Verizon and Rhapsody have teamed up to deliver a music service that works on your PC and your cell phone. V Cast Music with Rhapsody lets you access the millions of songs in Rhapsody's library; you can either stream songs or download them for purchase. While the service offers you access to plenty of music, it can get pricey fast.
V Cast Music with Rhapsody costs $14.99 per month, and works on various Verizon Wireless handsets. (For more information on which phones are compatible, visit VerizonWireless.com.) The monthly fee includes access to the V Cast service on your phone and the Rhapsody subscription music service on your PC.
On Your Phone
From your phone, you can browse the V Cast Music Store, which is easy to access and nicely designed for use on a small phone screen. You can browse by artist, genre, album, or song titles, and can preview tracks before you buy them. Individual songs can be purchased for $1.99; the files are downloaded to your phone as MP3s.
Each download includes a second copy of the song, which can be downloaded to your computer; when you fire up the software on your computer, you'll see a list of all the songs you purchased on your phone, and can select which ones you'd like to save to your computer.
Verdict: The V Cast Music features you'll find on your phone are good but basic; there's nothing exceptional about them.
On Your Computer
The V Cast Music with Rhapsody application lets you browse the estimated 5 million songs in Rhapsody's library. You can stream any of the songs to your PC and save them to your music library; the songs will be accessible as long as your subscription to V Cast Music with Rhapsody service remains current. You also have the option of purchasing songs for download, too; songs purchased from your PC cost 99 cents each, while most albums go for $9.99.
All of the songs you purchase and stream to your PC can be transferred to your V Cast phone. You simply connect your phone to your PC via the USB cord, and--once the drivers are installed--it will show up as a music source in your Rhapsody application. Transferring songs is simple: Yu just highlight the titles you’d like to transfer, drag them to your phone icon, and they're transferred. You can do the same with any playlists you create, too.
Songs that you download and purchase are yours to keep forever. You can burn these tracks to CDs, and save them anywhere you like. Songs that you stream from Rhapsody's library are only accessible as long as you're a paying customer. You'll lose your access to them--even the copies that you transfer to your phone--when your subscription to the service ends.
Verdict: You get a full-featured music service that provides you with access to an exceptional selection of tunes.
Worth the Price?
Rhapsody's streaming music features are only accessible from your computer, not your phone. That means that if you're away from your PC and you want to listen to a new song, you'll have to pony up the $1.99 to purchase it. You should also note that Verizon's V Cast Music with Rhapsody software works with Windows XP and Vista PCs only, so if you use a Mac, you're out of luck.
Final Verdict: At $14.99 per month (plus the cost of any downloads), V Cast Music with Rhapsody is expensive. But you do get a lot for your money. If you're a music lover, you'll love this service.