Real Network's streaming music service Rhapsody has been submitted to Apple for review to grab ... Apple iPhone News forum
Rhapsody Vying For A Spot In The App Store
Real Network's streaming music service Rhapsody has been submitted to Apple for review to grab it's spot in the App Store's growing library. Not familiar with Rhapsody? Imagine being able to login to your Rhapsody account and hear exactly the song you want to at that moment, without shelling out .99 cents to iTunes or having to load up your memory card with your entire music collection. The service allows users to download any song in Real's music catalogue, which according to them is over 8 million, right then, for the monthly subscription price of $15.
If approved, it could become a competitor for Apple's own iTunes music service. However, it's not quite clear how many users would be willing to spend $15 a month for streaming music service when other popular apps such as Pandora, Slacker, and iHeartRadio (though not all available on the iPhone) are out there that offer free, ad-based programming. The main selling point here is the instant music gratification and Real is betting it will be enough to draw more subscriptions in. This is all assuming of course that the app makes it through Apple's vague and little understood approval process.
The folks over at Gdgt got a real (no pun intended) look at the new player and it's features. They had overall praise for it, saying that the search and playlist functions were great, but noted that the current version doesn't support caching or actual downloading. This means that it wouldn't have offline functionality. They say however that we could expect to see this feature in a 2.0 release. The service apparently works well on EDGE, 3G, and supports WI-FI, so it likely buffers itself based on available connection.
The Real Network's Blog says they are actively working on a version for the Android platform as well and have even included a video showing just what the iPhone client can do. They boast it has all of the features of the website, but in a portable application.
Check out the hands-on from Gdgt and the video from Real.