Print 14 comment(s) - last by ipay.. on Sep 12 at 10:25 AM

Rhapsody's music app just got approved, signalling that Apple is loosening its iPhone App Store policing.  (Source: Engadget)
Apple appears to be opening up the app store

Earlier this week Apple approved Spotify, a European music store application, for its iPhone.  Previously Apple had banned apps from the iPhone that competed with its own products, except for third-party browsers using the Webkit rendering engine.  Under federal scrutiny following Apple and AT&T's rejection of Google Voice, Apple is looking to at least appear a bit more open.

Now another music store app, this one from Real Networks' Rhapsody, has gone live.  The free app can be used with the service for a week on a trial Rhapsody-to-Go subscription, but after that it will cost $15 per month.

A subscription buys you access to 8 million tracks from the MTV and RealNetwork tie-up.  The upside is that you can stream these tracks over 3G or WiFi.  The downside is that they're streamed at extremely low quality -- 64 kbps.

If mobile music, regardless of the quality, is your cup of tea and you have an iPhone, the new Rhapsody app is welcome news.  At the very least, its a sign that Apple is taking a more relaxed stance with its App Store policing -- and that's good news for everyone.

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sound quality
By omnicronx on 9/10/2009 2:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
The downside is that they're streamed at extremely low quality -- 64 kbps.
I would not be able to stand such low bitrate music, that being said, most users are probably using stock headphones anyways. This could be pretty cool, although I'll take orb and streaming my own music in high quality anyday ;)

RE: sound quality
By MrBlastman on 9/10/2009 2:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
I find anything less than 192 kbps intolerable myself. 64 kbps would give me a headache and make my ears bleed.

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about this as I don't have an i-phone. Shoutcast ftw.

RE: sound quality
By PrinceGaz on 9/10/2009 2:55:40 PM , Rating: 5
I find anything less than uncompressed 24-bit audio at 192KHz sampling-rate intolerable. 192kbps would make my ears bleed, nose bleed, and cause me serious trauma for which I'd need extensive therapy to recover from.

RE: sound quality
By omnicronx on 9/10/2009 3:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm.. amazing.. How did you learn to use a computer? It must be hard being a dog and all..

RE: sound quality
By omnicronx on 9/10/2009 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 3
Hey I'm with you there, I've been using at least 192kbps rips for years. Of this could be AAC not mp3, which would be akin to either a 96/128kbps mp3.

There could still be a market out there though, and something gives me a feeling that this is an Apple restriction, not Rhapsody's.. 64kbps music does not undermine itunes in the slightest.

RE: sound quality
By Misty Dingos on 9/10/2009 4:22:23 PM , Rating: 3
A new group of Snobs was announced today.

The Bit Rate Snob.

Relative of the LP snob but with cheaper clothes.

RE: sound quality
By omnicronx on 9/10/2009 4:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
Hey.. if you like listening to music that sounds like the artist is performing in a tin can, knock yourself out ;)

RE: sound quality
By dflynchimp on 9/10/2009 6:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
There's already a name for that.

It's called audiophiles, and there are more of us than you'd think. I'm not too focused on what kind of audio encryption my music is in, but I can definitely say from experience that low quality MP3's detract from an artist's original work. Sure I can listen to it, maybe as background music, but given the choice I'll always choose a higher encryption because there's less noise, less stripped down sounds and a much better overall listening experience.

RE: sound quality
By Flunk on 9/11/2009 11:57:01 AM , Rating: 2
You can call yourself anything you want but it doesn't make it sensible or reasonable.

Also higher encoding => smaller files at lower bit rate so your argument doesn't make very much sense. Perhaps you are slightly confused.

RE: sound quality
By ipay on 9/12/2009 10:25:20 AM , Rating: 2
I think you meant "bit rate" instead of "encryption".

RE: sound quality
By spread on 9/10/2009 6:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
Something like AAC-HC would be very clear at 64kbs. Its nothing like a lossless file, but its better than radio!

And data plans are expensive. You really want more than 64kbs streaming?

RE: sound quality
By Flunk on 9/11/2009 11:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
Encoding algorithm matters a lot too, more than anything else actually. Judging purely on bit-rate is a mistake that people who truly don't understand the technology seem to make a lot.

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