Rhapsody adds online lyrics, new Clix player

RealNetworks has updated their Rhapsody music subscription site to display lyrics from partner LyricFind for selected songs. You don't need to be a subscriber to get to the lyrics, which RealNetworks says are available for more than 200,000 songs.

I took a look at the new service, and started out by searching for the band Bloc Party (who put on a fantastic show here in San Francisco a little while ago). Rhapsody had lyrics for some, but not all, of their songs.

Clicking the lyrics link next to a song title takes you to a new page where you can read the lyrics and also play the song.

Next I tried searching for an older band, the Pixies, and this time had no luck. I clicked through a bunch of the band's albums but didn't find lyrics for any of their songs. (Yahoo Music did, though they've had a lyrics feature for a little while longer and have presumably had more time to add songs).

You can also search Rhapsody's lyrics directly, which could come in handy if you remember a line from a song but just can't recall its title. But you don't get any lyrics features through the downloadable Rhapsody software.

Also in Rhapsody news, iRiver released a new version of its Clix player that works with the Rhapsody To Go music service. The Clix Rhapsody has 4GB of flash storage and uses the same hardware as the Clix 2nd Generation (which we liked), but adds additional software options to pull in Rhapsody songs and Channels.

The Clix Rhapsody doesn't connect directly to the music service through a wireless connection. Instead, you drag-and-drop selected songs or Channels in the Rhapsody software to the Clix, which displays as a music source in the upper-left corner.

Rhapsody songs or albums you've chosen to transfer show up with the rest of your music on the Clix. If you choose to sync a Channel - a themed, changing playlist created by Rhapsody or custom-made by you - the software will initially pull down about 300mb worth of songs played in that Channel, and update that list during future device syncs.

If you hear a song you really like while listening to, say, the 80's Alternative channel, you have the nice option of adding it to your regular song library, where it will stay even if it gets replaced in the channel.

The Clix Rhapsody costs US$190, just about the same you'd pay for a Clix 2 without the Rhapsody features. The Rhapsody To Go service is $15 per month.

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Erik Larkin

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