Rhapsody 4.0 for Android, it’s alive!

Chief Android Mechanic

Chief Android Mechanic

What’s up to our Rhapsody Android fans!

It’s a new year (fine, yes, it’s February) and what better way to kick it off than by announcing the 4.0 release of our Rhapsody Android app! This release is killer, featuring complete rewrites of our player, queue, Bluetooth handling and audio focus, a new screen for artist tracks in your library, queue reorder, playlist editing, and WOW we’re so ready for you to have it. I can’t even tell you how stoked we are to put this in your hands. Really. So much of what we’re pushing out today is all about your requests. Let’s do this…

 

Order! Order please!

In the 3.0 release we removed the ability to reorder your queue. Honestly, it was so clunky, tedious, and painful to use we thought nobody would suffer through it. Well, we were mistaken. We heard from many of you that you really wanted this functionality back. But we couldn’t just put it back the way it was, no way. We had to do better – so we rewrote it. Today you can now edit your queue with a great drag and drop interface. By the way, we enabled this for your playlists, too. From the queue you can either tap your hardware menu button (or if you’re on a newer device, the overflow menu in the Action Bar – that’s the three dots on the right side at the top of the screen) and choose “Edit queue.” On a playlist just tap the plus button and choose “Edit playlist.” Enjoy!

Queue it up
Since we rewrote the queue, we took more of your feedback to heart and we also removed the queue limit, something more than a couple of you found frustrating. You’re no longer capped to 800 songs in your queue at a time.

Lock it up
Carrying on with the theme of customer feature requests, another feature you’ve been asking for is lock screen controls. If you’re on Android 4.0 or greater, you’ve got ’em, even if your OS is skinned, i.e. HTC Sense, Motoblur, Samsung Touchwiz, and so on.

Play nice
Often times, the best improvements are the ones you don’t notice, and we’d really just like you to enjoy your playback experience. It wasn’t easy to hear, but we know that playback wasn’t always awesome for some customers. We’ve made changes along the way and things got better for a lot of folks, but some issues just persisted. We knew it was time to address this because you can’t rock if it doesn’t roll.

We’re so excited to announce that we have completely rewritten our player from the back to the front. It’s kind of funny, this is the biggest thing we’ve done in this release but it can be summed up as “playback just works.” With Rhapsody 4.0 you should now experience less delay starting playback, drastically fewer stalls and skips, and in general it is just way more stable.

Speaking of playing music, don’t forget that Rhapsody also integrates with Ford Sync so you can have your music at your fingertips in your car!

Encore
Some things you may have missed from our last few 3.x releases…
– Swipe in Now Playing to go to the next or previous track
– Shuffle and Repeat, up front and center on Now Playing (moved from Settings)
– Replay: what you listened to when you listened to it

Preview
Over the next couple of releases we’ll bring you:
– Killer music articles written by our editorial team
– Performance improvements to the rest of the app
– UI refresh
– More customer feature requests
– Surprises 🙂

Beta programs
This year our goal is to run beta releases as often as we can to get new features out in the field before a general public release. If you want early access to the newest features, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Get Satisfaction and keep an eye out for calls for beta testers.

And speaking of betas…

Shout outs
My team and I want to extend our gratitude to the 100+ customers who participated in our open beta of the 4.0 release. Over 4 weeks you tested, used, abused, poked, prodded, stressed, and blended* not one but two drops from us. You sent us feedback, bug reports, and of course, even more feature requests** and put up with a lot of back and forth with us as we worked through it all. For this, we thank you.

*=ok, maybe not blended.
**=we’ll get to them!

We want to hear from you!
If you experience problems, let us know. Go to Settings in the Rhapsody app and tap on the feedback link. You’ll be able to send us email directly. Yes, us, the Android Team. If you’re reporting a problem, the more information you can provide, the better.

If you’re feeling social, you can follow me on G+ or Twitter and I’ll post updates and info as frequently as I can.

Rock on,
R(k)

Chief Android Mechanic
https://plus.google.com/u/0/102121089362394168005/posts
@RhapsodyAndroid

Getting Around Our New Android App!

Well hello again!
The Rhapsody Android team has just released our 3.1 update to bring you a plate full of UI awesomeness. Let’s have a look at what we did…
What’s New
Exactly! You will notice a new set of swipe-able screens now that highlight new features and functionality on larger updates. Update the app and check it out!
Getting Around
We’ve streamlined our navigation by adding both an Action Bar and Drawer Navigation that provides for quick and easy navigation to the primary areas of the app from anywhere within the app with one tap of the Rhapsody icon in the Action Bar.
Welcome Home, We’ve Got What You Want
We built a brand new home screen for you that puts some pretty cool stuff right up front for you:
  • Rhapsody Replay :: New feature that provides you your music right when you want it based on your music activity (example; we’ll surface your workout playlists when you workout, your dinner music when you eat dinner, etc)
  • Albums for You :: Personalized album recommendations based on the music you listen to
  • Featured Albums :: Featured albums from Rhapsody’s world class editorial staff
Active and Pending Downloads
We added a new screen so you can manage all of your active and pending downloads in one handy place.
New Player Look and Feel
You may remember from last time I mentioned we were doing a full rewrite of our player. The first piece we finished is a new UI. You’ve asked for larger album art in the Now Playing screen, so you got it! We also moved the shuffle and repeat controls to be in the same screen so you no longer have to go into Settings to change it. Your queue is now easily accessible via the menu icon on the left of the player control bar. Load up an album or playlist, and swipe to go to the next or previous track. Pretty sweet, eh?
Saying Goodbye
Support for Android 1.6 has come to an end. Users on 1.6 will still be able to download the 3.0 release, but no new updates other than critical patches will be made to support that OS version.
What’s Next?
We’re shooting for at least two more releases before the end of the year, and we have a lot of stuff to bring you. Enjoy and thanks!
Chief Android Mechanic signing off,
R(k)
@RhapsodyAndroid

An Android Update to Make Any iPhone Jealous

Howdy!

My name is Randy and I am the lead engineer for the Android team here at Rhapsody.

I wanted to take a few moments and let you know what the Android team has been up to.

The big feature that we’re announcing today is the release of the long-awaited ability to download individual albums and tracks. (Woot!) This is the number two feature request that we get from customers and we’re excited to finally hand it over to everyone.

But wait, you might say, that’s big and it’s number two?! What’s number one?

Glad you asked. 🙂

The number one requested feature is the ability for you to decide where you want your music downloaded to. There are a number of devices out there with both an internal, fixed SD card as well as a removable SD card. Boring technical details aside, the Rhapsody app was using the internal fixed SD card.

No longer.

Today we are also happy to announce that along with the ability to download those albums and tracks, you advanced users will be able to decide where to put them! We looked at what we could do quickly as we wrapped up on the album and track download work to fulfill this request, so you may find it a little sparse, but we’ll work to make it more robust.

So what else…

Oh!

You may have missed it, but the very last update of 2.2.4 included a performance tweak that speeds up playback times by 30%. This is of course in 3.0.1 as well. It’s kind of a big deal, and it’s something worked on across the company. We’re just the first to get it out. 😉

If that’s not enough for you, other things I can share with you that we are working on include:
– a complete rewrite of the player
– lock screen controls (and better Bluetooth controls)
– more performance increases
– lots and lots of fun stuff

Download the new app here!

I’m extremely proud of my team and the work they’ve accomplished here. We’re all stoked to bring you more updates, more improvements, and deliver new features (including requests from you, our customers).

Speaking of requests…

If you open the app and go to the Settings screen, you’ll find a handy little item at the bottom called “Feedback” you can use to send us your requests or let us know what you like, don’t like, and so on. We’ve heard from a lot of you already and we’ve already begun incorporating some suggestions and looking into issues you’ve reported. Thanks for that!

Head on over to our Get Satisfaction forum to read the full announcement for the 3.0.1 release. http://forum.rhapsody.com/rhapsody

If you’re feeling social, you can follow me on G+ or Twitter and I’ll post updates and info as frequently as I can.

Rock on,
R(k)

https://plus.google.com/u/0/102121089362394168005/posts
@RhapsodyAndroid