Rocking While Rolling: Rhapsody Coming to BMW Apps

Today, Rhapsody and BMW are announcing a partnership that will pair the premium on-demand music service with one of the world’s premium automotive brands. Rhapsody will soon be available on BMW apps.

BMW Apps Rhapsody

 The Rhapsody iPhone app will be fully integrated into the BMW Apps system, meaning users will be able to not only use the vehicle controls to find and listen to their favorite tracks, but also navigate Rhapsody’s music discovery tools, which have been adapted for an in-car experience that’s safe, useful and engaging.

For a full press release, click here

Playing SXSW? Send us your muzak so we can blast it to millions!

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Every year Rhapsody’s editorial team heads to SXSW in Austin, TX to report back on all the potentially kick-ass musicians playing out there. We record interviews and stripped down acoustic sets with some of the kick-assiest. Previous years have included Macklemore, Passion Pit2 Chainz & Talib Kweli. This year we want to make sure we hear as many musicians as possible, so we can feature the best and make sure other people hear their sweet, sweet muzak, too.

If you’re playing at SXSW or are representing someone who is, send us a song that represents your band’s sound – we’ll feature our most beloved submission in a two-song, stripped down acoustic set and tell everyone we know about how smashing they are.

So, here’s the deal:

  • Email your one song (we’ll only consider one, so make it your most beloved) to: rra-songs@rhapsody.com
  • Make sure to include the artist/band name, title of the song, and contact info in your submission.
  • Get ‘er done by: 11PM PST, March 4th, 2013
  • Your band has to actually be in Austin, TX for SXSW and must be available to perform the acoustic set on March 14th at 3PM CST. For real.
We can’t wait to hear from you, check us out on Facebook, TwitterYouTube & Instagram (shameless plug) for SXSW updates!

Rhapsody’s Windows Phone app gets an offline facelift…and more!

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Windows phone owners rejoice!  We’ve been working on some improvements and added features to give you an even better music experience while you’re on the go. If you have a Windows phone download the app (or update) today.

Offline Playback

Taking your music with you got a whole lot easier.  Now you can download albums, songs and playlists to your phone and listen even when you don’t have a connection. Your next commute, plane trip or subway ride just got a bit more melodic.

Music Library

We revamped your music library (My Music) so you can easily add or remove tracks and albums, and even add music while it’s playing. You’ll find the same collection of music in your library whether you are accessing on the web, on a home audio device or your Windows phone.

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We also added in better functionality to genres, so you can explore those in depth with stations, new releases and top tracks.

Plus there are some behind the scenes improvements you may notice with search, enhanced visual display of Rhapsody radio stations and more album images.

We also want to thank all our beta testers who provided some fantastic feedback while playing with the new app. They were excited and impressed, so we hope you are too.

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

Rhapsody and MetroPCS Offer Best Unlimited On-Demand Mobile Music Deal Anywhere

metro-pcs3More than16 million songs and original editorial content available to MetroPCS customers at lowest cost

SEATTLE—January 17, 2013— Rhapsody introduced a new mobile music offer with MetroPCS that will help millions of consumers make good on their resolutions to spend less by offering the best value for unlimited on-demand mobile music bundle anywhere.

“We recognize that music is an important aspect of many of consumers’ lives and we are committed to providing services that enhance our customers’ mobile experiences at a price they can afford,” said Phil Terry, senior vice president, corporate marketing, MetroPCS. “We’ve seen great success with our Rhapsody Unlimited offer and now that we have the best value in town for unlimited, on-demand mobile music, we expect even greater success for MetroPCS.”

Available now, MetroPCS customers can add Rhapsody for $5 to its newly simplified $40, $50 and $60 monthly smartphone plans.

“We are thrilled to work with MetroPCS to bring on-demand music to the consumer with these amazing plans,” said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. “The future of digital music is the mobile phone, whether it’s in your pocket, in your car or connected to an in-home audio system, and our future will be built on partnerships with service providers like MetroPCS, who can bring Rhapsody to a broader audience through compelling offers like this one.”

Rhapsody works closely with MetroPCS to tailor its service to MetroPCS subscribers by offering customized programming and editorial content that is updated regularly, a strategy that has been elemental to the success of the offer.

Rhapsody has seen significant growth in mobile with 56 percent of all listening coming from mobile phones, up from 27 percent in 2011. Rhapsody’s Irwin predicts the trend will only accelerate.

“This partnership is going to be instrumental in the growth of the on-demand streaming music business,” said Irwin. “This offer brings value to the customer, without compromising how artists and rights holders are compensated, which is a key tenet in how we do business. We’re eager to continue to bring new offers to customers that benefit all parts of the digital music value chain.”

About Rhapsody

The Rhapsody® digital music service (www.rhapsody.com) gives subscribers unlimited on-demand access to more than 16 million songs, whether they’re listening on a PC, laptop, Internet connected home stereo or TV, MP3 player or mobile phone. Rhapsody allows subscribers to access their music through mobile phones from Verizon Wireless, AT&T and MetroPCS, through Rhapsody applications on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, RIM BlackBerry, Windows and Android mobile platforms as well as through devices from Vizio, SanDisk, HP, Sonos and Philips.  Rhapsody is headquartered in Seattle, with offices in Frankfurt, London, Luxemburg, New York and San Francisco. Rhapsody, and the Rhapsody logo are registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc.  Follow @Rhapsody on Twitter and keep up with the latest on the Rhapsody Facebook page.

Stream Rhapsody on your Roku

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Rhapsody is announcing today that it will soon be available on Roku. The leading premium on-demand music service has teamed with the market leader in streaming entertainment devices for the TV. The result? Naturally, it rocks.

Roku is the latest device in the living room to receive Rhapsody connectivity. In the last several months, Rhapsody has also added Xbox and most major SmartTV manufacturers.

Like all Rhapsody platforms, the Roku channel will allow users to lean forward, accessing Rhapsody’s entire catalogue of more than 16 million songs, to search for and play songs, albums and artists. Or lean back, enjoying playlists and preprogrammed genre and artist radio stations.

Rhapsody Hits the Road with Ford SYNC AppLink

Rhapsody and Ford today announce at International CES that the leading premium on-demand music service is now available in Ford and Lincoln vehicles with SYNC® AppLink. Rhapsody listeners with SYNC-enabled cars and trucks can use voice commands and radio buttons on the steering wheel to control the Rhapsody app on their smartphones, making it safe and easy to rock out on the road.

ImageThis marks Rhapsody’s first full automotive integration, and a major step forward in the company’s strategy to bring the popular service to the places where listeners spend the most time playing music: in the car and in the living room.

“Everybody loves to listen to music in the car, so making it as convenient as possible for people to enjoy Rhapsody while driving has been a high priority for us,” said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. “We were pleased to work with Ford on this innovative integration. Now our customers have their favorite music within arm’s reach in their cars.”

Rhapsody members are increasingly taking their music on the road. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 Rhapsody members, 40 percent said they listened to Rhapsody in the car, more than any other form of audio entertainment (only 13 percent listen to the radio).

How Rhapsody members use audio entertainment in the car
Streaming Rhapsody (via mobile device) 40%
Playlists (downloaded from Rhapsody or on phone or MP3 player) 22%
Radio 13%
Podcasts 9%
Audiobooks 6%
Source: Survey of Rhapsody members, n=1,396

Actual behavioral data from Rhapsody’s 1 million-plus base shine more light on members’ mobile inclinations. Fifty-one percent of all tracks played on the service this past year were from a mobile device, up from 27 percent in 2011. In addition, 56 percent of Rhapsody members listen on a mobile device, up from 38 percent the year prior, with 42 percent of all members using mobile exclusively for the service.

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The beauty of SYNC AppLink is that it works seamlessly with the Rhapsody smartphone app. When Rhapsody is launched on a smartphone while in a SYNC-enabled car, it will connect wirelessly via Bluetooth® to the vehicle’s audio system for hands-free listening.

SYNC AppLink is available on more than 1 million vehicles; it is available on 2013 Fiesta, Mustang, Expedition, Fusion, F-150, Super Duty, Focus, E-Series and C-MAX.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

About Rhapsody
The Rhapsody® digital music service (www.rhapsody.com) gives subscribers unlimited on-demand access to more than 16 million songs, whether they’re listening on a PC, laptop, Internet connected home stereo or TV, MP3 player or mobile phone. Rhapsody allows subscribers to access their music through mobile phones from Verizon Wireless, AT&T and MetroPCS, through Rhapsody applications on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, RIM BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and Android mobile platforms as well as through devices from Vizio, SanDisk, HP, Sonos and Philips. Rhapsody is headquartered in Seattle, with offices in Frankfurt,London, Luxemburg, New York and San Francisco. Rhapsody, and the Rhapsody logo are registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc. Follow @Rhapsody on Twitter and keep up with the latest on the Rhapsody Facebook page.

 

Rhapsody Members Can Now Pay Through AT&T Wireless Bill

Today, Rhapsody announced the ability for AT&T users to pay for the popular on-demand service on their wireless bill. The announcement follows a similar agreement between Rhapsody and Verizon and means that Rhapsody now has the ability to offer wireless carrier billing to more than half of all mobile phone users in the US.

“For our subscribers, it’s all about convenience,” said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. “For the companies we work with,  it’s another example of the value that a relationship with Rhapsody can add: customer convenience, higher ARPU and increased stickiness to their wireless carrier.”

It’s also evidence that smartphone users are coming to see subscription music as synonymous with their mobile experience.

Consider that in 2012:

  • 51% of all tracks played on Rhapsody were mobile, up from 27% in 2011at+t
  • 56% of Rhapsody subscribers listen on mobile, up from 38% in 2011
  • The number of days per user that Rhapsody subscribers used the service on mobile was up 25% from 2011
  • 42% percent of Rhapsody customers ONLY use mobile

These trends are expected to continue, and through agreements like the one announced today, Rhapsody is competitively positioned to take advantage of them.

“In addition to offering value, we have a lot to gain by working with carriers,” said Irwin. “We’ve always believed in a pursuing a sustainable business that benefits both the people listening to all the great music we offer, and the artists who are creating it. These billing agreements reduce churn on our end and expand the Rhapsody community without giving away music for free, which is important to us.”

New Rhapsody for iPad and iPad Mini: the Fastest, Most Visually-Stunning Rhapsody Experience Yet

Rhapsody continues its blitz of new product rollouts with the launch of Rhapsody for iPad and iPad Mini, including an extended risk-free trial to enjoy unlimited music through the holidays.

The latest addition to Rhapsody’s product portfolio was built from the ground up and is stunning in its speed and beauty, with markedly improved playback speed. The app emphasizes the rich iPad display, inviting listeners to visually navigate Rhapsody’s comprehensive catalog.

home_fullscrn_1024x768Thanks to unlimited lightning-fast downloads, Rhapsody members can take their music with them, even when they don’t have an Internet connection.  As with all Rhapsody players, Rhapsody for iPad and iPad Mini is ad-free, allowing listeners a fully immersive experience without interruption or distraction.

“Our customers are going to be big fans of the latest tablet additions to Rhapsody’s growing product suite,” said Paul Springer, senior vice president, worldwide product and design. “Rhapsody has never looked or sounded better. We built this app from the ground up optimizing for speed, reliability and an effortless discovery experience for our members. We obsessed – and will continue to obsess – over making this the best way to enjoy music on your iPad, whether you listen through the internal speakers, headphones or external speakers using our Airplay and Bluetooth integration.”

In addition to direct access to their complete music library and downloads, members get the full depth of Rhapsody’s 16 million songs through a guided discovery experience.

Rhapsody for iPad features new releases and the most popular tracks and artists across more than 600 musical genres. Member-created playlists and libraries are easy to access, edit and create, and sync across the more than 100 devices where Rhapsody is available.

It’s been a busy few months for America’s leading premium on-demand music service, which released a completely new Android app including Rhapsody Replay; Rhapsody SongMatch, a free Android app that allows you to match, identify, play and save songs to a playlist, as well as a new Xbox Live app. With a continued focus on exclusive editorial content and music curation, Rhapsody has been the leading premium subscription service for more than a decade.

Rhapsody provides the ultimate music experience and offers a premium music service that appeals to music enthusiasts’ needs, while bringing music to the masses via partners like Verizon, AT&T, Sonos and metroPCS. In 2012, Rhapsody acquired the iconic Napster service, and operates in the United States as well as in the UK and Germany under the Napster brand.

Rhapsody for iPad is available today, and comes with 30 days of Rhapsody.

About Rhapsody

The Rhapsody® digital music service (www.rhapsody.com) gives subscribers unlimited on-demand access to more than 16 million songs, whether they’re listening on a PC, laptop, Internet connected home stereo or TV, MP3 player or mobile phone. Rhapsody allows subscribers to access their music through mobile phones from Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS, through Rhapsody applications on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, RIM BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and Android mobile platforms as well as through devices from Vizio, SanDisk, HP, Sonos and Philips.  Rhapsody is headquartered in Seattle, with offices in Frankfurt, London, Luxemburg, New York and San Francisco. Rhapsody, and the Rhapsody logo are registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc.  Follow @Rhapsody on Twitter and keep up with the latest on the Rhapsody Facebook page.

Rhapsody Launches Music Apps Strategy with Rhapsody SongMatch for Android

The on-demand music service is developing a suite of apps to make music discovery more fun and convenient

discovery_apps_songmatch

SEATTLE—December 5, 2012—Rhapsody kicked off its mobile utility apps strategy today with the launch of Rhapsody SongMatch™, a new free application that allows music listeners to discover music with one click.  Rhapsody SongMatch ™ uses your phone to listen to the song that is currently playing – in the background, on the TV, in the car, café or wherever – and identifies the artist, song name and album for music fans to match, store and share.

Free to download and use for anyone, Rhapsody subscribers can also listen and download full tracks of matched songs or dive deep into the album, artist catalog or discover similar artists. For convenience, all matched songs are automatically stored and saved as a playlist for future access.  Non-subscribers can also start a hassle-free Rhapsody trial.

“Our customers are music lovers who tell us they use a variety of mobile apps to solve their listening needs and discover new music,” said Paul Springer, senior vice president, worldwide product and design, Rhapsody.  “But they get frustrated with advertisements and the lack of full playback. We built Rhapsody SongMatch to seamlessly integrate with our core experience to connect the fun and convenience of mobile apps with full on-demand playback for both subscribers and new customers.”

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The company is working on additional purpose-built music apps that are free and complementary to Rhapsody’s premium on-demand music service.

“SongMatch is a great way to introduce new music fans to Rhapsody,” said Springer. “We’ll continue to focus on using over a decade’s worth of experience to solve customer challenges in discovering and playing the right music, right now.“

Rhapsody teamed with the metadata mavens at Gracenote to power the music recognition feature of SongMatch. The Gracenote technology works by “listening” to a few seconds of a song and matching it to its unique audio fingerprint in the Gracenote database.  It takes only a few moments for the Gracenote technology to recognize the artist, track and album, letting Rhapsody subscribers to quickly add music to their library and playlists.

Rhapsody SongMatch is available on Android with other platforms launching in the future. It is available in the Google Play Android store or Amazon App Store.  For more information, visit http://www.rhapsody.com/songmatch.


About Rhapsody

The Rhapsody® digital music service (www.rhapsody.com) gives subscribers unlimited on-demand access to more than 16 million songs, whether they’re listening on a PC, laptop, Internet connected home stereo or TV, MP3 player or mobile phone. Rhapsody allows subscribers to access their music through mobile phones from Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS, through Rhapsody applications on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, RIM BlackBerry,

Windows Phone 7 and Android mobile platforms as well as through devices from Vizio, SanDisk, HP, Sonos and Philips.  Rhapsody is headquartered in Seattle, with offices in Frankfurt, London, Luxemburg, New York and San Francisco. Rhapsody, and the Rhapsody logo are registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc.  Follow @Rhapsody on Twitter and keep up with the latest on the Rhapsody Facebook page.