UK online music service 7digital has launched a price war with iTunes, offering DRM-free music downloads at much lower prices than offered through the Apple service.

7digital offers a catalogue of 3.5 million tracks, 70 per cent of which are made available DRM-free in high-quality (320k) MP3 format, meaning most of its available tracks will play on most portable devices and computers.

A dedicated section of the 7digital website has been created to help consumers easily search the available MP3 catalogue.

“Static pricing and inferior quality formats being offered by certain online retailers is limiting consumer uptake of digital downloading,” said 7digital CEO Ben Drury. “We’ve decided enough is enough; we're now offering MP3 album downloads from £5, giving an equivalent track price as low as 10p each.”

Single tracks cost from 50 pence through the service.

"MP3 is the only truly universal digital format for music and we are striving hard to make our entire catalogue available as MP3,” said Drury, pointing out that "earlier in the year MP3s were outselling WMA and AAC by almost four to one,” through his service.

All downloads from 7digital are automatically stored in the user’s ‘7digital locker’, an online back-up service which allows customers to access all material purchased using any computer with an internet connection.