HMV locks download horns with Virgin

Looks like the high street's finally caught up with that thing called the interweb - next month sees HMV launch a music download shop three days after Virgin Digital

Here's a clear sign that music downloads are going to replace the humble CD. Next month will see the relaunch of HMV's music download service three days after Virgin opens the doors to its digital download store.

HMV Digital goes live 5th September and replaces HMV's current cruddy OD2-powered offering with a Napster-style subscription service.

For a monthly fee - the price is TBC - you'll get access to a million WMA tracks including a 'particular focus' on acts from indie record labels.

Unlike Virgin, HMV has confirmed it'll do a Napster To Go-type service that'll let you transfer an unlimited number of tracks to MP3 players such as Creative's Zen Micro.

One thing HMV's service does have in common with Virgin's is the in-store support. Every one of HMV's 200 shops will be staffed by jolly HMV Digital Sales Assistants ready to teach newbies how to enjoy the delights of downloading.

We'll have full details, pricing and bad gags for you on 1st September.

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