RealNetworks Inc has confirmed that the company will launch a free, Web-based version of its Rhapsody digital music subscription service. The company has recently emerged from an antitrust lawsuit with Microsoft, which saw the company awarded $460 million upfront, with another $301 million earmarked to promote the Rhapsody service on Microsoft's MSN Web site.

The new service, announced Monday, enables consumers to use Rhapsody without first downloading a PC jukebox application, and for the first time makes Rhapsody available to Apple Computer Inc's Mac users and Linux users.

In the coming week, will be available within Microsoft's Windows Media Player 10. Next year MSN will be using Rhapsody Web Services to integrate Rhapsody into its MSN Search, MSN Messenger and MSN Music services, RealNetworks said.