Rhapsody Spins Free, Lowers Subscription Fees

Subscription music service Rhapsody has finally completed the process of spinning loose of its dual corporate parents, RealNetworks and Viacom. As part of the celebration, Rhapsody has rolled out a new logo…but potential customers are probably more interested in Rhapsody’s new pricing: $10 per month for Rhapsody Premiere, an all-you-can-handle music streaming to PCs, home audio systems, or (single) mobile device that can handle it.

rhapsody spins free lowers subscription fees logo  independent

The new monthly pricing represents a one-third price cut: Rhapsody had been charging $14.99 per month for its Rhapsody To Go plan, which enabled subscribers to tap in from both home audio systems as wel as mobile applications and selected MP3 players. Rhapsody Online was $12.99, and offered access only from PCs and home audio systems. The new $10/month Rhapsody Premiere plan will apparently work with a single mobile device; subscribers on the $15 Rhapsody To Go plan will (which supports multiple mobile devices) will be kept on that plan unless they specifically switch.

Rhapsody is among the most successful of the online streaming music services: it launched all the way back in 2001, and currently has an estimated user base of around 700,000 users along with a wide range of device support from players like Sonos, plus the company has unveiled mobile clients for the iPhone and Android. However, subscription music services have yet to develop the market traction of the download-to-own model exemplified by Apple’s iTunes Music Store: so far, music lovers seem to want to be able to purchase tracks and have them forever, rather than pay a month fee for online access to a library of millions of tracks.

The newly independent Rhapsody is headed up by John Irwin, and says it believes it can be profitable by the end of the 2010 calendar year. However, the service does face challenges: when it launched its iPhone application back in September, it got a surge of interest from iPhone users, but comparatively few stayed with the service after the free one-week trial.

Rhapsody may also face a direct challenge from Apple in the near future: industry watchers speculate Apple’s acquisition of Lala.com in December 2009 means the Cupertino company is working on its own cloud-based music service.

Home Theater

Apple’s show time event: A whiplash-inducing bundle of copycat services

Apple unleashed a barrage of news, streaming, and gaming bundles at its latest event aimed at boosting its services and adding more revenue. But while the services are big on celebrities, they appear short on innovation.
Home Theater

Yesterday’s Apple event was a whiplash-inducing parade of copycat services

Apple showed off a massive barrage of news, streaming, and gaming bundles at its Showtime event aimed at boosting its services and adding more revenue. But while the services are big on celebrities, they appear short on innovation.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

MoviePass returns to unlimited movies plan, but with plenty of restrictions

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.
Mobile

The best Sony Xperia 10 Plus cases to keep your smartphone safe

It's always a smart play to safeguard your smartphone with a decent case or cover. We've identified the best Sony Xperia 10 Plus cases here, so take your pick from rugged protection to slim style.
Mobile

More than a screenshot: How to record the screen on an Android device

If you've ever want to record video of your Android screen, there are plenty of apps that can help. Here's an easy guide on how to record the screen on an Android device with the right settings and apps.
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Fold pre-orders will start April 26, with shipment on May 3

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

Huawei P30 Pro is a gorgeous-looking smartphone packed with camera ingenuity

Huawei has kicked off the new year by launching the new Huawei P30 Pro and P30. With upgraded hardware, new software tricks, and some absolutely stunning cameras, Huawei's new phones are serious contenders.
Product Review

4 Lenses, 40 megapixels, and 400k ISO. Huawei’s P30 Pro is a photography freak

Huawei’s P-series phones place an emphasis on the camera. That’s why the company partnered with Leica on the camera tuning. The latest phone is the Huawei P30 Pro, and it must fill the big shoes of last year’s stunning P20 Pro. Is it…
Product Review

Compared to the P30 Pro, Huawei may have stripped too much out of the P30 phone

Has Huawei pulled all the best parts out of the P30 Pro to make the P30, its cheaper, smaller sister phone? Yes, but the answer is more complicated than that. Here’s our look at the 6.1-inch P30.
Mobile

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro vs. P20 Pro: Which Huawei flagship is best for you?

If you're after a Huawei smartphone, but can't pick between this year's flagship and the previous two, or maybe you're looking to upgrade, we're here to explain what makes the P30 Pro, P20 Pro, and Mate 20 Pro different.