Rhapsody To Go + Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go

Plays For Sure!

I’ve been a happy paying customer of Rhapsody for years, starting before they were purchased by Real. The Rhapsody search engine is great and the streaming is very reliable. They have a nice interface for finding newly added music too.

One of the advantages of Rhapsody is that I could stream to any computer, so I never felt the need to buy an MP3 player or iPod. Rhapsody would even log me off of one computer when I signed on to another so I wouldn’t be locked out. Very nice!

Then two things happened. First, the kids started to listen to Rhapsody so I’d be kicked off at random times during the day. Second, I started working in an office with a very slow network and didn’t want to clog it up with music.

Just about this time, Rhapsody offered their To Go server, which is like Napster or any of the other services that let you “rent” music. As long as I continued to pay the monthly fee, I would be able to download new songs and continue to listen to the old songs.

(I don’t mind the rental model. I listen to a lot of things that I’m happy to hear but don’t want to own. If I want to own music, I buy the CD. A CD is good because it doesn’t have DRM and its unlikely to disappear if my disk crashes. A ripped CD plays just about anywhere.)

So I bought an iRiver H10 on UBid and upgraded my Rhapsody account. After a few days and numerous email exchanges with Real technical support aliases, I was up & running.

Everything was running along smoothly until just recently when I tried to listen to Douglas Wolk’s Top Ten albums of 2005. I couldn’t find one — Princess Superstar’s My Machine — so I thought to look at Yahoo! Sure enough, they had it. And Sufjan Stevens. That was good enough for me. I signed up for Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go.

Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go is nearly the same as Rhapsody To Go. Yahoo! allows a few more computers and players to hold DRM’d music simultaneously. Now I have both services. I’ve found that Yahoo! and Rhapsody have enough different songs that I’ll probably keep both services.

I’m happy to report that DRM’d songs from Rhapsody and Yahoo! coexist on H10. So far, I’ve been able to attach Rhapsody and the Yahoo! Music engine to my H10. I’ve also used Microsoft’s media player to copy songs from EMusic to the H10.

Now playing Destroy Everything You Touch by Ladytron.

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