Last week, I received an e-mail regarding the impending announcement of a new MP3 player with an impressive feature list, including Rhapsody DNA integration and support for both 802.11b/g WiFi and stereo Bluetooth. I was immediately intrigued by the product, called the ibiza Rhapsody, though I didn't recognize the manufacturer, Haier America. Always curious about newcomers to the portable media player market, I looked it up. You really had to be here to appreciate my groan of skepticism when I found out that the company specializes in home appliances. I mean, really: what could a team that … Read more
On Monday, MTV Networks is set to unveil an initiative to connect its television, online, and mobile presences by helping music fans answer that crucial question--"Who the (expletive) sings that song?"
In other words, MTV Networks, the Viacom division that encompasses the MTV, VH1, and CMT brands as well as a host of other pop culture channels, is aiming to renew its focus on music by bringing lyrics to the forefront. This will begin rolling out in November and is expected to be complete by the middle of 2008.
On television, several of the networks' existing music-related … Read more
A few weeks ago, TiVo announced that the subscription music service Rhapsody is now available on Series2, Series3, and TiVo HD boxes. As a Rhapsody subscriber and owner of a TiVo Series2 box, this was pretty exciting. For me, being able to browse Rhapsody's entire music library (million of tracks) from my living room is, in many ways, more exciting than being able to access purchased songs from iTunes, which is one of the main features of the much-hyped Apple TV. (Sonos already offers full Rhapsody access, but it's much more expensive.) I've lived with Rhapsody on … Read more
NEW YORK--You've got to hand it to RealNetworks' Rhapsody. The subscription music service is pulling out all the stops to increase its market share--partnering with TiVo, entering a lofty deal with MTV Networks--and even if it hasn't been able to dent Apple's iTunes, Rhapsody hasn't been making itself look stupid in the process.
In fact, if the company's "Rhapsody Rocks NYC" concert here Monday night was any indicator, music aficionados are taking the company seriously.
When I walked into midtown Manhattan's flashy Arena nightclub on Tuesday evening for an event celebrating the introduction of RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service on TiVo, a waiter approached me with a tray full of tumblers containing a clear liquid accompanied by slices of lime.
I was thirsty. "Is this water?" I asked him.
"No, it's an HD Crystal Clear Cosmo," he replied matter-of-factly, "so, no, it's not water."
A little bit of journalistic digging--i.e. finding a sign detailing the evening's signature drinks--yielded that that the HD Crystal Clear Cosmo … Read more
Add Rhapsody to TiVo's bag of broadband media tricks. Real Networks' music subscription service is available as of today to users of TiVo's standalone Series2 and Series3 DVRs. The integration makes good on an announcement by the two companies back at January's Consumer Electronics Show. Rhapsody joins a host of other broadband offerings on TiVo's DVRs, including Amazon Unbox videos, Live 365 streaming radio, podcast downloads, Yahoo photos/traffic/weather, and customized TiVoCast video downloads. (Note: CNET is a content provider for TiVoCast.)
Existing Rhapsody subscribers should have no trouble getting access to their music collection, … Read more
(UPDATE: RealNetworks has filed an 8-K form with the SEC that contains some more details about Rhapsody America. Most notable: MTV is contributing a $230 million note to the deal, and RealNetworks will in exchange be required to spend that amount with MTV on advertising. The joint venture is between RealNetworks and MTV, with Verizon as a distribution partner.)
The 2007 Consumer Electronics Show must've held some awkward moments for Microsoft.
With their new joint digital music initiative, MTV Networks, RealNetworks and Verizon Wireless are taking a direct aim at Apple's iTunes powerhouse.
Called Rhapsody America, the yet-to-launch collaboration among the three companies will combine MTV's relatively unsuccessful Urge music store, the Real-owned Rhapsody subscription download service, and Verizon's V Cast mobile media service to create a music store that reaches across the PC, digital music player, and mobile phone platforms.
The new Rhapsody America company is officially a joint venture between MTV Networks and Real Networks, with Verizon Wireless as its exclusive mobile partner. Urge as a … Read more
Viacom's MTV has plans to align its digital music strategy with RealNetworks, a move that likely marks the end of a similar partnership between MTV and Microsoft, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
A year ago, analysts loved the idea that Microsoft appeared to be challenging Apple's powerhouse music store, iTunes, by joining forces with a music-industry icon in MTV.
But MTV's Urge music service fell flat.
One reason may have been that shortly after Urge launched, Microsoft directed much of its attention toward the Zune music player and a digital download store that … Read more