As part of its strategy to be everywhere its members are listening to music, Rhapsody said on Wednesday that it is now available on LG, Panasonic and Samsung Smart TVs. The Rhapsody TV apps are optimized to facilitate convenient, fast playback with a "visually rich" interface that maximizes HD displays.
"Our customers tell us they use Rhapsody differently on their television than they do on their PC, smartphone or tablets," said Paul Springer, SVP product and design, Rhapsody. "So, we prioritized features such as radio stations, favorite tracks, editorial and customer-curated playlists as well as new releases and recommendations. With Rhapsody for your Smart TV, you get the right music, right now, right in your living room."
Rhapsody will also be available on Sharp Smart TVs within the coming months. Microsoft also recently announced that the Rhapsody music service will be part of Xbox Live, launching later this year, the company said.
The news follows a recent update to the Android version which now allows users to download individual albums and tracks. This is ideal for consumers who want to listen to their favorite artists on the go, but don't want to eat up their mobile service's monthly data allowance. Plus this ensures that music isn't interrupted when data streams are suddenly throttled or dropped completely.
"Along with the ability to download those albums and tracks, you advanced users will be able to decide where to put them!" said Rhapsody Android lead engineer Randy Kruzan. "We looked at what we could do quickly as we wrapped up on the album and track download work to fulfill this request, so you may find it a little sparse, but we’ll work to make it more robust."
Rhapsody currently offers two subscription models: Premier for $9.99 per month and Premier Plus for $14.99 per month. Rhapsody does not provide a free version like MOG and Spotify, but does offer a free trial. The company is also still offering a summer special allowing users to pay $5 per month for three months.
With the cheaper Premier subscription model, users can play millions of full-length tracks, without limits, transfer subscription tracks to one authorized, Rhapsody-compatible portable device, or use the Rhapsody application for iPhone or Android to put the entire Rhapsody catalog on a smartphone. Rhapsody Premier Plus is a bit more robust, offering everything Rhapsody Premier does, but users can also load and reload up to three portable MP3 players with music from Rhapsody's catalog.
Rhapsody originally launched in 2001 as one of the first streaming on-demand music subscription services, and became part of RealNetworks' acquisition of Listen.com in 2003. However the service officially declared its independence from RealNetworks in 2010, and has since scooped up former rival Napster. The Napster acquisition supposedly included handing over a minority stake in Rhapsody to Best Buy who acquired Napster back in 2008 for $121 million.