Rhapsody: An Apology Of Sorts

Last week I wrote an annoyed post on the demise of one of my favorite music web services, Yottamusic.

I let Rhapsody have it for shutting down Yotta, which was an alternative web client for subscribers of Rhapsody. Here’s what I said:

Rhapsody should be like dial tone. You subscribe to it and use it wherever you want

The fact that they’ve shut down yotta shows that they are old school luddites without a clue.

Screw them. I am so off of Rhapsody as soon as someone like spotify comes along with the right model.

Ben Rotholtz, who is GM Web Services & Syndication at Rhapsody, left several well written comments to the post and he and I have been trying to schedule some time to talk which hasn’t happened due to my vacation and his trip to CES.

The story here is that Rhapsody’s API is governed by the terms of their content licenses with the record labels. Yottamusic was doing some things outside of their API and outside of their terms of service in order to fully replicate the Rhapsody experience for their users. Rhapsody had no choice to shut them down or be in violation of its deals with the labels.

So I guess I owe Rhapsody an apology here. It’s not entirely their fault. They are not luddites. They are in bed with luddites.

As one of my mentors in the venture business used to say all the time – "when you lie down with dogs, you come up with fleas."