Mobile text-message-based music service Txttunes has expanded service to the U.S. and has added former EMI exec Ted Cohen to its board of directors.

Txttunes allows artists and labels to sell music directly to fans via their mobile phone without the involvement of the wireless operator. Partners simply upload their music to the Txttunes Web site, which doubles as a music-focused mobile social network.

When users discover music they want, they buy each track directly from the site, which then delivers the song in MP3 format to the phone as a text-message attachment. The cost is added to the mobile phone bill via a payment system Txttunes also operates.

About 60,000 tracks are available at launch, with more expected in coming weeks. The service originated in New Zealand, where it has been operating in beta since last year.