Vodafone's Universal deal

Vodafone and Universal have announced a 'strategic alliance' that will see thousands of new audio, video and ringtone downloads available on Vodafone

Vodafone and Universal have announced a 'strategic alliance' that will see thousands of new audio, video and ringtone downloads available on Vodafone Live!.

It means that if you've got a 3G phone with access to Vodafone Live!, you'll soon be able to download from an extra 100,000 tracks from the likes of Eminem, U2, Kaiser Chiefs (above), 50 Cent and Scissor Sisters. Some content is available now, and ultimately the service's catalogue will be boosted to over 600,000 tracks.

There'll also be ringtones, video downloads and video streaming material available from the service.

Universal is the world's largest music company, so the deal is something of a coup for Vodafone Live!, as it aims to beat competition from Orange, O2 and 3.

Vodafone's half a million strong catalogue already beats Orange's 300,000-strong collection for numbers, though the tracks are of similar quality and don't in our experience quite live up to the 'CD sound quality' claims from both companies. We also prefer Orange's interface and Fireplayer for remixing.

Vodafone also hasn't yet announced whether, like Orange and 3, its Live! service will offer dual downloads, which allow you to access your downloaded tracks on your PC and don't tie the tracks to one device.

No pricing information is yet available for the Vodafone tracks, although they're likely to be similar to the Orange and 3 price point of between £1-£1.50.

For more info on Vodafone Live! have a look at its website.