Rhapsody iPhone App Review

Rhapsody logo

This review refers to an old version of the Rhapsody app and service. Rhapsody no longer exists. The company acquired Napster in 2011 and the changed the name of the combined company to Napster in 2016. To learn more, check out The History of Napster. For the app that replaced Rhapsody, check out Napster for iOS (opens the App Store).

The Good

  • Unlimited listening with subscription
  • Supports multitasking
  • Offline listening
  • Integrates with desktop version

The Bad

  • No direct purchasing from app

Rhapsody is a subscription service that provides access to more than 11 million songs in a variety of genres. The free app allows you to check out a free trial of Rhapsody to see if a subscription will work for you. So is Rhapsody a no-brainer for iPhone users or is a free Internet radio app a better choice?

How Rhapsody works

Unlike Pandora or Last.fm, which are Internet radio services, Rhapsody charges a monthly subscription to listen to music. The upside is that there are no listening restrictions (as you would get with an Internet radio app), and you can download music for offline listening. With the free app, you get a seven-day free trial to try out Rhapsody before you purchase a subscription. 

Once I signed up for my free trial, it was easy to start listening. The Rhapsody app has a variety of ways to find new music, whether by searching by artist or song, browsing new releases, or listening to staff picks. After you find a song, you can download it for offline listening or add it to your queue, library, or playlist. (It seems a little redundant to have queues, libraries, AND playlists, but Rhapsody gives you no shortage of listening options.) There’s also a link to purchase the song from iTunes

Listening to Music with the Rhapsody app

The interface itself is very easy to use and pretty intuitive. Most features are relatively self-explanatory, although I couldn’t figure out how to add individual songs to a playlist rather than entire albums. Audio quality is good for the most part, but I did encounter a few buffering pauses and song skips — even when testing the Rhapsody app with a strong Wi-Fi connection (that’s yet another benefit of downloading songs for offline use). I didn’t notice any significant differences when listening on a 3G connection vs. Wi-Fi. 

The desktop version allows you to purchase songs directly from Rhapsody, but that’s not available in the iPhone app (aside from the aforementioned link to buy from iTunes). 

A basic Rhapsody subscription costs US$9.99 a month, while a Premier Plus subscription (which allows you to download songs on up to three mobile devices) will run you $14.99 per month. If you buy 10 or more songs a month at iTunes, it makes sense to look into a Rhapsody subscription. The service works great on the iPhone, and subscribers can also access music on Mac or PC computers. 

The Bottom Line

The Rhapsody app gives you much more listening freedom than Internet radio apps, although you will have to pony up for a monthly subscription. However, if you buy a lot of music from iTunes, a subscription certainly makes sense. The offline mode is a huge perk since you can listening to music anywhere -- even if you don't have an Internet connection. Aside from not having the ability to purchase MP3s directly from the app, I can’t see many downsides to having Rhapsody on your iPhone. Overall rating: 5 stars out of 5. 

What You’ll Need

The Rhapsody app is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later.