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Streaming Service Rara Lands in Music-Saturated U.S.

Rara joins the music services wars with a slant towards music fans not yet involved with digital music to a great degree.

If Google Music, Mog, Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody and Spotify weren't enough online music services for you another competitor, Rara.com, launches in the United States Tuesday.

To differentiate itself from the pack, Rara hopes to attract CD-listening music fans that have yet to hop on the digital music bandwagon. To do this, Rara says it has developed an appealing interface that doesn't require users to manage digital files through a standard web browser. It also has Pandora-style streaming Internet radio that automatically picks music based on genre, era, or mood rather than a particular artist or song, as Pandora does.

Unlike many other services including Spotify or Mog, Rara does not offer an ad-supported free service. Users wanting access to Rara.com's more than 10 million tracks from all four major record labels--including EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group--will have to pay for the privilege. Introductory pricing for the Web-only version is 99 cents per month for the first three months and $5 a month after that.

If you want to use the mobile version of Rara, currently available only on Android, you pay $2 for the first three months and $10 a month after that. Spotify and Rdio have similar regular pricing.

Seems Similar to the Competition

Rara may hope to reach digital music holdouts with its service, but once you get past the introductory pricing, Rara's offering doesn't seem that different. The site may have an image-heavy interface, but the basic idea for Rara is pretty much the same as other streaming services.

Similar to Spotify, you can share playlists and tracks on Facebook, or other social networking sites, by copying links to albums or individual tracks. You can also stream music from your desktop PC or mobile device. Mobile users can store music on their handset for offline listening. You also have your choice of choosing particular music to listen to or letting Rara pick it for you.

Here's Rara's video explaining the service:


The one advantage Rara might have over its competitors is distribution. By the end of the week, Rara plans to be in 23 countries and able to reach more than 900 million people worldwide. But how this service will fair in an already saturated U.S. digital music market, one that recently said goodbye for a second time to storied online music service Napster, remains to be seen.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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