Rhapsody’s New DRM-Free MP3 Store with Full Song Previews

Online Music Software / Open Source Tech News Web 2.0

Today’s big announcement comes from Rhapsody, the online music service previously known for its subscription-based streaming music for a monthly fee. Well, turns out people are more interested in owning their music rather than renting. So now we have another major competitor for iTunes and Amazon MP3.

I’m already a fan of Amazon MP3. And considering Rhapsody is slightly more expensive (in line with iTunes at $.99 per song and $10 per album), I need something to justify that difference. Switching music download services is easy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need a reason. Rhapsody’s answer: full song previews. The only catch is that this is limited to 25 full previews per month.

The other area where Rhapsody might be better is in its interface. It’s too early for me to tell, but I can say that it wouldn’t take much to beat Amazon MP3. Amazon’s interface isn’t horrible, but Rhapsody’s could easily be better. Other than that, the free album promotion going on right now is probably the most pressing reason to give Rhapsody a try.

Again, it’s too early to tell if these reasons will be enough to make me switch on a more permanent basis, but Amazon definitely has a worthy competitor for music shoppers interested in content from the big four labels. Whatever the case, Rhapsody is yet another reason to avoid iTunes’ premium priced restricted music.

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