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The Darkness opens digital song service

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Rock band The Darkness have begun selling their own digital downloads, courtesy of online music and merchandise partner recordstore.co.uk.

The group this week began offering the 11 songs from their album Permission to Land, plus assorted b-sides, for 99p a pop. The whole album can be downloaded for £9.49.

Encoded in Windows Media Audio 9 format, the tracks will not play on Macs. Apple fans shouldn't worry: the album can be acquired from the iTunes Music Store for £8.49, or 79p a song. Actually, that's cheaper for Windows users too.

DRM-protected, each WMA song from the band's own store can be played on a single Windows PC, transferred up to three portable players or burned to CD three times.

Recordstore.co.uk handles online CD and merchandise sales for a number of UK bands, and moved into digital sales in March this year. The company's digital music distribution partner is DX3 (aka Digital Domain Distribution), which has also been instrumental in the foundation of Woolworths' past digital music retail experiments and the retail giant's upcoming major UK launch.

The Darkness' move follows the launch this month of the first official online singles chart. With the charts viewed by the music industry as a key promotional tool, it's argued that the download chart will encourage many more acts to get into the digital arena, by offering their own downloads, by allowing the likes of iTunes, Napster, Wippit and co. to provide their songs, or both. ®

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