Best Buy partnered up with a service called Rhapsody that allows you to download music and burn it to a CD. It uses an application with a built in radio player so you can browse their selection, select only the songs you want, and then create a custom CD. This sounds good, but something convenient like this just results in a lot of problems. I used to work at a Best Buy retail store and was given the opportunity to sample this service and try it out on my own. I’m a huge fan of both music and technology, so I decided to give it a shot. I shortly found out after a month and a half of service that this piece of dung was another failed attempt at a good idea. Allow me to explain to you ten reasons why you shouldn’t buy Best Buy’s Rhapsody service:
Cost – Rhapsody costs $10 a month plus $0.79 to download and burn a song to a CD. Most music downloading services will do either one or the other, but Rhapsody charges you both for the service and the ability to download a song.
Selection – The selection is very mediocre. You won’t find any rare songs with this service. It’s mostly popular bands, and the music available is only from recently released albums. A difficult challenge for these music services is getting the license to distribute the music from artists, and that in return makes the selection a lot worse. I’ve tried browsing for popular bands that I knew released more than 10 albums and maybe 4-5 of them are available. I can’t complain too much, but there are many other competing services out there that offer much more for a lot less.
Bulky – The application itself is bulky and sometimes slow. If you have a slower system with limited hardware capabilities, you won’t be able to listen to the music that you are paying $10 a month to listen to using their built in player. It’s also extremely buggy.
Artists’ Compensation – Artists make very little with their content on Rhapsody. Rumors of as little as a single cent per song are awarded to the artists who are trying to survive in this tough industry.
DRM (Digital Rights Management) – In theory, it’s a good idea, but in reality it’s very limiting and makes any service that uses it frowned upon by loyal music fans.
Customer Service – Slow and barely responsive. I had problems downloading a few songs and when I sent them a few nasty e-mails, they responded once and never solved the problem.
Owned By Real – Not exactly the greatest company to manage a music downloading service. Everything they make is slow and a pain to setup. No offense to Real, but they need to make something that doesn’t take strenuous effort to setup.
Music Disappears – If you see a song you like available one day, there’s a chance it might disappear tomorrow. Some bands decide to pull their music from the service randomly. Annoying, yet understandableÃ¢Â?Â¦ considering the serviceÃ¢Â?Â¦
Burning CDs – Burning a song to a CD is very challenging when it creates errors, disconnects and sometimes fails to play after a successful burn.
Spam – Not surprising in this day in age, but I received a lot of spam mail after signing up with this service. It’s not very reassuring when you trust all your billing information with a company that doesn’t seem to protect it in a proper manner. That was a mistake!
When I first discovered Rhapsody, I thought it had a lot of potential. Best Buy made a good move in pushing the online market for music, since online piracy has been a problem lately. However, their service is poor, and definitely not worth the charges. I’d rather stick with a service like iTunes or any other music downloading service that provides a lot more for a much greater value.