3 to offer music downloads

Just yesterday we were complaining about the poor quality of over-the-air music downloads, even those bought on superfast 3G networks. This morning, m

Just yesterday we were complaining about the poor quality of over-the-air music downloads, even those bought on superfast 3G networks. This morning, mobile network 3 has announced it is addressing the problem in an unexpected way, with the launch of 'dual downloads'.

The idea is simple: you're walking to the office and decide you want to hear '(Tell Me Why) I Don't Like Mondays'*. So you download it from 3's mobile music service for £1.50 – the same price you'd pay for most mobile music downloads. You listen to it and feel happy inside, until you get to work and want to listen to the music through speakers. Even if you do find the relevant cables, it sounds tinny and unappealing because mobile music downloads are so highly compressed.

But rather than get in a huff and vow never to buy music from a mobile phone network again, you go straight to 3's website and download a high-fidelity version of the same track without paying another penny. We like the idea.

3 also used this morning's press conference to reveal they're selling an  exclusive Madonna video – it's good to see the poor, underexposed artiste finally getting the publicity her talent deserves – and also launching mobile TV with a channel line-up that's almost exactly the same as Orange's.

We'll have full details soon.

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*In truth, it's unlikely that the Boomtown Rats will be part of the launch catalogue, but here's hoping…