Rhapsody Now Available For Windows Phone (Video)

r1Coming as a bit of a surprise, Windows Phone 7 has become a Rhapsody supported platform, joining iOS, Android and Blackberry.  For those not familiar with the service, Rhapsody is a popular monthly music streaming service.  It costs $10 a month for unlimited streaming music.  It is similar in many ways to Microsoft’s own Zune Pass service.

The app itself has followed the minimalist Metro design well.   The background is either black or white based on the settings of your phone and your chosen accent color is used tastefully in the app.  Its design and functionality strongly reminds me of the podcast subscription software BringCast and that is a positive comparison.  The software is quick and responsive and I experienced no bugginess or crashing in the short time that I played with the software, though moving through menus definitely had a small amount of lag.  It is not at all severe, however, for 1.0 software.

r2I will not talk long about Rhapsody’s music selection, but it is comparable with other All-You-Can-Eat services like Zune and Rdio; most music is available but there are definite gaps in its Library.  In the software you have multiple options for finding what you want to listen to.  You can search for individual albums, artists, playlists, or tracks.  Similarly to Zune, Rhapsody has prebuilt playlists built around a variety of subjects.  They also have Radio stations dedicated to certain decades or styles of music.  Similar to BringCast (and Zune on the Xbox 360) it creates a Queue of music that is saved when you exit the app.  As soon as you enter, you pick back up where you left off.

On the negative side there are a few notes.  The current iPhone Rhapsody app supports downloading of music to the device.  This is a major feature that is currently missing from the WP7 version of the app.  Hopefully this is something that just didn’t make the first release of the software but this is rather a major missing piece for people on tiered data or out of range of service.  The limitation of Windows Phone not allowing media to run in the background does affect the usability of Rhapsody.  Until the multitasking update comes at the end of this year, any other actions on WP7 will require turning off the music.

Rhapsody is available here and like Rhapsody itself, only in the United States.

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