TUCOWS ARTICLE

Picks: A roundup of music service software. Check it out.

This week I review Rhapsody, MusicMatch Jukebox, Napster, and iTunes
Published: Feb 7, 2007
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows
Software that can help Good for Cow Rating
Rhapsody
See Home Page
Download This program gives you access to more than 600,000 online songs, on demand.
Napster 2.0
Shareware
Download Choose from over 500,000 songs from all genres of music.
Picks Logo
Reviewed by Dr. File Finder

Greetings and Welcome! Here in snowyColorado we're having a winter to remember. January is supposed to beour driest month and we got six feet of snow. March is our snowiestmonth so I'm afraid to see what's going to happen. All the more reasonto stay inside and work for awhile writing up some software Picks justfor you. This week I'm doing a "Dr. File FinderPicks Roundup! of music service software. Thesereviews will give an overview of the services and coming soon there willbe in-depth reviews of each of them. So, if you're ready, turn off yourradio, sit back, relax, and lets take a look.


Rhapsody, by RealOne Networksis a music service that is membership-based. There are several types ofmemberships.

  • Rhapsody Free
  • Rhapsody Unlimited
  • Rhapsody To Go

Rhapsody Unlimited costs $9.99 a month and lets you listen to anunlimited amount of music on your computer. You can select songs, putthem in playlists, and listen to them as much as you want. RhapsodyTo Go is $14.99 a month and it lets you listen to unlimited music,but it also gives you more. You can also load up any supported MP3player, and you can do it over and over again. Rhapsody Free letsyou listen to 25 songs per month at no charge.

Rhapsody lets you listen to all the music you want forjust $9.99, but you can't download these songs. The benefit is that youcan listen to 1,000 songs, or 10,000, and not have to pay per track. Forthose who like to take music with them the Rhapsody To Go package mightbe just what you want. The Sansa Rhapsody MP3 player is actuallydesigned to work with Rhapsody. Each time you connect to your accountthis MP3 player will get updated with new music.

You are allowed to burn all tracks that you have purchased, butnone of the others, which is very fair. If you have an iPod youcan use Rhapsody with it. Rhapsody will copy over any files you'vebought, along with ones that you already owned. The benefit of Rhapsodyis that you can listen to full songs rather than just 30 seconds.To do that costs you only $9.99 a month. If you'd rather just listen,rather than buy, Rhapsody may be for you.


Musicmatch Jukebox, by Yahoo!has been around as software for quite some time. The music serviceboasts access to over 900,000 songs. You can also listen to radiostations, and purchase songs at the Musicmatch Store. Like Rhapsody,Musicmatch On Demand gives you access to all the music for just$5.95 a month. Another cool feature is that you can access your libraryfrom any computer.

Another cool feature of Musicmatch is the AutoDJ. You typein some of your favorite artists and the software creates playlists foryou. Slick. Musicmatch also lets you legally share yourplaylists with friends. Your "On Demand" music can include music you'vefound with Musicmatch and music you own that's on your computer.You get the best of both worlds and remember, you an access it from anycomputer.

Musicmatch Jukebox is a great tool for organizing all of yourmusic. You can burn CDs, create playlists you can share, and the musicyou buy can be placed on MP3 players so you can take it with you. Youalso get Musicmatch Radio for free, and you can get Musicmatch RadioGold for only $2.95 per month. The Gold version has no audio ads, accessfrom any PC, and lots more. So, Musicmatch Jukebox is afull-featured solution that's working taking a look at! Check it out.


Napster, by Napster startedout as the "bad boy" of the music players. Today Napster featuresover 500,000 songs for you to pick from. Here again, you can createplaylists and hear full songs. Napster also offers commercial-freeradio that you can interact with.

Napster also lets you share your playlists and if you want youcan make your music profile public. Find other users with similar tastesand you can share playlists via your "Inbox." Napster has anumber of MP3 players that are compatible with it. You can even get onefree when you subscribe. Napster To Go lets you transfer musicfrom your desktop or laptop to your cell phone without paying per track.At the same time, Napster Mobile lets you look for music rightfrom your phone and buy music on the spot. What's really cool is thatyou also get a copy of each song for your computer.

Napster offers a range of services from downloadble tracks toradio you can customize. This may be the service for you, but only youan decide. Check it out.


iTunes, by Applehas become a major player in this area primarily because of theiPod. The iTunes store lets you listen to 30 seconds of eachsong, but there is no monthly charge. You pay 99 cents for each song andyou can play songs on up to 5 computers. iTunes doesn't justfocus on music and neither does the store. You can download podcasts,purchase TV shows, movies, and more. If you want, you can even get gamesto play on your iPod, and audiobooks. All of these things are controlledthrough iTunes.

iTunes lets you organize your music, and lots of other media, soit's easily accessible. You can create playlists, import and exportthem. iTunes makes it easy to backup, download a view artwork,consolidate your music library, and much more. Obviously, iTunes is bestsuited for working with an iPod. iTunes is a full-featuredmusic player and music service. The iTunes Store offers a full range ofmedia including movies and games.

Summary

These are the best known and most popular music players/services. Alloffer a trial except iTunes. Prices vary only slightly from siteto site, and the cost per song is pretty standard at around 99 cents. Ifyou own an iPod you'll most likely be interested in iTunes. Some of theother services, however, offer great support for a wide range of MP3players. Which you choose, if any, is up to you. In the near futurewe'll look at all of these services in-depth!

I hope you enjoyed this "Dr. File Finder PicksRoundup! of music service software. Lots of choicesand only you can pick the one that's right for you. I'll be back nextweek with more Picks to tell you about. I hope you'll join me. Untilthen, have a great week, a wonderful weekend, and happy downloading.



About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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