Hands-on With Verizon Wireless And Rhapsody

On Monday, Verizon Wireless announced that it has partnered with Rhapsody to offer a DRM-free option for downloading music. The new alliance will allow users with the LG Voyager, Dare, and other handsets, to download a track on their phone, and another DRM-free track on their computer using Rhapsody’s software. Once you’ve purchased a track on your phone, you can open up Rhapsody and download another copy. Here’s how: 1.    Click “My Account” in the top tool bar. 2.    Click “Manage My Account” from the drop down menu 3.    Log in with your VZW phone number and registered password 4.    Click “Downloads” at the bottom of the left toolbar list 5.    Click the “V Cast” tab 6.    Select the checkbox next to the songs you’d like DRM-free copies of on your computer 7.    Click “Download Tracks” 8.    Rhapsody will download the tracks to your computer I grabbed Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds for just $0.99. You can then sideload the tracks onto your phone’s microSD card. Overall I like the service, but prefer Amazon’s MP3 store, because it also offers unlocked DRM music, and some of the songs are $.89. Furthermore, the Amazon store is simply that: a shelf that you can quickly purchase songs from without having to deal with a whole iTunes-like interface that Rhapsody is. I really wish that you could choose to send your newly downloaded songs from Rhapsody to the phone over the air, but I know that Verizon Wireless would never let its data network clog up like that, so I’ll dream on. Verizon Wireless also claims that you can use the monthly unlimited Rhapsody subscription plan of $15 per month to keep your handset fresh with new tunes. However, keep in mind that you’ll lose your whole library the day you stop paying that bill. On the other hand, it’s a big step for Verizon to allow users to now own hard copies of songs they download from their handset. Because while some users may purchase $2 songs from their phone, most will want to play it back elsewhere on other devices, like their iPods or computers. Thankfully, now those users can do just that.

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