RealOne Rhapsody Streaming 500,000 tracks per day

Coming just a day after Apple’s landmark of 10 million iTunes sold, RealNetworks have announced that they are serving up to 500,000 songs per day on their Rhapsody service.

Relaunched in May 2003, Rhapsody has a different business model to iTunes – for $9.95 per month, a subscriber can choose as much as they want from the 25,000 albums available on the service. 265,000 of the tracks are available for burning onto CD, at an additional cost of 79c each – the lowest in the market. Only subscribers to the service are able to burn tracks.

The Rhapsody service has music from all five major companies, and more than 175 labels – and features exclusives such as the Rolling Stones.

In a new move, customers will be able to sign up for a free 14 day trial in Best Buy stores across the US – this should increase the Rhapsody profile as well as increasing “footfall” in the stores, where users may come in to sign up for the service, but buy something else during their visit.

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?