updated 07:55 am EST, Wed December 22, 2004
UK music retailer to launch its own online music service in early 2005, leaving iPod users in the cold as well as bolstering support for Microsoft's WMA (Windows Media Audio) music file format. The Times Online reports that HMV will invest £10 million in the service "to exploit the growing market for buying music online legally," but that because the service is based on Microsoft WMA, iPod users will not be able to use the service. "iPods are not compatible with Windows Media at the moment.... However, while Apple has been incredibly successful, products based around Windows are going to push up their market share. It is going to be important that the service is compatible with Microsoft." The serivce will include a "jukebox" feature allowing customers easy management of music collections and would support 75 portable players currently on the market.