It's obviously a week for mobile music, as Rhapsody has become the latest media streaming app to land on the iPhone [iTunes link]. Promising to do for US Apple customers what Spotify on iPhone has done in Europe, the new application offers its 8 million tracks over WiFi or mobile; however, unlike Spotify it's unable to play music when offline, using cached versions of songs.
Like the European service, Rhapsody on iPhone demands a monthly subscription - in this case, Rhapsody To Go, which costs $15 per month. There's a week's free trial included when you download the app initially, which is something Spotify foolishly didn't include, and tracks are streamed in 64kbps quality.
SlashGear columnist Michael Gartenberg has been trying out the new app, and despite the quality shortcomings he's very impressed. Access to playlists, albums and artists is all there, though of course thanks to the iPhone's lack of true multitasking there's no way to play Rhapsody music in the background while doing something else on the iPhone.
"Just enter your credentials and you’re good to go. I had no problems streaming over the air (but of course, there’s no background streaming on the iPhone). I had no problems accessing my playlists, albums and artists. Along with the Sonos, this is the best integration of Rhapsody that I’ve seen" Michael Gartenberg
If anything, that strikes us as most likely to form customers into vocal complaint about background applications. While IM client complaints have been partially quieted by the pop-up dialog boxes, there's no such easy workaround for music apps. More on Rhapsody for iPhone - plus a demo video - here.