updated 07:35 am EDT, Tue October 6, 2009
7digital arrives in US
Popular UK online music shop 7digital this morning launched its US store. The primarily web-based service focuses on price and is offering some newer albums as well as many older ones at $7.77. Songs can also run as low as 77 cents each, and all downloads are platform-independent, 320Kbps MP3s that should work with Apple devices as well as most other portable players. The store has long had access to all four major music labels as well as key independents.
Simultaneously, 7digital has also launched a free BlackBerry app as a portal for its store. The software gives these mobile users the option of browsing and buying from the store over 3G regardless of the size of the track. Where the iTunes Store prevents downloads over 10MB, the 7digital store changes the download quality depending on the connection: it downloads low-bitrate tracks when on a cellular connection but will download the full-quality tracks if the BlackBerry has Wi-Fi and connects to a hotspot.
Regardless of the source, the service has a "locker" feature that remembers purchases so that users can re-download the full quality versions of tracks if they either lose the collection or need to obtain higher-quality tracks after a mobile download.