Jan 03

F$%# you Real Netwojerks. You killed a gem of a company this week when you forced Yottamusic to close its doors. This was a company that offered a free service that stood only to help you guys sell more accounts by making up for the inadequacies of your crappy web-based player. They made your service tolerable for people on Macs and also accessible for anyone working on multiple computers. The only flaw in their player was that which was introduced from the buggy Real player engine component that would occasionally crash the browser- and they probably would have figured out how to fix that too if you had just acquired those guys. How about instead of killing off the companies that are solving the inadequacies of your products, you focus your shareholder’s money on making your own stuff work?

I’ve taken the liberty of rewriting your mission statement to bring it a bit more in line with the behavior you actually exhibit. One can only guess how many scarcity-minded middle-managers, SCO-trained lawyers and committees were behind this mistake. The smart move here that would have added value to your service and gained favor with your Mac user base would have been to acquire Yotta, put Luke in charge of your product dev team and replace all the crappy aspects of your service with the good stuff they created. You offer an API so presumably you’re interested in encouraging developers to extend your service and make it more useful? Way to send the exact opposite message to any potential developers who were thinking about doing so… instead you killed the guys that were using an API (albeit private) to create value. Rockin’ start to ’08…

I will be canceling my Rhapsody service and shorting your stock first thing in the morning. I would do both now but the market is closed and apparently you offer no way to cancel service via your web site. Nice barrier to exit there – introduce enough friction to leaving by forcing your users to call your CSR’s and wade through an automated phone system to cancel (can’t wait to run that human hamster maze tomorrow – F$%# you again Real Networks). Apparently I’m not the only one who feels strongly about how poorly you guys handled this situation.

I can’t in good conscience continue to give money to a company that behaves this stupidly. Actually stupididity isn’t the word to describe this because that implies benign uninformed-ness and this is just plain evil. I have been hoping that Real and Apple would work out a deal to extend Rhapsody integration to Apple TV and the iPod- now Rhapsody has instead taken a colossal step backwards making it almost entirely unusable on the Mac. Idiocy. For anyone who plans to remain a Rhapsody user, here’s an option to make their service usable again by averting the repeated disruption of applications crashes: place-shift your service so you can listen to your Rhapsody music on an iPod or your Apple TV or your iTunes. Here’s how:

  1. Buy something like the Replay Music client that allows you to record streaming music.
  2. Rip your Rhapsody songs to your hard drive (complete with ID3 tags).
  3. Bring them into iTunes and tag with a playlist called “Rhapsody.”
  4. Evaluate the music in your car, at the gym, on your Apple TV, wherever and then decide what’s worth buying. Delete it when your done evaluating and purchase using iTunes or Amazon (not Rhapsody).

This tactic of course opens up the potential for abuse and requires that you do the right thing and purchase the music you plan to keep and delete the stuff you’re don’t when you’re through vetting it. I don’t advocate stealing music. If you want to steal music it’s probably easier through Bit Torrent and Pirate Bay if that’s really your thing.

Your welcome, Real, for educating your subscribers on how to make your service truly usable again and compensating for your inability to deliver a technology that doesn’t crash every 5 min. Now resume your nastiness and put some of that over-zealous legal staff back to work doing something detrimental to your business so I can make some money off your stock. Yahoo music here I come… it’s half the monthly price of Rhapsody and they have a risk-free 14 day trial apparently. Some useful reviews from people that compared the two services here, here and here if you’re thinking of switching.

3 Responses to “Place-shift your Rhapsody service”

  1. […] Oh yeah, lastly feel free to redistribute, burn, mix, whatever. Everyone unless you’re Rhapsody (F$#@ you and your 2hr hold times to cancel service Real Networks). Music should be free with concerts generating revenue for musicians. If anything come out to our next concert or open mic and throw quarters at us onstage. Sign up on our site to get an email before our next show. Pass it along:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  2. Bhill says:

    I totally agree with this entire post … I love rhapsody but it crashes constantly on a mac (since they have ignored us completely) … I’d like to switch bigtime … need an alternative.

  3. dave says:

    I completely agree. Update me on what you have found works better. Is there a way to work in Apple TV with a streamer I can subscribe to (rather than buy every song)?

    ps. I agree with the short on RNWK, but I was late to the party (sept) and covered in Oct and still took 2.10 out of them, it was nice.

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