Rhapsody iPhone App Now Allows Users To Download Playlists For Offline Listening
Apple has approved a new version of Rhapsody's iPhone application that will allow subscribers to wirelessly download playlists to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The new feature makes it possible to listen to music without having to rely on the iPhone's data connection. You may recall that Rhapsody had offered a preview of the new version at the SXSW event in March of this year.
In a blog post announcing the launch, Rhapsody has revealed that the service shall be extended to enable download of individual songs and albums very soon.
Rhapsody is among the earliest companies to have offered online streaming music to users. Earlier this month, the service parted ways with its parent company, RealNetworks to function as an independent concern. With close to 700,000 active users and 1.5 million iPhone app downloads till date, Rhapsody is a leader in the emerging online music segment space.
The launch of the new playlist-download feature is seen as an attempt to take on this new breed of competitors who have been aggressively marketing their service to users. Sweden based Spotify already allows users to download playlists to their iPhones and other devices while Berkeley based MOG is also expected to offer an iPhone app with this feature soon.
Rhapsody's service is not free. While users need not pay for the iPhone app, they need to pay a monthly fee for accessing music. Rhapsody currently charges $10 a month from users who access the service from a single device and charges $15 a month from those who wish to access the service from up to three devices including tablet computers like the iPad.
However, Rhapsody notes that the current offering does not provide an optimal experience on the iPad and has indicated that they plan to release an iPad app later this year.
Here is a demo of the newly introduced playlist-download feature:
However, one of the biggest drawbacks of iPhone apps like Rhapsody is that it still can't play music in the background as multitasking is not allowed currently. Rhapsody plans to release an updated version of their iPhone app for iPhone OS 4.0, which includes the multitasking feature.
You can download the new verion of Rhapsody's iPhone app by clicking here (iTunes link). The downloadable playlist feature is an important feature to add but based on the feedback from our readers we still think the service is too expensive.
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