Spotify vs. Rhapsody (comparison)

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Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.

31 Comments to Spotify vs. Rhapsody (comparison)

  1. I had Rhapsody for a couple of years,I will go back when the get real,and up grade their bit rate.For the money I spent on my stereo,I want the highest quality bit-rate feeding it,the rest is trivial to my ears..

  2. Rhapsody is the big winner. I’ve had Rhapsody for years, premium for three months. Tried Spotify a few weeks ago – the full one – and dumped it after a week. The biggest drawback was organization. Either one is fine if you’re a casual listener, but for music crazies (I have 15k old school “purchased” songs) Spotify gets out of hand almost right away. Forget browsing your collection in Spotify in other words. Rhapsody has a classic organization to it, plus it works well through the bluetooth on my car stereos (using Nexus 7 and iPod touch) while I had some playback troubles with Spotify (with the Nexus). So for now I’ve got to stick with Rhapsody…

  3. Joseph Strollo

    Rhapsody pays artists more per stream than Spotify. For me as a musician this is important. Spotify gives away too much free music; Rhapsody does not and that’s they’ll always be around.

  4. One is for music lovers, one for those who just want a free app. If you need updates on each 80’s tune your friend Brenda re-listened to today, well, you know what to do.

  5. There are two articles here. One is for people who just want free music and oh look, Billy is listenin to Stairway to Heaven.. again. Fascinating.

  6. I use both Rhapsody as well as Spotify. Two negative points for me, for Spotify, are the Facebook integration and music discovery. Enough has been said about Facebook so I won’t go into it here. The things other reviewers have said about FB Integration are my feelings too.

    Music discovery is fine IF you are looking for newer tracks. However, if you’re into older types of music you might find discovering new artists challenging.

    I do like Spotify’s UI a better than Rhapsody’s. I think Spotify’s radio feature is also probably better as well. Rhapsody’s web interface is easier to figure out, thought so is Spotify’s with a day or two of use.

    I don’t think the difference of two million tracks for Spotify can be considered an advantage. If Spotify’s music discovery were better, than perhaps.

  7. Kristie, very nice job. I have subscribed to Rhapsody for +8 years. I still prefer Rhapsody over Spotify. However, Rhapsody still has lots of technical glitches. One of their biggest is synching playlists. One cannot get the exact same playlist captured from the PC to a portable device. It is hit and miss. Spotify’s higher bit rate is huge. Their UI is awesome, and their social elements are so 2012+. Watch out Rhapsody. A better service is almost here.

    • Joseph Strollo

      Rhapsody does have social integration through Facebook, but it isn’t a main focus. My only true complaint with Rhapsody is the lower sound quality which could be better.

  8. I did this yesterday but now the comment is gone…can you actually download a song’s tack on spotify. I know you can with rhapsody.

  9. Bogus! Rhapsody is far superior and her logic is ridiculous. I’ve been with Rhapsody for around 8 years and love it. We recently tried Spotify and it wasn’t even worth bothering with. Blah!

  10. KafeSociety

    The biggest point you miss is HOW DO THEY PAY THE ARTISTS. Spotify is the biggest rip-off of our times. They pay less — criminally less — than any other streaming service, It works out to $0.005 per stream, that’s a paltry $165 even for a MILLION plays. That’s like stealing someones car and leaving the stuff in their trunk on the sidewalk. Spotify is the music service for people who don’t care about the people who make the music, and only exists because the billionaire owner gave sweetheart stock deals to all of the labels. There are better streaming services to check out or purchase music. Use Pandora or SoundExchange, they at least pay musicians fairly.

    • Anonymous

      I had Rhapsody for a couple of years,I will go back when the get real,and up grade their bit rate.For the money I spent on my stereo,I want the highest quality bit-rate feeding it,the rest is trivial to my ears..

  11. Rhapsody does not have any Linux support and doesn’t appear to care. Spotify has a beta version which is a heck of a lot more useful than the web alternative.

  12. You obviously didn’t also figure out that Rhapsody also has Maria Cantwell, best-babe Senator in the country as an asset. Keep it local, keep it Seattle, keep it Cantwell, and obviously keep it Rhapsody. Or maybe this Kristie person doesn’t realize a bigger picture is in play here. Oh, LA based: well, that does say it all.

  13. I like Spotify free.  It works great on the PC. Rhapsody doesn’t have a free option like Napster did.
    However, I don’t agree with how the pricing was awarded to Spotify.
    If you have more than 1 mobile device, Spotify quickly gets expensive at $9.99 each. If your family has 2 or 3 devices, Rhapsody stays at $14.99 while Spotify charges the full $9.99 for each.   That is a big disadvantage.

    That said, I had Napster before Rhapsody purchased them and had nothing but problems when they converted on my older MP3 devices.  Left a sour taste in my mouth.

    BTW.. the social site aspect to me is a negative for spotify. Had to turn that off in facebook.  Do I really want people to know what I’m listening to? Who cares.

  14. I am having real problems with Rhapsody / Napster. There are so many tracks missing which are there with Spotify. I have just had a call with Rhapsody and they admit they have problems . They say the search engine does not work correctly and they also admit there are many tracks missing which is a real shame as I have been with Napster for years and have enjoyed the service but since the move to Rhapsody they have had issue after issue which has really brought the service down.

  15. I’m not sure if I agree with the price comparison, at least for my habits. Rhapsody is $14.99 if you want to authorize 3 devices (which I do: two iPhones and an inexpensive MP3 player for travel).  For one device, Rhapsody and Spotify are the same price: $9.99.  With Rhapsody I pay $14.99 for all three, whereas with Spotify I’d have to pay for at least two accounts in order to simultaneously stream to the iPhones, and my MP3 player would be useless.

    As much as I’d like to be able to share playlists, I think I’m going to have to stick with Rhapsody for now.

  16. I used Spotify for a little while when it first became available to US users. I found at the time that I wasn’t able to find some of the tracks on Spotify that Rhapsody had, which were US artists. There were many things I liked about the service, though, and there is definitely a sexiness to Spotify. The vast majority of my friends use it, though I have to admit, the Facebook integration is quite annoying. However, the two are still similar enough that for me the selling point for Rhapsody was integrating my subscription with my existing Verizon bill. Convenience at its finest.

  17. You are absolutely wrong about the Mobile Application. Spotify comes out way ahead because it supports far more mobile platforms than Rhapsody like Windows Mobile and Symbian AND none of those devices need to have wifi or data connectivity to play music thanks to the Offline Mode feature.

    • Spotify does not work at all with the older Logitec Squeezebox players (like the Duet) and the App for the newer Touch is (pardon the pun) touch and go. List of songs and entire albums will only play one or a couple tracks and will just sit silently until you advance away from a song it won’t play. Also, the Spotify Touch app and the Onkyo applet do not have nearly as many selection options as do the Rhapsody apps. For instance, you can’t select from the top 100 albums, just those in the What’s New section.

  18. I tried using spotify as my friend kept arguing it was better than rhapsody but other than the pricetag and better sound quality, spotify is simply not as good.

    With rhapsody I don’t have to worry if my mom wants to listen to music at home on the iPad while I’m at school or driving streaming music through my phone where as with spotify it was annoying when all of a sudden it would stop playing.

    One thing I did like though was the ability to stream to any one device I wanted (for example,: my mom’s or sister’s) iPhone where as with rhapsody I could only stream to my iPad, iPhone and one more device. I would have to deauthorize one of the devices if I ever wanted to use a fourth device (not simultaneously)

    I am still considering going back to rhapsody for next month.

  19. I’ve used Rhapsody for awhile and wanted to give Spotify a shot. I found that there are several things I found that Rhapsody does much better. 
    1- The web version of Rhapsody is in many ways superior to the desktop App of Spotify. Who wants to install another application? Do you install one for Pandora? Rhapsody’s site is easy to navigate, find music, give information about the artists (as explained in the article), and have music playing on a side playlist all at the same time. 
    2- There’s no true “library” in spotify. It’s like a giant playlist – which isn’t what I want in a subscription service. I want it to be like I’m buying my music – seeing lists of artists in my library or by genre. This let’s me quickly get to a list of the artists I like so I can listen to their music. This is such a huge detractor that I’m less than interested that Spotify will show me my own music since I can’t navigate it well. 
    3- The iPhone application completely failed for me with Spotify. I tried 3 times and all three it would play one song then quit. Restarted the phone and the same problem. With Rhapsody I can more quickly get to the music I want to play (see second point) and it generally plays the music well. It’s not perfect though – on occasion it will refuse to play a song. 

    I went into trying Spotify optimistic because of all the press it’s gotten. I came away very disappointed and have already canceled my trial. 

    • webduelist

      1. yes I do have a app for pandora its on my phone, quit wining its not like todays 500gb + hard drives cant handle it.
      2. Ok I will admit that rhapsody dose a better job there, but its not like spotifys system is terrible, search a artist, click on the artist name and bam every album by the artist. 
      3.Never had a problem and if there was a problem its not like they can fix it over night, have you ever done coding and then had this odd little bug when everything is working? its a pain to find and then you have to fix it without breaking everything else. 
      4? you do know spotify has a free version, why would you start with a trial, play with the free version before you commit to anything. 

  20. Rhapsody also does not have a desktop application for Mac users. They can only stream from Rhapsody’s website. An important selling point for Spotify in my opinion.

  21. You completely missed some really big points. 1) you state that spotify lets you download to more offline devices… No. Rhapsody is also 3. Furthermore on rhapsody all 3 can access the service at the same time. That point should go to rhapsody. 2) most people are irritated by the social feature of spotify. Why is that a plus? 3) You said that spotify won pricing because it’s most expensive option was cheaper…. That’s an awful way to judge something. You have to evaluate what you get for your money~at which point rhapsody comes out on top. 4) The free version of spotify doesn’t really count as membership.. It’s constant advert bombardment and occasional music playing on a computer only. This section should also be re-evaluated. 5) under limitations for the reason spotify won you listed more access under one account which even in your own article you admit is untrue. Re-assign these points and Rhapsody is te one on top

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