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Rhapsody 'preview' for Mac, Linux users

Small carrot to tempt music subscribers

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RealNetworks is to extend its currently Windows-only Rhapsody music subscription service to Mac and Linux users next week, the company said last night. However, even then, they will not gain access to the full Rhapsody package.

On Monday, Real's Rhapsody.com website will go live. It's currently in beta-testing mode, but once fully operational will allow Mac and Linux users to log in and stream any number of songs - provided they continue coughing up the monthly rental fee, of course. The site also incorporates links to Internet radio stations.

Those who don't will be able to stream up to 25 songs a month, provided they register with the service, Real said. Existing Rhapsody subscribers will also be able to use the website.

Streaming is one thing, downloading another and it remains a Windows-only affair, limiting Mac and Linux usage to streaming. For Mac users, at least, there seems little reason to switch from iTunes, which supports both untethered downloads and Internet radio.

Rhapsody.com is limited to Internet users with a US-located IP address. ®

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