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Rhapsody Readies Offline Mode Spotify Rival for iPhone & Android

Gordon Kelly

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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.

Links:

Rhapsody

Auto Trader iPhone App

Eddie fb

March 16, 2010, 12:37 pm

Hmmmmmm, just tried the Autotrader app, can't recognise the number plate, and can't find it even when I type it in? Methinks some tweaking might be in order?

Jones

March 16, 2010, 1:05 pm

So what are the differences between Rhapsody and Spotify? Both look likely to cost £10 a month. Ive been waiting for a while for Rhapsody's return though, heard some good things about it.





Although not app related does anyone happen to know if Rhapsody is compatable with Squeezebox Duets? This is the only reason at the moment I am with Napster and Spotify. If one of them could just offer streaming to my Duet/Phone plus offline playlists via an app Id be a happy chap.

Jones

March 16, 2010, 1:12 pm

Whoops silly me, I got ahead of myself and thought it WAS coming to the UK rather than just the app hitting the States.

Den

March 16, 2010, 2:25 pm

I just tried the number plate recognition in the Auto Trader App. Works like a charm in seconds. brings up all the details for the car such as performance, economy, insurance group, reviews, etc,

Gordon394

March 16, 2010, 7:56 pm

@Eddie_fb - either that or you've just found an odd car! Best try it on a few plates I'd suggest for a more rounded picture. See @Den's comment

MrGodfrey

March 16, 2010, 10:07 pm

Offline mode = streaming starts to make sense in the real world. Good news.





Going off-topic but since you mention it, how on Earth is RealPlayer still going? And why do the BBC hate us enough to require ReallyCrapPlayer for listening to some of their content? Is there any logical reason - any at all - for this?





Not only do I not allow RealPlayer on any computer in my house; I believe the developers should be sent to Siberia where they can do no more harm, and every version of the program should be deleted from all computers in the world except one, which should be preserved as a warning to future generations on how not to make software. In fact, I think this cause could unite the otherwise factious TR readership: come Apple fans and haters, XBox or Playstation fanatics, let us unite to purge this plague from the land!

Gordon394

March 16, 2010, 10:13 pm

@MrGodfrey - agreed. We use 'Real Alternative' - good it ;)

Bryan Kitts

March 24, 2010, 4:47 am

I'm guessing that Rhapsody doesn't really have "9,000,000m songs"...

Gordon394

March 24, 2010, 6:30 am

@Bryan - at least ;) Thanks - fixed

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