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

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

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.

 

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

Rhapsody Radar Artist Elle Varner is Off the Charts!

We’re not rubbing it in–it’s just that we’re proud.

We know our editors are amazing in terms of their talents, taste and ability to prognosticate the commercial viability of a star; like they did with Foster the People, Kreayshawn, Frank Ocean and Tune-Yards last year.  And this year’s crop from the Rhapsody Radar is already making a substantial blip, with Billboard reporting that Elle Varner‘s “Perfectly Imperfect” is projected to sell between 25,000 and 30,000 copies, putting it top 10 territory and doubling expectations.

Listen to Elle and the other 25 rising stars here.

Rhapsody Now Powering Music Charts in Willamette Week

Music fiends in Portland, Oregon like to find their local music fix in the alternative weekly, Willamette Week. Its apropos then, that the publication’s music writers turned to the music service designed to feed the music appetites of music fiends everywhere to power the chart for Portland’s top streams.

Curious about what’s hot musically  in Portland? PDX Charts are updated weekly.