FreeMusic: Napster vs. Real Rhapsody vs. Yahoo Music vs. eMusic – A Free Trial Showdown

While searching for free music one day, I compared the main features of competing subscription-driven music download sites Napsternapster free trial, Real Rhapsodyreal rhapsody free trial, Yahoo! Music Unlimitedyahoo music free trial, and eMusicemusic free trial, and specifically, their free music trials.  Free trials cost nothing, are fun, and provide a snapshot of the music industry’s evolving effort to adapt to a world listening to music online.

Each music site has good points and bad points. I compiled all the free music download trial info I gathered into a single, all-powerful, comparison chart — click on the thumb below to check it out:

(click to enlarge)
Free Music Trials & FreeMusicDownloads Chart


  • They all offer different types of ‘value’  It really is worth trying each online music site to see the good, the bad, and the ugly.  For example, Napster napster free trial has the biggest online song catalog, Yahoo! Music Unlimitedyahoo music free trial is the cheapest music service, Rhapsodyrhapsody free trial is award-winning and awesome to use, and eMusicemusic free trial lets you keep its DRM-free mp3s forever.  What you pick depends on what fits your musicdownload consumption preferences; try each for 5 minutes, and you’ll get the gist.
  • The eMusic free trial is a no-brainer.  The music trial lets you keep 25 free MP3 downloads no matter what.  That’s 2-3 albums worth of free mp3 downloads!  It’s also the only music site providing iPod compatible music files — MP3s, as opposed to DRM-ed WMA files, which the other music sites use.
  • Real Rhapsody is awesome.  In my opinion, anyway.  And it’s the least known, go figure.  With editorial content, tons of ways to share your playlists and preferences (blog/email/IM), great music discovery systems, TiVo compatability, and the Rhapsody To Go option (which costs more), it’s not surprising it’s won as many awards as it has.
  • Free MP3 players are good, too.  If you’re looking for a new mp3 player, consider Napster To Go.  If you subscribe for a full year, you get a free mp3 player, which is pretty cool.  Btw, Yahoo Music is the only option that is PC-bound; hence its cost.
  • Music subscriptions = Cable TV.  As long as you pay, you can play…however, it seems way more acceptable for TV than for music…perhaps that’s because music has a higher “repeat” value. I’ll listen the White Album all day, but will not be queuing up the famous SoupNazi Seinfeld episode any time soon; i.e. we like to own our music. Perhaps the whole "Music Like Water" thing theorists bullsh#t about still has a chance.   Unlimited access to millions of songs can be daunting, so music recommendation engines, playlists, channels, and/or stations are key to enhance your music experience.
  • Other music sites?  I’d like to further compare these against smaller music sites like AOL Music and Live365, or even Pandora and Jango.  I’ll leave that for another time.  (The table won’t fit much more, anyway, and I’m lazy.  🙂  )

In Summary.  Yup, I like free music. I’d recommend doing the eMusic trial for the free MP3 downloads, at least, and trying at least one of the other subscription services.  But that could just be me – I love playing with this kind of stuff.  Hopefully, my Free Music Trials: Head-To-Head chart will help you decide which music trials make the most sense. Of course, you can skip the chart stuff and go right to the coupon sign-up pages here:

  *  eMusic 14-day free trial sign-up pageemusic freemusic
  *  Napster 7-day free trial sign-up pagenapster freemusic
  *  Real Rhapsody 14-day free trial sign-up pagerhapsody freemusic
  *  Yahoo! Music Unlimited 14-day free trial sign-up pageyahoo freemusic Enjoy! 







3 responses to “FreeMusic: Napster vs. Real Rhapsody vs. Yahoo Music vs. eMusic – A Free Trial Showdown”

  1. Jay Avatar

    Wow, awesome work on that chart. Looks like I’ve got some homework to do!!

  2. garagespin Avatar

    Hey, thanks Jay. I hope it helps clarify some of the differences between the different music services. 🙂

  3. Avatar

    Education is important to get on so many grounds and it came in handy at the time it might be least expected to help you out. It also helps to think for yourself and back up your argument, it also develops the quality of time management and working under stress.

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