There is hope that a new type of disc might rescue the faltering music industry, which has faced a three-year sales slump blamed largely on online piracy.

According to Reuters, the labels are hoping to be able to entice consumers with new DualDiscs.

DualDisks are a hybrid of the DVD and CD: one side of the disk is a CD – the other is a DVD.

According to the report, retailers had expected the discs in the fourth quarter, but issues over licensing have caused the launch to be delayed until 2005.

Philips, who holds the licence of the CD logo, is refusing to allow the logo to feature on the hybrid discs because the discs don't fit CD specifications.

DVD Plus, the German company who claims to own the patent for the hybrid technology, is alleging: "They're hijacking our technology." DVD Plus's lawyers are "in talks" with the music labels.