HMV has lifted the wraps on its bespoke social discovery Web site,, which intends to help bridge the gap between the physical and online entertainment sales environments.

The music and film online site has operated in beta-mode for the past six months, but will open-up for public trials on July 1 ahead of a planned consumer launch this fall.

The site, created by agency LBi, allows customers to discover, rate, recommend and share information on their favorite music and movies, and build a "DNA" profile, tapping into users' favorite music, film and artists. Visitors can also import their iTunes libraries to a personalised home page.

"We want this to be the best, most popular music and film site for all fans and collectors everywhere," comments Gideon Lask, HMV's E-Commerce Director, in a statement issued today. " is not a social networking site, but it is all about discovery. We wanted to do something ground-breaking and different for music and film fans that is less about random socialising and networking, and more about them sharing their passion for their favourite artists, songs and movies."

Lask had given key supplier partners, including labels, DVD firms, games publishers and distributors a sneak peak at the service during a demonstration in late April.

In addition to the new Web service, HMV has trialled various interactive "Next Generation" stores in the U.K. as part of a company-wide review instigated in March 2007 by group CEO Simon Fox.

The "next generation" stores allow customers to download music and clips, while "social hubs" will connect visitors to online entertainment sites, such as