I'm what you call a regular user of Real's Rhapsody ... my brother pays for the service, and I generally log in and use his service while he's sleeping (since I'm +9 hours ahead of him) .... toward the end of my work day, I generally get a " *Ping* User has logged in from another location" followed by an IM from him saying, "Get off my Rhapsody." It's a pretty cool service ... he pays I think 9.99 USD per month or something and can listen online to any (900,000 choices) song as he wants. Seemingly, it's much better than iTunes, as you get some pidly 30 music previews then gotta pay 99 cents per song in some crappy ACC format. Real allows you to burn Rhapsody songs for 79 cents (not sure what format, probably Real's).
Anyway, what is INTERESTING is that no client side application (a dumb downed version) has been made for PPC or Symbian based devices ... with EDGE/3G pretty much starting to hit a slow stride, I most certainly wouldn't mind draining a bit of my device's battery to pick any song I'd want to listen to on my phone/PDA ... why not. You don't even need a lot of space to stream songs ... Maybe it's just me but that would be pretty cool. Who the hell (besides Apple freaks) want to buy some over-priced Mp3 player and then pay 99 cents per song? Sure, people are doing it, but I bet if Real had their own player with such a service (and say, Bluetooth in their player to connect to a phones's GPRS/EDGE/3G connection), that'd be awsome and would murder Apple on the spot (ok, not murder, as Apple's marketing folks are awsome).
Again, all of this goes back to Platforms (Windows/Symbian) vs. Hardware (Mac/iPod) ... Nokia didn't learn much with the N-Gage (hardware, instead of a platform), it seems Sony with the PSP is gonna go pretty much the same route ... one day, maybe they'll all get it right. This is why I'm still crossing my fingers for Symbian. Time will tell.
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Mobile Music Mp3 Players ]