David Kirkpatrick Nails It
David, who has written about technology for Fortune Magazine for as long as I've been in the technology business, just penned a great column explaining that Rhapsody, not iTunes, is the future of digital music. David says:
While the iPhone may be the phone of the future, to the degree that it is a music player, it is based on the ideas of the past.
David has had the same experience I've had with Rhapsody and Sonos. Rhapsody has always suffered from being a web service, when most people are used to listening to music from a "home stereo" type device. Sonos fixes that problem and if you haven't used Sonos and Rhapsody, you are missing out.
Using Rhapsody in my living room over the Sonos equipment was a revelation - it was now possible, on a whim, to listen to anything I wanted - whether it be an individual song (What was that great Waterboys hit again?) or an album (Sometimes I just want to go all the way back to high school and hear "Disraeli Gears"). It just streamed through the Internet. Rhapsody on Sonos shows what's possible.
Now Rhapsody is heading to the wireless ether, as it should. At the CES show this week, Real and partners announced several new ways to get Rhapsody, including some that are wireless. Reigncom this spring will start selling an iRiver portable MP3 player that allows you to listen to a Rhapsody stream over Wi-Fi networks. Nokia's (Charts) pocket-sized N800 tablet computer will also be able to receive wireless Rhapsody starting in February. They won't allow you to listen everywhere, but if you can get a good wireless signal you'll get Rhapsody.
Yes, this setup is still expensive. Yes, not everyone wants to "rent music". But I agree with David that "music dialtone" is the future of music, not iTunes, iPod, or iPhone.