The Malaysian recorded music industry is endorsing a new digital content provider which enables music fans to download songs at a low price.

Through the MyMix Mobile subscription service, music fans can download 20 local and international songs, video clips, and ringtones by paying a $2.95 monthly subscription fee.

All four majors and 26 local labels have licensed repertoire to the new digital firm.

Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM) chairman Sandy Monteiro asserts that the cell service was introduced to encourage consumers to download more music, legally.

"Consumers are usually disappointed after downloading songs on their mobile phones illegally," notes Monteiro. "It takes less than four steps to download this user-friendly, easy, fast, and affordable service."

MyMix CEO Lee Kok Leong hopes the low price will deter illegal downloading and spur the development of the music industry. "We're hopeful that mobile phone retailers will extend this service to their customers and grow the business."

The launch came ahead of tough talk from the local government on the issue of illegal music distribution.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry on Dec. 5 issued a warning to Malaysians that they risk being fined $73,500 if they download materially - songs, videos, and ringtones - illegally from the Internet.

"Acting against Internet download offenders is now our priority," says S. Veerasingam, deputy minister of the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry.

The maximum fine for downloading material illegally from the Internet is $147,000.