Rhapsody - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Rhapsody

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CNET Editors' review

As the first major music service to offer caching on the iPhone, Rhapsody has managed to stay quite competitive in the mobile space. And although the company lagged a bit on getting its Android app out of beta, the final product is sufficiently impressive for us to forgive its trespasses in the timing department. While it may not be as pretty as some other mobile music offerings, Rhapsody's features and performance on the Android OS should make it a top consideration for anyone interested in subscribing to an all-you-can-eat service (or all-you-can-listen-to, as the case may be).

As with any app, the first thing any user will notice upon launching Rhapsody is the look and feel. The interface is certainly user-friendly, with a main menu directing you into the principal features of the service. From here, you can search for a particular artist, album, song, or station; dive into the music guide; browse Rhapsody Radio; or check out your playlists and library. Navigation is straightforward and speedy, with breadcrumbs leading through the various offerings of the service.

Check out the Rhapsody for Android gallery

Across every screen, Rhapsody includes a playback bar on the bottom edge. This includes a home key as well as play/pause and track skip controls. You can drag this "shade" up to view the playback screen, or tap the arrow on the right to pop it up or down. The playback screen features prominent album art as well as ID3 information for the current track. Below that is the queue, which you can scroll through from that screen. All pretty standard so far.

Things get a little more interesting when you invoke the tap-and-hold functionality of the Android OS. Any artist, album, or track hosts a variety of options depending on where it resides in the app. For example, tapping and holding a track may give you the option to add it to a queue, save it to your library, or purchase the track. Similarly, tapping and holding on a playlist gives you the option to download it for offline playback.

Naturally, Rhapsody offers caching on the Android--but it is slightly limited. You can save individual tracks and playlists, but we didn't come across any option to do this for entire albums or artists. This would be a nice feature to see in the future, as it just makes things even easier for the user. Plus, battery life is spared quite significantly if you play offline rather than stream, not to mention the obvious benefit of being able to listen to content on airplanes, underground, and other places where the network is unavailable.

In terms of features, Rhapsody is in line with its closest competitor, Napster. It must be said that Napster is prettier to look at, but Rhapsody takes the cake in terms of performance. Both are reasonably speedy with search and stream load time, but Rhapsody offers significantly better audio quality. It may not be good enough for serious audiophiles, but mainstream listeners will find it more than satisfactory.

As with any (legal) service that offers on-demand streaming and downloading, Rhapsody doesn't come free. A subscription will set you back $10 per month, but we think the cost is worth it for serious music lovers. Plus, you get the app for free, and that subscription price includes licenses for two other devices as well as streaming from the Web-based player and the desktop client.

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All User Reviews

Results 1-3 of 3

  • 4.0 stars

    "Great app! Well worth the 15 a month after 14 daY trial"

    May 19, 2010  |   By fatboifunny

    Version: Rhapsody beta

    Pros

    Over wifi and 3G app runs fast no hiccups.

    Cons

    Not able to press search key on my moto cliq for quick navigating. And no star rating avaliable like online and pc player

    Summary

    Bottom line is that the app is dope! 90% of all the music I want can be found on this app and I can listen to radio stations, create a library! And playlist! As well as view top artist, albums, and songs all withen the same app! I'm addicted a dream come true for the price of 1 album a month! Plus I can connect 4 pc's and three mobile devices.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Great way to get your Rhapsody subscription on the go"

    February 3, 2010  |   By jskrenes

    Version: Rhapsody beta

    Pros

    Better sound quality than free services like Pandora. Ability to play your Rhapsody radio stations and search for and play specific songs on demand.

    Cons

    Takes a little time to load, can't rate songs.

    Summary

    A must-have if you have a Rhapsody subscription and an Android phone.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "All around a great music app"

    January 30, 2010  |   By fiffer1

    Version: Rhapsody beta

    Pros

    Rhapsody content on your Android
    Runs great in the background while you do other things
    Quick and accurate searches
    Simple controls
    Nice Album Art

    Cons

    Takes a little bit for the first song to start, but once started works fine.
    Can't rate songs

    Summary

    Overall this is a great app. I've been waiting for this app to come out and it has met my expectations. The time it takes for the first song to start is a bit long (15-30 seconds), but once playing has started it goes from one song to the next with no delay. The menus provide a quick way to get to what you want, including your saved playlists. While playing songs, just long click and you can add to your library or purchase the track or album. After you music starts you can easily start doing other activities on your phone while the music continues to stream, without skipping a beat.

    The menu structure seems to be much depending on what you're doing. For example, when searching for an artist you get another menu structure for all of their albums, tracks, more, or similar artists. I'd rather those be in a separate menu that comes up when I click the Menu button and instead just list the most current/popular tracks for the artist up front.

    It would also be nice to be able to rate songs as they were playing, but Rhapsody doesn't really implement the rating system the way it should be anyway.

    Overall, this is a great app for anyone with a subscription. Some minor tweaks would make this perfect.

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