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RealNetworks will offer web-based Rhapsody

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Dec 2005 10:23 User comments (1)

RealNetworks will offer web-based Rhapsody RealNetworks is planning to offer a web-based version of its Rhapsody music service. It will be subscription based and will only allow users to stream music content through the web; downloading it still requires Rhapsody software. However, it does open up the music store to Linux and Mac users and it's a service that will work anywhere regardless of location. Users will be allowed to stream 25 songs for free, but for a subscription fee it will become unlimited.
All you need is a web browser for the service, no extra software from Real. A beta version of the service will be available on Monday, the company said. Real also doesn't mind that the vast majority of visitors will just stream music for free and not get a subscription. The company will sell ad space on the service's webpages to make up for any lost revenue for the free streaming.

In addition to this, Real said it would also offer a service to webmasters to let them stream music to people on their websites. At first, webmasters will have to link in to the Rhapsody site but Real expects to be able to offer better options sometime in H1 2006. Microsoft will also help promote the new service through Windows Media Player and across its MSN properties as part of the $761 million antitrust settlement announced in earlier this year.


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1 user comment

16.12.2005 12:14

RealNetworks is fortunate to have received the M$ settlement as it looked like they were fading fast. It seems that they jumped ahead in the early days with some pretty good technology at the time, but then, I think that they sort of rested on their laurels as it was pretty much only RealPlayer and their neme$i$ with the Windows Media Player to provide media playback capabilities for the masses. It also does not help them that they developed a nefarious reputation for allegedly being one of the first spyware distributors. To a lot of people Real Networks is about as well liked as an IRS audit or an annual prostate exam. There is a lot more competition and much improved technology around these days so I would probably cash in my RealNet stock, if I owned any. Streaming audio just isn't all that sexy anymore. The only reason that I may renew my Superpass subscription is for the 10 free songs per month I get as a member. I make good use of that and it doesn't hurt that they have the highest quality music downloads in AAC format at 192 kbps. Rhapsody is okay, but I don't use it nearly as much as I thought that I would. I find myself using J. River Media Center, Foobar2000, and my old friend Winamp for music most of the time. I go with PowerDVD for video as opposed to the RealPlayer. RealNetworks is one of those companies who live by the proprietary doctrine. (Also known as the Gospel according to Sony.) They brag about being able to play all of the other formats, while at the same time encrypting their format so that it can only be played back by RealPlayer. God I hate companies that do that. Although they were able to get away with that in the past, at least to me, it looks like that philosophy has now come back to bite them on their RealOne!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Dec 2005 @ 3:08

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