So, HMV has released its own online music download website, HMVdigital.com and has sweetened the deal by offering five free tracks and the ability to get 40 top 40 tracks for 40p or popular albums for £4.99 for a limited amount of time.
We're not sure how long the offers will last but it is unlikely that HMV will wage, singlehandedly, a Don Quixote'esque battle against Apple and iTunes without losing a significant amount of money.
HMVDigital is powered by 7digital which is half-owned by HMV and it is interesting to note that 7Digital.com is still active at the time of writing (maybe a deliberate divide-and-rule strategy).
HMV is also betting on the fact that the majority of its tracks are either on 256kbps or the superior 320kbps although most listeners would not hear the difference between the two.
As expected, prices of 7Digital and HMV Digital are spot on similar (except for the top 40 tracks) and everything down to the layout of the site seems very familiar.
A quick random check on Martin Lewis's excellent Tunechecker comparison website which checks and compares 7digital, Amazon, Asda, Cdwow, Hmv, itunes, Play, Tesco, TuneTribe, we7, Zavvi found out that the newcomer holds its own compared to well established brands.
Hence, we'd strongly advise users to compare prices especially as some websites allow users to combine tracks to form an album.