Virgin plans unlimited music downloads

ISP hopes to discourage illegal file-sharers

Virgin Media has unveiled an unlimited music download service that will allow users to stream and download as many tracks as they want a month.

The ISP is currently only offering tracks from artists signed to Universal Music, although it did say it was in talks with other labels to increase the number of tracks available when the service launches later this year. Only available to Virgin Media customers, the music download service will offer MP3s that can be played on any device.

No pricing details were revealed, but Virgin Media did say it would be offering an "entry level" option for those consumers that did not want an unlimited service.

The ISP also issued a stark warning to illegal file-sharers, saying that it was working with Universal Music to protect the record label's intellectual property.

"This will involve implementing a range of different strategies to educate file sharers about online piracy and to raise awareness of legal alternatives. They include, as a last resort for persistent offenders, a temporary suspension of internet access," said the ISP.

It also revealed that "the process will not depend on network monitoring or interception of customer traffic by Virgin Media".

Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett said: "Our new music service will be superior to anything that's available online today and provides a fair deal for both consumers and artists."

Virgin Media is keen to tackle the problem of internet piracy and last year issued warning letters to around 800 illegal downloaders, in a bid to educate them about their activities.

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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