Apple has approved an app for the iPhone and iPod touch that allows access to RealNetwork's Rhapsody music-streaming service. It's now available on the App Store. The free app - called, unsurprisingly, Rhapsody (warning: App Store link) - was submitted to Apple's App Store guard dogs late last month. Now that it has been …
"Banking on the possibility"
"Cupertino may be banking on the possibility that after you've heard and become enamored with a Rhapsody song, you'll want to buy a higher-quality version of it from the iTunes store."
I'd wager that you're incorrect - Apple won't be banking on it, they'll have insisted upon it. It's obvious what the two reasons for the bitrate being pegged at 64kbps are:
1) AT&T. They won't want people streaming at 128kbps or more all day every day and they clearly have clout with Cupertino.
2) iTunes. Apple won't let anyone undercut them. So any small company that comes along and tries to do so will be told to Foxtrot Oscar and any large company with some money and some balls, like RealNetworks, will be allowed to play but only on Apple's terms and under Apple's restrictions, of course.
The rest of the story
Ah, if only you could have seen the dev that worked on this. He's been like a man possessed for the past several months. He went away on a honeymoon and all he could think about was getting back and working on version 2.0. It brings a tear the geek's eye.
64kbs Nothing heinous, to be sure, but noticeable
And that's compared to 128kbs?
Good grief man, clean your ears out, or go listen to some old vinyl of something. I won't inflict anything lower than 192kbs on my ears, and I prefer far higher.
As for streaming audio over your carriers data connection, well I hope US "Unlimited" data is more unlimited than the UK version!
Shouty shouty as you're obviously deaf!
The streaming is probably in AAC or AAC-HE. Unlike MP3, which squeals at every moment of insufficient bandwidth, AAC does an incredible job of hiding its damage. You often don't know what you're missing until you have the original for comparison.
I think Steve likes to dangle perfection in front of everybody but let nobody have it. Apple products are brilliant, beautiful, innovative, and always have a major shortcoming so glaring that it seems intentional. Now it's all the music you want all the time, but with crippled sound.
@ Jeremy 2
Except Spotify, which Apple also accepted to the store, suffers none of these problems (other than the third party app rule*), but you go ahead and beat your dick about this particular strand of 'evilness' by Apple, though it doesn't actually exist... toss-pot.
* Though you do have to question the exceptionally poor example El reg selected - if I answer a phone call it tends to mean I want to listen to the person talking at the other end and not my music; why not pick e.g. playing a game while listening to your own music instead? Possible with the iPod collection but not any other music player's.
Codecs and stuff
I didn't work on it, but I know the guys that did. It's actually 64-bit MP3, not AAC. The way it mitigates bandwidth interruptions is to precache song data, so it can continue playing for a while when you drive through a tunnel, for instance.
As to the quality concerns, apparently I'm supposed to say "We are working to improve sound quality, and it will be included as part of a future update. Stay tuned."
If you have any other questions, I can forward them to the people that would know the answers better than I.
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