Optimum Online Gets Musical

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Cablevision Systems Corp.'s Optimum Online high-speed-data service is the latest to add a music-subscription service, offering its more than 680,000 customers a way to download and record titles provided by Listen.com's (http://www.listen.com/) Rhapsody service.

For an added $10 monthly, Optimum Online Rhapsody will allow users unlimited access to a library of 20,000 albums and 250,000 individual tracks from record labels including BMG, EMI Recorded Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, along with more than 100 independent labels.

The service also offers customized radio-station lineups and personal play lists, and, for 99 cents per track, subscribers can burn music to CDs for play on any standard player.

Optimum is also offering "Rhapsody Radio PLUS," a $4.95 monthly service that provides streaming audio of Internet radio stations at 128 kilobits per second and the ability to create custom play with music from 50 stations and play lists of as many as 10 favorite artists.

To introduce the music service, Optimum Online is offering a free trial through Nov. 15 on a listen-only format.

"Rhapsody is an affordable, easy-to-use digital-music service that delivers what our customers want, including a digital-music experience with more choice, exceptional sound quality and control over how and where they enjoy their music," said Valerie Green, Optimum Online's vice president of product strategy.

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