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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this streaming music site doesn't incorporate a large social-networking component, but it does allow kids to listen to and purchase their favorite songs. Though you can share playlists with friends, the service lacks other networking features like blogs and pairings with similar users. Parents should also remain aware that users can access explicit versions of songs.
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What's it about?
RHAPSODY is an on-demand music service that lets you listen to music of your choice right on the spot. With an unlimited subscription of $9.99 per month, you can "rent" just about any song, album, or artist under the sun -- provided it's in the Rhapsody catalog, which it probably is since the service has licensed the vast majority of music out there. You can listen to songs as many times as you like and manipulate them in several ways, including making them into playlists that are stored in your Rhapsody account and creating custom channels that rotate music from dozens of different artists you choose. You're also able to purchase and download tracks. While Rhapsody does less hand-holding than sites like Pandora, which is built around the concept of suggesting music its listeners might like, the service still provides its own pre-made, theme-based channels that users can choose.
Is it any good?
If Pandora is Music 101, Rhapsody is Advanced Music -- which audiophiles who know their tastes will absolutely love. Using the service will be addictive for these music aficionados who won't be able to stop the flood of songs they want to hear. The service also offers other perks, such as artist bios and album reviews from All Music Guide, that speak to its audience's characteristic desire to dig deeper into music. On the flip side, those who know less about music may feel a bit overwhelmed by Rhapsody, since it's largely user-driven; these people may want to start with a free service like Pandora, which does most of the choosing.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.