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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Rhapsody ??


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Hipgrncln

 
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Wondering who has any experience with Rapsody? Is it worth the $$$ Says it can be played through your home stereo. Is this true ??? How is the library and sound quality??


Bob J
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chas_m

 
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I believe you are referring to Rhapsody, a service offered by Real (of Realplayer "fame") that is a subscription music service. I have no direct experience with it, but I notice that it is not very popular compared to, say, Spotify or Rdio and have to wonder if there's something about it that makes that so.

I believe the "plays through your home stereo" is only true if that stereo (or an add-on device) has Internet access, so you'd need something like a Sonos receiver.

As for sound quality: according to Rhapsody, the bitrate is 192 kbps CBR MP3 for streaming to home audio devices; 128kbps AAC when streamed through PC via Rhapsody software; and 64kbps AAC + or 192kbps AAC for streamed or downloaded to Android devices and 64kbps AAC + for iOS ones.

Not that I'm soliciting for Spotify (don't use it, have no plans to use it) but here's a comparison article I found: Spotify vs. Rhapsody (comparison) | GadgetReview

That should give you a good idea of which service may be right for you. I own too many CDs and have access to way too many free Internet radio stations to pay a subscription fee to a service to "rent" music. But if I did, the fact that Rhapsody has NO ADS is a big selling point with me. YMMV.
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Rhapsody - the first streaming music service. They've been around doing this for over 10 years now. I still have my log in there. Want an app for the iPad - well, it's still "coming soon". Why? Because they are slow, slow, slow, slower and slowest to update and bring their service current than one can imagine. They are and always have been a Windows focused company and Mac users are 2nd class citizens. They still do not have an app for Mac users. Over 10 years... what planet are these people on? It's always had me shaking my head. I can't recommend them to anyone unless you just happen to own devices which makes them your best choice.

Would say the current leaders are Spotify and Rdio - comparison and you can probably find more.

Are any of these services worth it? In the old days, yes, before any of these new fangled devices we have today that let you carry entire collections around with you... I had a vinyl LP collection of over 7,000 albums. My estimated cash outlay - somewhere between $45,000 and $50,000 - would have been more like $80,000 if all those had been purchased new.

Today, if someone signs up to an unlimited plan at one of these services that lets you keep everything you can find for $10/mth each at the age of 16 and keeps that plan until they are 76, you'll spend $7,200 during your entire lifetime.

Sign up at two (2) of these services (for a wider variety of songs that one or the other may not have) and you'll still only spend $14,400 over 50 years. Quite a bargain if you ask me.

And for that first $10 outlay, you've got access to more songs than anyone that's put out $50,000 to purchase all their music.

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chas_m

 
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The problem with these services, Tom, is if you ever STOP paying. Poof, there goes the music.

As I mentioned, plenty of great -- and free -- internet radio out there. Plus your own permanent music collection. And I haven't even gotten to iTunes Match yet!
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Sorry, I don't really see that as a problem. At the cost of one CD a month, any one that is into music is going to be wanting more CDs than that. And when it will take you 50 years to pay the price of purchasing 720 CDs for one of these services, just don't see that as an issue.

My 7,000 albums had been collected by 1980 - over about a 12 yr span of time. If I had continued at the rate I had been purchasing music, my collection would have cost me the price of 2-3 houses by now.

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I reckon to those who feel it should be a God given right to have access to the labors of those who create music for free - yeah, reckon for those people it's a problem.

(Don't mean and not implying that's you - just for others that we do have on occasion looking through these threads. You know the ones.)

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chas_m

 
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Yeah, I understood what you meant. I guess if you "amortize" the cost over the years, it's not a bad deal -- but I like to own my music.

Like you, I amassed a sizeable collection of physical-object music over the years. I have not stopped buying music in physical form, but have scaled back. I listen to a lot of music from the sources I mentioned, but don't pirate stuff. If something really "rings a bell" with me, I buy it (either from iTunes or a record store). Luckily for my wallet, I find a new "gotta have it" band about twice a year these days.

I also buy a fair few reissues when they add value to it, a la the recent reissues of Simple Minds albums.
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I still find that gotta have it music once in awhile also - although, think I'm down to about $20 a year instead of $20 a day.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Hipgrncln

 
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I also have a large music collection. After resisting for a long time I loaded it onto my Mac and now wouldn't have it any other way. My trouble seems to be what to use to get any internet based source to play through my expensive home stereo with any kind of quality. What are others doing ?


Bob J
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IvanLasston

 
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I started with subscription music when Yahoo had a service. I subsequently moved on to Napster (the legal version) and that was actually quite good. They were always updating and were one of the first to have a iPhone and iPad app. Once they got sold to Rhapsody - I moved over to Spotify. I have been quite pleased with Spotify - both iPhone and iPad apps are available.

Most legal internet sources have a quality setting - and most high quality is available only if you have the premium version. Spotify's quoted quality is 160 kbps for normal and 320 kbps for high. What quality does Spotify stream in? - Spotify - Spotify
Now that is just a sampling rate number and there is more to audio quality than high sampling rate - that being said Spotify sounds fine through my home audio system. I don't have an ultra high end home system though so true audiofiles still may not be pleased.

If you get the Spotify premium service - you can use your iOS device to stream to any Airplay enabled device. (Airport Express and Apple TV) - I have several Airport Expresses and Apple TVs peppered throughout the house for just that purpose. You could also Airplay mirror your Mountain Lion machine to any Apple TV. There is a program called Airfoil - which I own which will allow you to stream any audio to any Airplay enabled device.
Rogue Amoeba | Airfoil | Select Your Operating System
As well as stream audio from a computer to an iOS device. Pretty handy piece of software.

As chas_m puts it - the downside to these streaming sites is you don't own the music. With the premium service you can setup offline playlists and listen to the music even when you aren't connected to the internet. Plus when you play it high quality - you aren't streaming - it is playing the music file from your hard drive or device. This allows you to listen on Planes and in low bandwidth areas without loss of quality or stuttering. Chas_m is right though - if you stop paying you can no longer listen to the downloaded songs. Note - that it isn't quite "poof they are gone" though. I have had my credit card stolen and forgot to update my spotify. I got a warning that I was no longer a premium account member and couldn't play my songs. So I put in my new credit card - and was able to play everything again. The song files were still on my devices - so it isn't like spotify deleted them and I had to re-download - I just lost authorization. Once re-authorized I could play everything again.

I know a lot of Audio sites point to a site called hd tracks - which has lossless encoded files available
https://www.hdtracks.com
But their selection is more limited.

I look at it this way - yes I don't own the music - but in 10 years do I really want that Lady Gaga track or Justin Bieber track on my hard drive? I point you to this commercial
Ford Focus Michael Bolton Commercial - YouTube
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Hipgrncln

 
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Thanks so much Ivan for all the info......still trying to digest it all. My situation in many ways is similar to yours in that I still occasionally buy music but not like I used to. I have the several music feeds I get by way of Sat TV and also have Pandora through my iPhone all played through my home stereo. Additionally have music that are my cd's loaded into iTunes but still want more. I am changing from my Macbook pro to my new Mac air and will download my iTunes library onto an ancillary drive. Spotify would be a good fit to have loaded onto my Air if I can play it on my home stereo but can never make air foil work. I must be doing something wrong but cannot figure out what?

Bob J
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You never said what is connected to your home stereo? Is it an Apple TV or Airport Express, or a Computer? Depending on what is connected - you may need different setups. I have used airfoil successfully with all 3 - not that I did anything really special - if Airfoil can play to it it shows up in the list.

I also have changed from a MBP to an MBA. My iTunes library is on an external 1.5TB seagate. This setup works quite well - especially with Spotify Premium - If I want to listen to something - more than likely I can stream it. Actually one of the strategies I have is get the CDs not available on the iTunes store or Spotify - onto my devices - and have those available - then stream everything else.
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Hipgrncln

 
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I use a Apple time machine for a router and an airport into the back of my stereo. If you feel like answering even more posts (I hope you do as you have been most helpful) please note my 2 new posts which are some other thoughts and directions I might go?

Many Thanks

Bob J
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chas_m

 
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Lots of people use an Airport Express (the latest one is THE BOMB!!) and a program by Rogue Amoeba called Airfoil for wirelessly "throwing" music over to a stereo that doesn't have built in AirPlay compatibility (a huge number of receivers etc have this nowadays).
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Hipgrncln

 
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The airfoil app somehow does not work for me. Have to play around with it over the weekend to see what I am doing wrong and give a listen. My home system is showing its age. I also understand that many blueray players now have a wireless capability so that may be a way to go. Have given some thought to splitting up the home theater / music system.

Bob J
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