I hate Rhapsody
Late last night I posted the following to Twitter and Jaiku after an hour or two of wrestling with Rhapsody to try to get subscription tracks to work on my N95 after I read that the N95 supports Rhapsody:
“Oh for crying out loud, I HATE Rhapsody. I’ll be canceling it ASAP. (I’m a poet and didn’t know it)”
Today one of my Jaiku friends asked me why I hate Rhapsody since he loves it. Below is my response that I started typing as a reply in Jaiku, but realized it was rather lengthy, and decided to blog it instead. *smirk*
Well, back when I bought my iRiver Clix 2, I signed up for Rhapsody To Go so I could try out subscription music on the device. I bought the Clix 2 2 or 3 months ago, and up until now, I have not yet been able to actually play subscription music on any portable device except for my computer. And the software is so bloaty and crashed so many times when I tried connecting my Clix 2 that for a long time I just left it alone and never tried much to figure out what was going on. I had thought I had a workaround by downloading the tracks on Rhapsody’s client and then transferring them over using MediaMonkey (another music management app that supports PlaysForSure devices) or even using Windows Media Player itself, but that didn’t work. When I tried to play the subscription tracks on the Clix 2, they wouldn’t play because of licensing issues, even though transferring the tracks over with WMP is something that other people have vouched for. At least when I tried out the Sandisk Sansa Connect, I was able to listen to Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription tracks both from transferring them to the device from my PC, and from downloading them directly to the Connect over its WiFi connection.
I’d read that the Clix 2, while compatible with PlaysForSure, had some issues with Rhapsody, so I forgave that, even though some people have gotten it to work on their Clix 2s through various methods (that didn’t work for me). But when I tried to put subscription tracks on my Toshiba Gigabeat S, that failed. And I excused that because I tried it at work a while back, and I thought that perhaps something in our firewall was blocking the licensing info or something, even though I’ve been able to play subscription tracks on my laptop just fine from work. I hadn’t bothered to follow up on this at home until last night.
I read that the N95 could play Rhapsody tracks, so I thought I’d try it. Everytime I tried transferring files over, I got “insufficient rights” problems. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the software, deauthorizing and reauthorizing both my laptop and the N95 multiple times, I deleted the Rhapsody directory in the Application Data folder, as one of their troubleshooting tips suggested, and tried various other things. I have not once been able to get the subscription tracks onto a portable music device even though I’m paying extra to do so. I shouldn’t have to work so hard to get this stuff working in the first place. Obviously the DRM is a problem, and until they make it absolutely transparent to the user, if they’re going to insist on using this crap anyway, I’m not going to be paying for it.
It’s a shame because I really liked the subscription model, being able to pull up music that I hear about, or remember, or whatever, and usually being able to listen to tracks fully (not a 30-second sample, though I guess now that I think about it, some songs on Rhapsody are limited to 30-sec samples…) right away. I guess I have been thoroughly annoyed at certain albums being “purchase only” and having some albums not even fully available for subscription usage (only a selection of tracks available, often not the popular singles from the album, of course), so that’s another fault I see with subscription models in general. Feh. I have wasted a lot of time trying to make Rhapsody work, a lot more than I think it deserves. It works great if I just listen to it on my little laptop, or even logging on to Rhapsody.com on my iMac and streaming music through the web interface, which I did for a while. But I mainly listen to audio on my portable devices, so seamless listening on my laptop or online doesn’t help me a lot. Plus, I’m paying for the privilege of transferring those tracks over to my portables (up to 3, they claim), and Rhapsody has not delivered. So I’m dumping them very soon.
P.S. Rhapsody doesn’t even provide a way for canceling your subscription online; I checked. I may have been really annoyed with Yahoo Music Unlimited because of their annoying, bloaty software, but they at least had an option for me to cancel my trial subscription directly online, no hassle.