After a decade+ hiatus, Alice in Chains is back in business with William DuVall on vocals. However, I didn’t rush right out to purchase the new ‘album’ Black Gives Way to Blue. AiC may be one of my favorite bands, but I had no idea what sort of music they’d produce as middle aged men and without the tortured Layne Staley (deceased) at the helm. Their initial and encouraging first single from Black Gives Way to Blue, Check my Brain, entered Slacker’s grunge station rotation last week. Which in turn led me to my iPhone Rhapsody trial.
As a refresher, Real’s Rhapsody service allows you to pretty much play any track on demand and assemble custom playlists – as opposed to the random playback of Pandora and Slacker. Mobile device support runs $15/mo, but the service can be used on multiple platforms/devices, at no additional fee, including computer and TiVo.
But when searching Alice in Chains, Black Gives Way to Blue was MIA. My first thought was some sort RIAA licensing conspiracy – that had Rhapsody waiting a month before offering new music content. After perusing the forums, it turns out this is merely a glitch in the initial release:
In short, this was a caching bug with the 1.0 release. The 1.1 update addresses this issue and has been submitted to the app store for review. It should be released very soon. In the mean time, the workaround is to search by album rather than via an artist discography or charts list.
So I was able to locate and pull up all Black Gives Way to Blue tracks via an album search. (But after forgetting my earbuds in the office last week, prior to heading out of town, I haven’t actually listened to the new album yet.)
Yet, more notable from the Real forums is the authentic employee engagement… and their stated goal of bringing Rhapsody mobile client parity to the iPhone. Which may very well justify the monthly subscription fee for new customers.
Our priorities are currently stability, audio quality and offline playback.