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iTunes rival launched by Viacom and RealNetworks

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 21 Aug 2007 15:58 User comments (6)

iTunes rival launched by Viacom and RealNetworks Viacom and RealNetworks are hoping to take a bite out of Apple's successful iTunes service with a joint venture announced Tuesday.
MTV's Urge music service will be merged into RealNetworks' Rhapsody to form a new company called Rhapsody America. The service will be useable on computers and music players, as well as being integrated into Verizon's VCast service for mobile phones.

MTV will be marketing the service heavily beginning in September, and will also help with programming.

The companies did not say how much the new service will cost. Rhapsody currently charges subscribers $12.99 a month for unlimited listening and sells individual tracks for 99 cents, with a discount for subscribers.

The current trend in online music ventures seems to be based around entertainment company sponsorship. This may be necessary for any company that wants to take a piece of Apple's pie, but it remains to be seen what this means to consumers in the long run.

Source: Associated Press

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6 user comments

121.8.2007 16:10

Damn, there is getting to be more companies to buy music from than companies that sell devices to play music on.

222.8.2007 7:14

By far Rhapsody is the worst of the companies. Their have their own DRM, which is far more crippling than FairPlay or Plays-For-Sure. Any song you purchase is in a Real Media format, with a DRM overlay with the extension .RAX. Ff your device doesn't support .RAX files (few do) then Rhapsody has to transcode the file and DRM on the fly in order to transfer to your device. In practice, either the song gets messed up, doesn't transfer, or the Rhapsody software crashes.

Don't think I'm just bashing Rhapsody here, I was a loyal customer for 2 years, but enough was enough. Their support is terrible. They direct you to a forum where average joes share their advice (which often leads to disabling antivirus software and hacking your registry.) If you make any negative posts about your experience, the software, etc. they will ban you from the forum by IP address. (Happened to me twice, claiming I was trolling, when in fact I couldn't get their crap .RAX files to convert over to my Rio or iPod. BIG waste of money on those files!)

I saw stick with the DRM-less music that's out or if you want to buy online music, make sure there is a way around the DRM hassles so that your device doesn't become a door stopper.

URGE + Rhapsody = Bad move MTV.

322.8.2007 15:31

i still dont think they can compete w/ itunes, its too big and well established

423.8.2007 6:26


iTunes better stay on their toes if they want to stay that big. All these new sites popping up with DRM free tracks at lower prices can only be bad for them.

Now we need a search engine that will search all of the music providers for the highest quality songs at the lowest prices. As long as iTunes keeps a large library, they will remain the one stop shopping convenience that they already experience.

528.8.2007 4:23

This may be necessary for any company that wants to take a piece of Apple's pie, but it remains to be seen what this means to consumers in the long run.
This is the only reason that this company wants a piece of the pie ;)

629.8.2007 4:40

I'm having a heck of a time with Rhapsody right now. All I want to do is LISTEN. I don't want their crappy DRM'd downloads, so it's never been a problem with me. But, now, I can't even listen, as my computer refuses to download the new DRM files, and--of course--the program won't function without them.

I've tired every "solution" that they have suggested. Now, I have a "support" person working on it, but I haven't heard from him in days after I sent him some info on my system (I was hesitant to do that).

My next step is to call them on the phone. I wonder how that will go? I think I may just switch to another service. Can any one tell me: is Napster any good? Are there any others that provide good service? Again, all I want to do is LISTEN. I don't care about the downloads.

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