While Spotify is the service many are yearning for in US, the return of Pandora *sniff* and the launch of Rhapsody would be extremely welcome in the UK. In the case of the latter, here is another reason why...
The streaming music company has announced it is following in Spotify's footsteps and launching a new version of its iPhone and Android app that will allow offline usage. As with Spotify this means users can download albums and playlists directly to their handsets over the air and the content is available for as long as the user maintains their subscription.
The move comes at an interesting time for Rhapsody since it is about to be spun off into its own independent company by (otherwise useless) parent RealNetworks - creator of the bloatwaretastic Real Player. This move could take Rhapsody international and given it has 9,000,000 songs as of 2009 (1m more than Spotify) and over 2m paid subscribers to its $14.99pm (£9.99pm) service (a number Spotify can only dream of) it could provide serious competition.
So who is going to bet on iTunes launching a subscription based streaming music service in the near future? Yep, me too.
In related app news the country's ubiquitous second hand car site Auto Trader has unveiled its first (and probably long overdue) iPhone app. Yes, it can perform the same functions as the site, but most interestingly it is also able to use the iPhone's camera to read car number plates and quickly find "vital vehicle info".
While useful, this could be a great source of amusement too - especially if you ever wanted to know the real age of that horrendous hotrod motor in your street with the tacky exhausts and gaudy paintwork... you know the one.
It's available now.
Update: Bad news I'm afraid, the DVLA has requested that Auto Trader remove the image recognition element from its app as it conflicts with their code of ethics ("it allows consumers to capture images of vehicle license plates"). Auto Trader has agreed to comply with this request and the feature will be removed from today. Yep, that was the coolest bit of the app though at least you'll still have a mobile version of Auto Trader on your iPhone.