I’ve been a paying customer of Rhapsody for so many years I can’t remember how long it’s been. I was a Yahoo Music customer when Real Networks bought them out. Yeah that long.
So as a heavy user of it, I have some things I super love and some complaints. It’s complaint day as Rhapsody is trying to push their ‘beta’ desktop design on users.
Here is the current look of Rhapsody on the desktop (click to enlarge):
It’s a fixed width, centred layout. It’s a bit cluttered, but the meat of what I’m doing is pretty easy to use. That’s the “mixer” on the right. It might be playing a playlist or just some songs you queued up.
Most importantly the controls are in a good spot. That’s a place my mouse is likely to have been left and can easily go. Compare that to their new beta design (click to enlarge):
It’s taking up 100% of my 32″ HDTV that’s my computer monitor. And the controls? Bottom right. That’s not a place my mouse is very often.
My mouse WILL head to the bottom right to engage in Google Chats (aka Hangouts). But guess what. Hangouts rules the z axis, and when I have a chat open, it’s on TOP of the controls. So every time I want to adjust my music, I have to hide or close my chats, then deal with Rhapsody, then open the chat back up.
Even without considering chatting, the far bottom corner of any screen seems like a tough spot to put oft-used controls.
I wish I could return to the old design. Since writing this post just before Christmas, they sent the new design live. Nobody can switch back.