Portable music services such as Napster To Go won't impact on the market this year, according to Parks Associates.

In its 'Digital Music: Analysis and Forecasts' report released last week, the analysts state that just "8 per cent of MP3 owners" are interested in using such services.

Most respondents to a recent survey favour single-track purchases against subscription access: "roughly 40 per cent said they were likely to buy songs one at a time", the analyst claimed.

Parks Associates research dirctor John Barrett observed: "The market has a long way to go in promoting subscription models. There is hope Microsoft's Janus technology will boost the digital music market by enabling portability and greater integration of hardware and content.

"However, our data show the industry needs to translate these solutions into something more tangible and desirable to consumers. At present, consumers either do not fully grasp the value of a subscription 'all-you-can-eat' service, or they simply don't want it."

The analyst predicts "sluggish" growth for the sector but suggests that if the cost of hardware becomes subsidised by subscription services, then consumer acceptance may improve.