New service goes live Nov. 23.

HMV Japan on Nov. 21 unveiled a major upgrade of its mobile Web site that it says is aimed at taking full advantage of broadband-capable handsets.

The site will be upgraded from its current text-based format to one incorporating graphics, photos and other visual material. It will also include new features such as "Hear My Voice," a "community site" that will allow users to post questions to artists, exchange views on the latest music, TV and movie releases as well as discuss industry issues like next-generation game consoles and DVD standards.

The revamped HMV Mobile site goes online Nov. 23.

"We have been focused on our website because we understood the website business better than the mobile business," says HMV Japan e-commerce director David Terrill. "The Web site offered more possibilities than the mobile site, but that' all changing now with the new generation of phones. We're now in a position to put the depth of content we have on the website onto mobile phones."

And by the end of the year the HMV Mobile site will also feature access to the HMV Digital download service, which offers ringtones, master ringtones and full-song downloads.

"We have been offering mobile downloads for some time, but (this service) has not been fully integrated with the rest of our business," Terrill explains. At present the only major Japanese labels to license their content to HMV for mobile-based downloads are Toshiba-EMI and BMG Japan.