The music business is "seriously misguided" in its expectation that digital music sales will rescue it, a critic claims.

"Having suffered from falling revenues for years, the music business is pinning its hopes on legal downloading," says the Telegraph's Neil McCormick, "but it seems to me that they are seriously misguided."

The reason McCormick believes that the legal download won't save the music industry is the unreasonably high price consumers are expected to pay for the privilege.

He explains: "They are vastly and perhaps fatally overpriced, charging an average of £1 a track. Napster retails albums at £9.95, which is comparable to the current cost of a new CD, despite the fact that hosting electronic files involves only a fraction of the costs of pressing and distributing a disc with printed sleeves."

He also notes that when CDs were introduced the music business made enormous profits "re-selling music we already owned". The MP3 player allows us to actually to all our music, which may not be good news for retailers because "once you've loaded your iPod with a 8,000 songs, you need never go into a record shop again."

Gavin Robertson, CEO of RIghtsRouter this week told Macworld UK: "To an extent it is the industry's fault. We must separate the cost of the content from that of the carrier. Artists must be paid."