Over-the-air downloads come to BlackBerry

7digital is offering over-the-air MP3 downloads to recent BlackBerry models, and is also launching its download store in the United States.

Online music provider 7digital is bringing over-the-air music downloads to recent BlackBerry phones, such as the Storm, Bold, and Tour. The rumors have been circulating for several months now. On Tuesday the company is set to launch its application--developed by DevelopIQ--on the BlackBerry App World store, as well as on the 7digital Web site.

A screenshot of the 7digital BlackBerry app. DevelopIQ

After installing the free app, BlackBerry users will be able to buy and download more than 6 million songs from all four major labels and all the big independents, all in unprotected MP3 format. The app adapts automatically to the speed of the user's connection--when connecting over a wireless data network, it will download a relatively low-quality version of the song. Then, when the user enters the range of a previously known Wi-Fi network, it will automatically--in the background--update the MP3 with a higher-quality version (320kbps in most cases).

7digital is based in the U.K. and is fairly well known in Europe--it powers the download store for free streaming service Spotify, among other partnerships--but has been relatively obscure in the United States. That's changing Tuesday as well: the company is launching its online music store in the U.S., bringing more competition to the likes of iTunes and Amazon. Standard pricing for songs and albums will be 77 cents and $7.77 respectively, which is a play on the company's name (although variable pricing means that some popular material will cost more). The company also offers a free digital locker service, which backs up all your downloads in case you lose them.

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    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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