As expected, MTVi and RioPort announced yesterday (April 4) that they have secured all five major labels to participate in download sales that are scheduled to launch later this month on MTV.com and V

As expected, MTVi and RioPort announced yesterday (April 4) that they have secured all five major labels to participate in download sales that are scheduled to launch later this month on MTV.com and VH1.com, Billboard Bulletin reports.

Digital content from BMG Entertainment, EMI Recorded Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group will be available for purchase through the Radio MTV and VH1 At Work channels. About 8,000 tracks will be up at launch, with singles selling for 99 cents-$1.99 and albums for $11.98-$18.98. Files will be in the Windows Media Audio format, with digital rights management handled by InterTrust.

It is unclear whether tracks can be transferred to portable devices or ripped to CDs; RioPort president/CEO Jim Long says those features will depend on rights granted by the individual labels. Tracks, however, cannot be shared or placed on the Napster directory.

When a consumer listens to a track on the MTVi stations, a window will pop up to tell them if the song is available for download purchase. Only songs that have been cleared for digital distribution by both the label and the publisher will be sold. MTVi Group CEO Nicholas Butterworth says that about 50% of the songs on the stations should be available for purchase by year's end.

Long says that in addition to MTVi, the service will be available to other online retailers.

In other download news, Microsoft yesterday announced the launch of MSN Music, a customized streaming service that the company says is its first step toward establishing a subscription plan. MSN Music allows users to listen to and search for music for free and to create their own channels.

MSN says it is working with all five major labels and indies. More than 100 stations in 20 genres may be accessed with the service, which aims to add personalized features in the future..