Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner are already part of the deal, as well as independent labels, adding up to an offer of one million songs, which will come in e-AAC+ format and will use digital rights management (DRM) for purposes that need no further explanation.

As for DRM-related consequences, you may have already guessed both of them. First of all, the downloaded tracks can’t be transferred to any other device, such as a computer or a MP3 player. Vodafone did promise that a PC version of the service would be made available in the future, but the availability is linked with the success of the mobile service.

Second, all the downloaded files will become unaccessible if the user decided to give up Vodafone and go with another mobile company.

One interesting feature is worth being noted: MusicStation will automatically replace the user’s least listened tracks with the ones tagged to be downloaded, if the memory of the phone is full. This means the service keeps an eye on the users’ preferences and advertisers will be glad to get hold of that information.

The new service will be available on 2.5G and 3G phone and will charge £1.99 per week The application will be first available online as a download and will be included later on the company’s phones.