Yottamusic – Rhapsody The Way I’ve Always Wanted It

Yottamusic
One of the reasons I am so excited about lightweight and open web services (aka web 2.0) is that they create a competitive dynamic where the best services will win.

In the past when web services were delivered in a closed environment (aka web 1.0) you were stuck with what the provider could and would deliver to you.

This week I got a great reminder about the benefit of open web services. A service called Yottamusic launched. Yottamusic is basically a new front end on top of Rhapsody which has opened its web service.

I have always loved Rhapsody’s library of streaming music and the business model ($9.99 per month for unlimited listening to anything in the library). I pretty much use Rhapsody every day.

But I have never liked the software and service that Rhapsody is delivered in. The software client (windows only) was clunky, fat, slow, and not particulary pleasing to the eye.

Last year they made it possible to listen to Rhapsody in a browser (and therefore opened it to Mac and Linux users). That was nice and I stopped using the Rhapsody client the day they did that. But the web user interface is limited and does basically nothing to take advantage of being delivered on the web in a browser.

I have so often wanted to share my Rhapsody listens with others, to send messages about music to others, to comment on music I am listening to, to blog about it, and all the things you can do on most web services today. But Rhapsody either didn’t offer that functionality, or if they did it was in such a backward way that you didn’t want to use it.

So along comes Yottamusic. You can’t use it unless you have a Rhapsody account. It’s a new front end for Rhapsody.

Here’s what I like:

  • the search is fast and the results are delivered in a more intuitive way
  • the player is faster to load and simpler to use
  • you can build a social network on the service and invite your friends who use Rhapsody to join it
  • you can have a profile on the service
  • your profile showcases your recent listens
  • you can message your friends (site messaging)

There is so much more they should do and hopefully will do, like

  • last.fm integration
  • youtube integration
  • hypemachine integration
  • blog integration

But given how quickly the’ve rolled this out, I am optimistic we’ll so a lot more innovation soon.

Open web services allow us to adopt the best pieces. Rhapsody is the best streaming music service in my opinion. But they make pretty lousy user interfaces. By opening it up, they let the market do its thing and in the process they are making Rhapsody better. And that’s great.