John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Rhapsody for iPhone Gets Offline Listening

The stars may finally be aligning for subscription music on the iPhone. Early this morning, Rhapsody rolled out a new version of its iPhone app that solves a problem that has so far hamstrung digital music subscription services: you can’t listen to them without an Internet connection.

With Rhapsody’s new app you can. (see video of it in action below) The software caches music on the devices on which it runs — iPhones, iPod touches, iPads and soon Android and BlackBerry devices as well — so that subscribers can listen to it even without a live Internet connection. As product lead Jon Maples explains in a post to the company blog:

Here’s how it works: say you’ve built the perfect road-trip playlist (mine includes all of Sheryl Crow’s Tuesday Night Music Club, a bunch of Joe Strummer and Clash songs, plus a smattering of “Weird Al” Yankovic). Simply launch your Rhapsody app, open the playlist and click the Download icon. You’ll need either a 3G or WiFi connection to do this initially, but once the songs are saved to your device, you can rappel into the deepest crevices of the Grand Canyon and still be able to play them back.”

That’s something of a milestone for on-demand music streaming services. The inability to play music offline has been a nagging flaw in the music subscription model for years now and Rhapsody is the first venture to remedy it. Now that it’s done so and Apple (AAPL) has given streaming apps with offline caching its blessing, we may soon see a renaissance in subscription services as the market warms to the idea of paying a monthly fee for access to an unlimited library of music. This is a precedent, after all, and other streaming ventures like MOG and Spotify will be quick to follow it in the hopes of tapping into a very large channel of potential subscribers. But they best move quickly, because that channel won’t remain wide open for long now that Apple has acquired streaming music service Lala and is itself rumored to be working on a streaming version of iTunes.

Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle