updated 01:30 pm EDT, Fri August 5, 2005
Real, Apple dispute
RealNetworks, which runs the Rhapsody music service, is reportedly disputing Apple's claim that iTunes is the first digital music service to offer the Rolling Stones' complete back catalog. Apple yesterday said that the iTunes Music Store is "the only online music service in the world to feature the complete digital music catalogue of the Rolling Stones." According to Macworld UK, confirmed that "older LPs such as 1967's Between the Buttons, whose rights are owned by Abkco, are available only for listening."
Real claimed initially it had "offered" the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue through Rhapsody, however in response to questions from Macworld UK it conceded some of its songs were only available for streaming customers.
Apple also now offers three new Rolling Stones songs taken from the band's upcoming album, "A Bigger Bang" which are available for pre-order from the iTunes Music Store. Presently Rhapsody doesn't offer the new tracks, so Apple does in fact have the most extensive catalog. Additionally, Rhapsody's service is only available to subscribers in the US, whereas Apple's iTunes service is available internationally in 20 countries.