I must say, I'm still confused. Here's what I think I've learned:
1) "To Go" is really their "Ultimate" package, giving you everything they have. Songs are still ~$1 if I want to download them.
2) Only Rhapsody players will work with the subscription side, otherwise I need to pay to download the song.
With a standard Rhapsody subscription -- cost varies depending on whether you pay quarterly, yearly, or month-to-month -- you are authorized to download and play the music on three different PCs. You can download an unlimited amount of DRM-protected music to any these three computers. If you don't want to use disk space, you can stream all music instead. You've got to connect to the Rhapsody service at least once a month to authorize these downloads.
With a subscription to TivoToGo, you are authorized to download and store an unlimited amount of music on three different music players. You can buy a music player for yourself, for your wife, and for your kid and you still pay the same monthly fee. Each user can have their own music, their own playlists, etc on their device. At least once a month, you must connect your music player to the PC to re-authorize it.
Some additional questions:
a) When I buy a song, is it MP3? Is it DRM'd in any way after I pay for and download it? Do I have to burn it to a CD to remove the DRM?
Most music has DRM, but the service keeps a record of your purchases so you can grab the files again if you lose them. With most music, you've got to burn it to CD to remove the DRM. Rhapsody now offers DRM-free music from Universal, but that only represents a small percentage of their catalog.
c) Is there any Rhapsody portable player that also has a built-in FM transmitter? How do most of you integrate it into your car?
There are two types of Rhapsody-compatible players: "Rhapsody optimized" and "PlayForSure Compatible" devices.
The Rhapsody-To-Go service works with any player that supports Microsoft's PlayForSure DRM. These devices are fairly widespread. A few have FM transmitters. A number of Windows Mobile and Palm devices (including phones) also support PlayForSure DRM, and thus will work with Rhapsody-To-Go. Some of Motorolas new phones support it as well. Note these PlayForSure devices support standard playlists and playback of Rhapsody music, but they do not support certain Rhapsody-specific features such as Channels.
There are two "Rhapsody optimized" players -- the Sansa E250R and iRiver Clix2. Both of these can take advantage of Rhapsody-specific features such as Channels and dynamic playlists. Channels provide a wide selection of continually updated music in different genres, so users can regularly update their players with new music in their genre of interest with virtually no effort. You can see the full list of channels here
; each channel includes 75-100 popular songs. These channels are updated several times a week. Whenever you plug in your music player, it updates your channels with new songs. You can have as many different channels as you want on your player, although each requires 275-375Mb of space.
Another nice Rhapsody feature is dynamic playlists. Like channels, these playlists update whenever you plug in your music device. Examples of dynamic playlists include the Top 25 Rock songs, Top 25 Country songs, etc. Dynamic playlists are useful if you always want that week's newest songs or the billboard's top25 on your music player without having to do anything.
d) Do the Rhapsody players support "resume last position", so if I have a PodCast MP3 on there (that I downloaded myself), and I play a song, can I resume the PodCast where it left off?
I don't have much experience with podcasts, but with music, you can pause the song, turn the music player off, and then resume where you left off later. As long as you pause your song, the device remembers where you were.