General Question

Fred931's avatar

Can anyone help me better understand Rhapsody payments?

Asked by Fred931 (9429points) January 13th, 2010

I am completely stumped as to how the Rhapsody system works. It seems to me that the following is all true:

1) Using a free account, I can only listen to 25 full songs and can buy songs if I wanted to.
2) Using an “Unlimited” account for $13/month, I can play all the full songs that I want as long as I have internet access, understanding that none of the songs are actually downloaded onto my computer’s hard drive.
3) Using a “To Go” account for an extra $2/month, I can not only do what can be done with the Unlimited account, but I can do that with a mobile app for my iPhone. (now the part I’m really concerned about…) I can also apparently “transfer” the songs for free under the account to any MP3 player, including certain phones.

What else should I know and what. if any, of the preceding was correct and incorrect?

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5 Answers

sndfreQ's avatar

All except for that last part about transferring to any MP3 player; the songs that are downloadable are in a special DRM’d format, that can only be loaded onto a Rhapsody-compliant player. They have a list of approved players; the players have to ‘sync’ once a month to the Rhapsody server to renew their licenses (the players actually tell you when the licenses expire).

Unless the policy’s been updated. Maybe the part you mention about the .mp3s is actually the ones you have to purchase “a la carte.” I think with those, they become DRM-free songs, and then you would be able to download them onto any player as you see fit, but not the “Rhapsody To-Go” downloads.

Fred931's avatar

Well, compatibility shouldn’t be a problem since the Sansa Fuze I just purchased is part of that list.

sndfreQ's avatar

Well just remember that if you cease your subscription, then the Sansa will basically go “blank” with any DRM-d tunes you download from Rhapsody-To-Go. Any “bought” tunes that are DRM-free will remain.

Edit: if I recall, the DRMd files are actually .ra files, not .mp3

Fred931's avatar

How does the Sansa know when my subscription ends? Does this happen the next time the computer connects or is there always a 1-month timer on all non-purchased songs that requires a connection with a computer intermittently to verify the songs?

sndfreQ's avatar

There is a timer on the subscriptions…when you sync it with the computer, the subscription is like a “blanket” license, and is renewed by the date of your subscription renewal. The time stamp is then embedded at the system level of the device, and after 30 days, it will give you the message that you have to plug it in to renew the licenses. When you do plug it in though, the process is automated.

In my case I owned an Ibiza Rhapsody, which had a Wi-Fi antenna in it; as long as I was connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot (or my wireless LAN at home), once a month the device would ping the Rhapsody server to re-authorize the .ra files. The other files I loaded onto it (drag-and-drop from my computer desktop, the DRM-free ones) were not affected.

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