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Rhapsody Music Downloads Part II - A pleasant experience?
Welcome back to Part II of Rhapsody Music Downloads! I hope you took an opportunity to enjoy the first week of your two-week trial. Must have been a joy to stream and download online music by the truckloads. Now...you did take the liberty to utilize the free trial, didn't you??
In my last article, I summarized the history surrounding the service which allows you to download and/or stream tens of 1000's of songs quickly with superior quality (at 160Kbps WMA, you can't go wrong...). Also covered were some of the elegant features in the new Rhapsody 3 version.
This article will be more practical in scope, covering the experience you may expect when encountering the fully-featured service. For more information, though, you may read the full Rhapsody music downloads review here.
If you compare the software to that of Napster or iTunes, you will find that for some reason the Rhapsody Music Downloads software takes a bit longer to download. The interface, as I've stated, is magnificent, although it looks less "current" than that of Napster or iTunes.
You will find that the songs are quite easy to find even though you will generally have an additional screen or two to click through compared with Napster and iTunes in order to get to your favorite song.
I.e., whereas Napster lists the most popular songs first, then conveniently lists the catalog underneath, the interface associated with the Rhapsody music downloads service will first list the five most popular songs on the first page. If, for example, your favorite hit doesn't show up there, you just click on "more", and more tracks list, which will list more of the popular songs.
How about albums? The list of albums, not to mention single releases, will portray on a window to the left of the popular track list.
With Rhapsody music downloads, the track selection is not present immediately on the same page that the album list is on. You'll have to click on the album cover or name in order to check out the track selection before you stream or download online music.
iTunes and Napster on the other hand will not only list the albums but it immediately lists the songs available for downloading online music on each album. And... they both also maintain the option of clicking on the album in order to navigate its track content.
The Rhapsody music downloads service does make up for this though. Unlike Napster, where you'll have to click to an extra page if you don't find your favorite album, all album, singles and even compilation albums where your favorite artists' songs may abound, come all on one page - the first page you arrive when you type in the artist's name.
Also as for Napster, when you actually come to the next page (by clicking on "more"), the releases are arranged in a haphazard fashion that makes finding what you want a bit more difficult before you download online music.
The situation is even more of a challenge with iTunes which does not immediately spoon-feed you with all album releases in its list.
So in short, Rhapsody wins bigtime with album/single release navigation; Napster and iTunes win slightly with track navigation. Oh... with the Rhapsody music downloads service, you'll also find tracks on the album that aren't available for download.
Looking for artists similar to the one you typed in? Rhapsody provides this conveniently on the right of the screen. You'll also find influential artists to your searched artist, and also followers (artists that your searched artist influenced). Spin-offs and precursors to the artist, if any, are listed too. No other digital music downloads service entertains these options.
For example, Napster will only list similar artists, whereas iTunes won't even go that far (I suppose they can get away with it though - at least for now).
I discussed Rhapsody's "My Library" search tool in my last article. But how elegant is the music store search tool? Is it better than iTunes? Napster? Wal-mart (yes, they offer downloads as well)?
I'll cover these, as well as how the Rhapsody music downloads service can be the cheapest for you out of all the legitimate digital music services (spending pennies on the dollar), and other odds and ends in a future article.
So, stay tuned. While you're waiting, don't forget to read the full Rhapsody music downloads review here.
Copyright © 2005. D.G. Rajakaruna
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