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Apple tells Rhapsody: Welcome to the iPhone club

By Amy Farnsworth / September 10, 2009

The Rhapsody iPhone app, a streaming music subscription service featuring over 8 million songs, was approved by Apple last night and is now available for download in the iTunes AppStore.

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There was speculation yesterday that Apple would release a streaming-music iTunes store, but alas it was just a rumor.

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Instead, Apple turned around and approved the Rhapsody iPhone app, a streaming music subscription service with a $15 monthly fee. Last month, people wondered if the submitted Rhapsody app would pass the iTunes AppStore approval process, especially since the Google Voice app failed to make it through to the next approval round (and even sparked an investigation by the FCC).

But Rhapsody has made it through the finish line despite the app's comparable functions to iTunes – an obstacle that has been said to hinder app's approvals in the past. (Perhaps one of the compromises here is that when listeners want to buy a song, they obtain a shortcut to purchase it from the iTunes store.)

The app became available for download last night and offers a free seven-day trial to new users. Those who already have a Rhapsody To Go subscription, can immediately login and start searching for music. Currently, music can only be played using a Wi-Fi of 3G connection.

On the Rhapsody blog, the company announces the top 10 reasons why you'll love the Rhapsody iPhone app. Among some of them: The ability to discover new music and artists, forgo "sketchy downloads" and choose from over 8 million songs, and an option to build and save playlists on-the-go.

Some reviews of the new app have already begun to circulate the Internet.

While Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired did enjoy browsing through Rhapsody's "massive music library" and even listened to a Patton Oswalt comedy album, he still found a few glitches:

Playback stuttered when we loaded certain screens, even with a fast WiFi connection (we though skipping records were a thing of the past), and some screens seemed to take too long to load. On top of that, there's no offline playback mode, which is a crucial feature in this large, spread-out country where AT&T's 3G cellular data network often fails to deliver fast enough to support high-quality streaming audio.

In the meantime, Rhapsody, says they are working on an offline playback mode, so listeners will just have to wait and see what happens.

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