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What is Rhapsody?

All About the Online Music Streaming Subscription Service


Rhapsody Home page

Rhapsody shows you new music and music suggested for you based on what you have been playing.

Barb Gonzalez

Rhapsody was one of the first music streaming subscription services to launch on the web. It has a reputation of being the service subscribed to by serious music lovers. Detailed descriptions of albums and genres, biographies, background information, reviews and other music education articles are woven throughout both the Rhapsody iPhone and Android apps and on the Rhapsody website. Without making an effort, you can easily learn a little something about the music you choose and music in general.

For the average listener, Rhapsody's strength lies in helping to find new and unique music. Several features make it easy to listen to music you may not have heard before, including Rhapsody Originals, staff picks, featured subscribers' playlists, and automated suggestions based on the music you have been playing. 

About Rhapsody  

Rhapsody started in 2001, making it one of the longest standing online music streaming services. With a catalog of more than 12 million songs, and 750,000 members, it is a staple for music lovers. Rhapsody's catalog is vast, including everything from the newest popular hits, to obscure album cuts from little-known groups, to white noise and self-help. 

There are two pricing plans. The $9.99 plan enables you to listen on any device, including mobile phones and music streaming systems like Sonos and Squeezebox. But this plan only allows you to play on only one device at a time. If your family wants to listen to Rhapsody — that is, your son is listening on his mobile phone away from home when you want to listen on your computer — you will need the $14.99 plan, which allows you to listen on up to three devices at the same time.

Rhapsody is available on a number of networked home theater devices — TiVo Premier, Vizio TVs, plus AV receivers from Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, Sono and Yamaha. It is also found on the Sonos, Squeezebox, Sony, and Philips Streamium music streaming systems.

Your Music Is Well Organized

Rhapsody has a well-organized library to make all of your chosen music accessible. The music you save to your library can be accessed by Albums, Tracks, Artists or Playlists. Similarly, you can save a channel — as a radio station, including musical eras — to your library and access it through "My Channels." Additionally, Rhapsody makes it easy to find the music you have been playing with a list of your last 150 songs.

Offline or Buy it from Rhapsody MP3 store

For the times when you aren't connected to the internet, Rhapsody has an offline mode to download your songs to your mobile device. The downloaded songs will be playable for as long as you are a Rhapsody subscriber but will be inaccessible if your subscription lapses. For those songs you know you want to own, Rhapsody has an MP3 store. 

Those who are not members of Rhapsody can listen to up to 25 songs in the Rhapsody MP3 store.

Rhapsody Has Different Features on Different Devices

If you look at different devices — the Sonos and Squeezebox controllers, Android and iPhones, a web browser — you'll see that the interface (menu) is unique to each device. Some features are not available on some devices. Other features are found in different menus under different names.

If you want to read the descriptions of genres, albums and band bios, you will need to use the iPhone or Android app, or access Rhapsody from a web browser on a computer or network media player. The Sonos and Squeezebox apps do not have these descriptions.

Music suggestions are labeled "Suggestions" in the web browser and found on the Sonos app under the "Rhapsody Music Guide" in "Rhapsody Recommends." However, the iPhone and Android apps do not have Rhapsody's suggestions of music you might like. 

The artist-radio auto-mix is available on a web browser and on the iPhone and Android, but is not available on Sonos or Squeezebox.

The Sonos and Squeezebox apps have genre samplers so that you can listen to a couple of songs before you commit to playing the whole list. In the web app, it is simply the top three tracks of the sub-genre that can be added to your queue from the sub-genre or sub-sub-genre page. There are no samplers in the iPhone or Android apps.

Discovering New Music on Rhapsody

Rhapsody is like the audiophile friend who is always telling you about the cool new band or obscure song that they recently heard. Opportunities to hear new artists and albums are everywhere on Rhapsody. You almost can't ignore it. There's the Album of the Day, Rhapsody Originals, new music each Tuesday, and suggestions of albums based on the music you have been playing. 

Like other music streaming services, Rhapsody offers a simple automix called "Rhapsody Radio." The Rhapsody Radio stations are based on a single artist and not on a specific song by that artist. After entering the artist you want as the basis for the radio station, Rhapsody will populate the list with other similar artists. You neither have control of the list nor can you jump around to play songs later in the list. 

There is a massive number of playlists; each was curated by Rhapsody's team of experts. You can search for the title of a playlist and hear songs in that playlist you may not have heard before. Note that you can only search the titles of playlists and not search for songs or artists that are included in a playlist.

Exploring Rhapsody easily leads you to genres of music, bands and albums that may be new to you. Searching through genres lead you to more sub-genres and sometimes sub-genres within the sub-genres. Here is where you can learn about the new music styles you find. There is a "cheat sheet" or "genre sampler" to hear a few songs in that sub-genre before you decide to play the whole list of songs. Or, you can go straight to the key tracks, artists or albums within the sub-genre.

In the genre areas, you will not only be able to discover new types of music; you can learn about the genres as you explore. 

Proceed to Page 2: Music Education Through Album, Artist and Genre Descriptions and The Mix

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