is an online subscription music service
, launched in December 2001, and available in the US
only. On April 6, 2010, Rhapsody officially declared its independence from RealNetworks
. Downloaded files come with restrictions on their use, enforced by Helix, Rhapsody's version of digital rights management
enforced on AAC+ or WMA files. The service also sells individual MP3s without digital rights management restrictions.
In 1999, Tim Bratton, J.P. Lester, Sylvain Rebaud, Alexandre Brouaux, Nick Sincaglia and Dave Lampton were working on a new streaming audio engine. This engine was commercially deployed in the TuneTo.com customized radio service, and was also used in their "celestial jukebox" prototype, called Aladdin.
In April 2001 TuneTo.com was acquired by Listen.com, a startup founded in San Francisco
that had built a massive online music directory. Aladdin was transformed into the Rhapsody music service during the summer and fall of 2001 and was launched on December 3, 2001.
Rhapsody was the first streaming on-demand music subscription service to offer unlimited access to a large library of digital music for a flat monthly fee, a concept advocated by business theories such as the Open......