RealNetworks' Rhapsody 4.0 Digital Music Service

RealNetworks announced the release of Rhapsody 4.0, an enhanced version of Rhapsody digital music service. Rhapsody 4.0 breaks new ground in delivering a deeply personalized digital music experience that combines great new music discovery features, easy drag-and-drop, integrated support for groundbreaking Rhapsody-optimized MP3 players, a fresh interface, and unparalleled digital music player support.

The launch coincides with the retail availability of the first line of Rhapsody DNA-based MP3 players from SanDisk Corporation. The Sansa e200R Rhapsody players, available in capacities ranging from 2GB1 to 8GB, come equipped with over 30 hours of pre-loaded music that consumers can play right out of the box, including songs from hundreds of the world's most popular artists from EMI Music, SONYBMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.

The new Rhapsody enables consumers to access their own personalized celestial jukebox through the PC, portable MP3 players, and home devices based on the Rhapsody DNA platform. In addition to the new Sansa e200r Rhapsody player, the new Sonos 2.0 Digital Music System also supports Rhapsody DNA to deliver the celestial jukebox throughout the home.

Dynamic Playlists automatically track the top artists, albums and songs in subscribers' favorite genres as well as follow what's on heavy rotation with Rhapsody's in-house team of music experts. Dynamic playlists can be added to the Sansa e200R Rhapsody through a simple drag-and-drop interface, and will automatically update whenever the player connects to the PC.

The new My Rhapsody enables consumers to easily find or create custom Rhapsody Channels and playlists, or recommended albums and artists based on their listening history and genre preferences. With one click, Rhapsody can create a single music library that includes Rhapsody tracks, locally-stored music files, as well as entire libraries from other music services users may be using, including purchased songs and custom playlists, making it simple to manage large libraries of digital music.

Rhapsody Premieres is a new series that gives subscribers access to hot new albums a week before they're available in stores. On Tuesdays, Rhapsody will debut new music from artists spanning from venerable rocker Rod Stewart and indie rock favorite M. Ward to classic artists like Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole.

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