stores.

What I did?
I subscribed to the service using the 14-day free trial. I bought 10 songs and burned them to a CD without any problems. The songs I bought were:

Songs bought from Rhapsody:

50 Cent – In da Club
Eminem – Without Me
Dr. Dre – Forgot about Dre
Nick Drake – Fly
Nick Drake – Pink Moon
Paul Simon – Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
Stone Roses – Love Spreads
Sublime – What I Got
The Jayhawks – Blue
The Wallflowers – 6th Avenue Heartache

General observations: Rhapsody requires you to use their music player. This is not a music jukebox and only works with their service, so if you want to listen to your own MP3s you will need another program. Selection of artists and radio stations was good. Streaming quality was excellent. No skins available for the player, so I hope you will like how it looks. Since music is streaming you need a good Internet connection to use it. Also, not a useful service if you are off-line often. Gives you the ability to see songs that are not available on the service. The player is limited in options and functionality that gives it a small footprint, but also not as useful or configurable.Problems encountered: None.

Who would choose Rhapsody?
Someone who likes streaming music instead of buying it, and does not have an MP3 collection to listen to. They currently have a 14-day free trial, during which you can burn songs. If you know what songs you would like to buy then buying them during the trial period is a cheap way to do it.

Who would not want to choose Rhapsody?
Someone with a slow Internet connection. Someone who just wants to buy music and not worried about streaming. Someone who only wants to stick with one music program since Rhapsody is not a jukebox program.

Store Location: Songs can be purchased through Rhapsody's stand-alone music program available here.

Screenshots: To get to the Beastie Boys screen took an extra click over the other services.

Store Home
Beastie Boys Search

Radio

Next: Wal Mart

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