Streaming music service Rhapsody has rolled out a new downloadable app designed specifically for Android tablets. Beyond standard-issue options including playlist creation/editing and song playback, the program also includes original artist discovery and editorial content features that are custom-built to exploit slate PCs' larger screen real estate.
Apart from providing a richer visual experience than sister apps for smartphones and slinkier mobile devices, the touchscreen interface makes it easier to read and learn about featured singers, bands and musical genres. Pairing a 14 million-strong catalogue of tunes with expert playlists and recommendations – plus links to artist biographies, interviews and live performances – the app also offers exclusive listening opportunities and album reviews by leading writers. Its more magazine-like experience lets users quickly research favorite artists or casually stumble across new acts and genres, and upgrades include noticeably heightened graphical elements with freshly-added touch and slide controls.
These enhancements have led the company to claim that it has "reimagined the Rhapsody experience for the tablet." That claim is debatable, though there's no questioning that the app affords greater visibility to content created by the service's editors, letting users explore the influences behind Beck's Odelay or skim cheat sheets to top AC/DC imitators.
Built for viewing on 9-inch or larger displays, the app provides highlights new releases, follows trending acts and recommends suggestions based on personal listening tastes. Streamlining the browsing and listening experiences, a combination of colorful sliders, menu choices and featured content blocks also make it easy to parse Top 10 lists or themed acoustics sets with minimal backtracking.
Whether such retoolings will ultimately help the $9.99/month subscription service (which recently acquired rival Napster) remains to be seen, as does the likelihood that Rhapsody will be able outfox competitors such as Spotify and Grooveshark. A free download of the tablet app is currently available from the Android Market and Amazon app store.