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HMV Debuts Download Website

HMV aims to carve a nice spot in the already very crowded download market by launching HMVdigital.com, its new download store that will take on the likes of Amazon, Apple, Tesco, Play.com and many other smaller such services.

The site (opens in new tab) is a reincarnation of popular online music service 7digital.com, which it acquired back in 2009, and will offer up to 10 million tracks and audiobooks. Earlier this morning, the site crashed according to Webuser with visitors being prompted to speak to customer services or try again a little bit later.

There are a few cockups though, the site appeared to be sluggish at times and some pages, like the Charts one (opens in new tab), redirected us to a 404 page. Like so many other music websites, you will be able to preview the tracks before ordering.

Sarah Hughes, head of online and digital at HMV, said in a press release that the high street retailer was delighted to launch what it calls a "world class download store that reflects both HMV's music retailing heritage and our strategy to be a broad-based entertainment brand".

HMV said that it would give free tracks to "selected" early adopters and a limited offer where all top 40 tracks would be available for 40p per track and chart albums for £4.99 each.

Unfortunately, not all chart tracks (see Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster which contains two Top 40 songs (opens in new tab)) were priced at 40p as expected.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.