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HMV Online Download Takes on iTunes

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HMV has today launched a music download store at hmvdigital.com.

The company said that it has some 10 million DRM-free songs available in its catalogue. All downloads are in MP3 format at either 320K, 256k or 192k bit-rates. Most tracks cost 99p, while most albums are selling for £4.99.

The store hopes to fire a broadside against the competition by offering all Top 40 singles for just 40p – though this is just a one month promo offer.

It enters a crowded market with similar sites from Amazon, Tesco, Play.com, and Sky Songs, not to mention the biggest player, iTunes. HMV Digital is powered by 7 Digital, the service used by Spotify for selling purchased downloads.

The HMV store is a relaunch of its 2005 effort which offered WMA only DRMed tracks. However, it hopes to have better fortunes with the new service.

"Some people still tend to think of us as a traditional retailer, but the fact is we've completely transformed our business, " Melanie Armstrong, HMv’s head of music said in today's Sun. "The launch of hmvdigital means we have a world-class music download platform. It is a genuine alternative to other digital music services."

Time will tell.

Link: HMV Digital

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