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Scrutinizing Spotify and Rhapsody Bitrates

This article from Sweden discusses how many of Spotify’s songs are actually at the high quality bitrate (320 kbps Ogg Vorbis q9) for desktop streaming.  Many songs are still only available at the lower 160 kbps Ogg Vorbis q5.  The article acknowledges that for many listeners the difference is irrelevant, but audiophiles may care.

Rhapsody recently started making higher quality bitrate (192 kbps AAC vs 128(?)) songs available to its listeners here in the US, but like Spotify not all songs are encoded at the higher quality.  One nice perk of Rhapsody’s Android app is that it does show you an ‘HQ’ indicator when you’re playing a song at the better bitrate.

For the majority of listeners this is probably an esoteric issue, but people using very very good headphones or audio equipment may find it more important.

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Upcoming Rhapsody Android release 2.1.1 a big leap forward

I downloaded the beta for the next version of Rhapsody’s Android app and was thrilled they added a feature that no one else’s mobile app has that I have wanted for a long, long time: the ability to browse new releases by genre.

Several of the music services allow browsing new releases by genre on their web site (Mog, Napster, and Rhapsody), but no one has added that to their mobile app until now. This is a fantastic way to keep on top of new music that matters to you rather than just getting some generic list of the most popular new releases.

Oh, and the other big news: the ability to stream 192kbps AAC songs is finally coming to everyone and is no longer limited to the Verizon-specific version!  I absolutely hate the slow, buggy Verizon app store, so being able to use the “mainstream” Rhapsody release without losing access to higher quality songs is going to be a HUGE plus.

Keep an eye out for when this gets officially released, it’s a *big* leap forward for Rhapsody Android fans!  If you can’t wait for it to be released then you can get instructions for downloading the beta yourself here.

Filed under rhapsody bit rate bitrate genre new releases android

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