Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Music subscription service Rhapsody has released a new version of its mobile app for Windows Phone 8 today, giving device owners access to more than 13 million tracks on the move.
The online music store subscription service, available only in the US, has been updated with a slew of new features including offline playback for downloaded tracks, albums and playlists. Spotify, Nokia Music+ and Xbox Music are already offering users similar functionality on their own respective Windows Phone 8 apps, making Rhapsody somewhat of a hard sell for new listeners.
However, the app also has support for My Music, which is the user profile and radio functionality originally pioneered by Last.fm. It means users can add or remove tracks and albums to their profile, but also check out other people’s libraries at anytime.
Incremental updates for the Windows Phone 8 release include the ability to see your listening history, as well as the ability to add and remove both stations and playlists from their respective sections. It sits alongside further improvements to the app’s audio playback, album art and search functionality.
The app has adopted a mostly black and white color scheme, allowing cover art and various artist photos to really shine through. It’s a marked improvement over the recent Spotify release on Windows Phone 8, both in its use of colour and the way it takes advantage of the entire screen.
The app should be available now, although Microsoft has stressed on its Windows Phone blog that the update has “just started its rollout”, meaning that if it’s not there now, it should be in the next couple of hours.
Rhapsody still has a fairly strong following in the US, although its presence is being challenged by younger services such as Rdio, Spotify and Xbox Music. Last year the company acquired Napster International, giving it a crucial foothold in the UK and Germany. Although the service continues to operate there, it feels somewhat walled off and disparate given its limited international reach.
However, a series of refreshed apps could be just what the company needs to gain greater attraction in the US.
➤ Rhapsody | Windows Phone 8
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Image Credit: LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images
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