As expected, Real’s all-you-can-eat music streaming Rhapsody service has hit iTunes today. And while the iPod Touch/iPhone app is free, a subscription runs $15/month. As I wrote last month, “I’m not sure they’ll pick up many new customers. But iPhone owners who enjoy Rhapsody on multiple platforms, like Sonos and TiVo, will likely welcome this app to the fold.” What differentiates Rhapsody from say a Pandora is the ability to play any of their 8 million songs on demand, allowing you to create an infinite number of unique, personal playlists.
Gizmodo reports that the Rhapsody app only streams (WiFi and cellular) at 64Kbps. If true, I hope this foreshadows Spotify-eqse iPhone song caching… enabling us to take our good stuff onto WiFi-less planes. In other low fidelity news, I noticed the album art isn’t of the highest quality (see below) and artist information is surprisingly less complete than Slacker. But, having played with the app a few hours, I’ve quite enjoyed mucking about in their deep catalog of tracks – Real Rhapsody quite competently fills Apple’s music subscription void. (This pretty much negates the primary reason to pick up a ZuneHD over an iPod Touch.)
Click to enlarge: