Rhapsody notified us about a new app called Rhapsody VR. Not an update to the venerable music service app, but a supplementary one that uses 360 video technology to view concert clips. Rhapsody calls it “Music’s first virtual reality experience,” and says, “Music lovers around the world can enjoy immersive concerts anywhere while musicians can engage with more fans in a new, immersive way.”
This new toy works best with Google Cardboard, an inexpensive ($15-25) open VR technology that comes in many packages by many developers. Google Cardboard delivers an immersive virtual reality experience that works with phone apps when you “drop” the phone into a viewer.
The Rhapsody VR app also works on its own, without being folded into a Cardboard. In the raw state, you get a 360 video that tilts and yawls as you move the phone around. When standing, if you turn around, the concert scene spins also as if you re-positioned with your back to the stage. Up and down views work too — the total 360 view can get dizzying.
Rhapsody VR joins a growing body of apps designed to be folded into Google Cardboard. As far as we know, it is the first dedicated music service to create something like this. After downloading and installing the Android/iOS app, you must download an entire concert clip to view it — this is not streaming. We saw clips ranging from 60MB to 200MB. Users should make sure they are using WiFi, not data, when sucking down these files.
Note to T-Mobile: Rhapsody is part of the Music Freedom data-free plan, and the Binge On plan now includes videos in Spotify and other music services. How about freeing the data for Rhapsody VR downloads?