Rhapsody for iPhone (amazingly) gets approved

Ronny Kerr · September 10, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/a7e

First on-demand music-streaming program for iPhone gets the green light from softly-stepping Apple

Yesterday marked the first time ever that Apple approved an on-demand music-streaming program for the iPhone. Rhapsody just so happens to be the lucky star.

When Rhapsody submitted the app to the App Store for approval two weeks ago, the media and blogosphere questioned endlessly the chances of approval vs. rejection, with good points made on either side. Though apps that emulate radio functionality, like Pandora and Last.fm, have been available through the App Store for some time now, approving Rhapsody would be a big step for Apple because it is direct competition.

With the Rhapsody app approved, users can now opt out of purchasing iTunes Store music and, for $14.99/month, they will now be able to stream the entire Rhapsody library through their iPhone.

Rhapsody on iPhone

So where did this approval of such stark competition come from?

Maybe it’s a result of yesterday’s boost of confidence that came with Apple’s reminder to everyone that, with 8.5 billion downloads to date, the iTunes Store is undeniably the #1 music retailer in the world.

Here’s what’s more likely: facing close scrutiny recently from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its repeatedly strategic rejection of apps that compete with its own services, Apple may be letting this one slide to prove to everybody that they aren’t as anti-competitive as they might have appeared to be.

Could this spell the beginning of the end of Apple’s massively dominant music sales? Not immediately, at least.

While Rhapsody will certainly be providing a convenient service for many of its customers (and new ones drawn from the Apple crowd), it has its drawbacks. Though the service boasts a library 8 million songs strong, they will stream to user’s iPhones at 64 kilobits per second, a considerably lower quality bitrate than the 256 kbps songs available for purchase on the iTunes Store. Also, good luck listening to music through Rhapsody when service is unavailable, like when you duck down into a subway.

In the end, Rhapsody will still be for people who need to hear just that right song at just the right time and the regular iPod functionality of the phone will be sustained for fans of higher-quality tunes and consistent tunes, at that.

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Real Networks


Joined Vator on

In 1995, RealNetworks, Inc. pioneered the entire Internet media industry, and continues to fuel its exponential growth.

Because the Internet was built to handle text-based information, not audio and video and other rich media, RealNetworks, Inc. foresaw the need for specific solutions that could handle the creation, delivery and consumption of media via the Internet. That led RealNetworks, Inc. to invent and release the RealPlayer and RealAudio in 1995.

Today, hundreds of millions of RealPlayers have been downloaded throughout the world take advantage of RealNetworks, Inc. world-class media creation, delivery and playback technology.

What We Offer
RealNetworks, Inc. develops end-to-end solutions that allow everyone — from Fortune 500 companies with locations worldwide to individuals at their desktops or other Internet-enabled devices — to create, send and receive audio, video and other multimedia services over the Internet.

With the introduction of the Helix Initiative and the Helix Servers and RealProducer product families from RealNetworks, Inc., we continue to lead the way in delivering the highest quality Internet media experience delivering any media format, from any point of origin, across any network transport, running any OS to any person on any Internet-enabled device anywhere in the world.

Right here, right now, RealNetworks, Inc. is the only company that can make and keep such a promise.

Meet the Real Executives
Meet the Real Executives