Why Can't They Get It Right!? (A Rhapsody Mini-Review)

Rhapsody recently launched an alternative to iTunes, offering DRM-free (!) mp3's for purchase. This is in addition to their unlimited-listen (for a monthly fee) jukebox model. They were also offering a free $10 credit if you were one of the first 10,000 people to sign up. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. Today I went on to download some music and test out the service. I typed in Rhapsody.com, logged in with my username and password, and was taken to a site where I can search for music. Ben Mono -- Hit The Bit ** Searched for "Ben Mono" (by artist) ** Results came back from his album "Hit the Bit" (on my listen-to list for a while) ** Liked the previews, clicked to purch... but wait, no purchase button!? ** Clicked link to "Buy Ben Mono MP3s" ** Search results page came up "No Artist found for "Ben Mono." FAIL. How is it that I can listen to tracks on Rhapsody, and not be able to buy the tracks from Rhapsody? Now before you get on my case... I understand that they are two different things now (rhapsody.com and mp3.rhapsody.com)... I understand that only after spending 15 minutes frustrated, searching over and over, with different phrases on the "store". But it frustrates this music-lover enough that I will probably never use the service again, even with a free $10 credit to my name. The moral to this story is simple: In a medium where navigation/interaction is the main function, user-experience is key! Especially when you are competing with iTunes... an admittedly easy, established, user-friendly store. Rhapsody... you want to beat Apple's iTunes Music Store for my Ben Mono business? Make it drop dead simple. Offer an extensive catalog with DRM-free music, or features that I can't get anywhere else! Make it fun to browse. And don't make me have to think about anything... point, click, purchase, done.

About the Author

kc! Bradshaw is the Creative Director for LEGENDmag, a founder of CircleSavvy and works as a freelance graphic designer for Exkclamation. In his spare time, he enjoys the finer textures of life; rides his classic motorcycle; and absolutely loves music. Stalk him on Twitter.