RealNetworks today will open its subscription-based Rhapsody streaming music service to Mac and Linux users.
The company is offering support for new platforms by launching Rhapsody.com, a new site that offers users "the core" of the Rhapsody experience, the company said.
However, the support doesn't extend to buying and downloading tracks.
"This will expose the Rhapsody experience to users right on their browser," Karim Meghji, RealNetwork's vice president of music services, said. "What this will do is give users on the Mac, Windows and certain distributions of Linux the essence of the Rhapsody experience."
Stream 25 tracks
Rhapsody.com will give any user that registers access to stream 25 on-demand songs every month for free. Rhapsody subscribers can stream an unlimited amount of music via the site. In addition to providing streaming music, Rhapsody.com will also give users access to streaming Internet radio.
Premium subscribers using Rhapsody Unlimited ($9.99 per month) and Rhapsody To Go ($14.99 per month) will also have access to their accounts via Rhapsody.com.
Currently the site does not allow Mac and Linux users to purchase and download music because it relies on the Windows Rhapsody client for that functionality. RealNetworks would not comment on when, or even if, a Mac client may be available.
It's not a date
"We are not talking about dates when we would deliver the full client," said Meghji. "As we take this step to deliver Rhapsody to more platforms, we will listen to what customers have to say and have that partially guide us to where we will go."
RealNetworks has also launched the Rhapsody Web Services Initiative, a program designed to allow websites to integrate Rhapsody content. These include links to Rhapsody tracks, playlists that can be integrated into sites and more.
While the Rhapsody.com launch is only the first step in the company's strategy, Real is upbeat about how the launch will be accepted by Mac and Linux users.
"We believe the Mac and Linux communities will appreciate this step of being able to access Rhapsody - and we are not going to stop there," said Meghji.