December 7, 2005, 12:00 AM

RealNetworks simplifies access to digital music

By offering new ways to access the Rhapsody online music service, RealNetworks expects to appeal to a broader customer base, especially music lovers with Macintosh computers and PCs or laptops with Linux operating systems.

RealNetworks Inc. is expanding how online music buyers can access Rhapsody, its digital music service with more than 1.3 million subscribers.

Previously subscribers and those who downloaded the free content from Rhapsody had to have a Windows operating system on their personal computer and download a Windows-based player to access music files.

But now RealNetworks, No. 218 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, is using web-based applications and opening up Rhapsody to music customers with Apple Macintosh computers and PCs or laptops with Linux operating systems.

“Rhapsody.com now enables consumers to experience Rhapsody without first downloading a PC jukebox application,” says a RealNetworks spokesman.

By offering new ways to access its digital music service, RealNetworks expects to appeal to a broader customer base, the company says.

Customers can now use any standard web browser to stream up to 25 free songs per month or sign up for a monthly subscription that ranges from $9.99 to $14.99.

“We are trying to make downloading music more consumer friendly,” the spokesman says.

 

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