New HMV smartphone app lets users search for content by sound or image

4 Dec 2013

HMV’s foray into digital commerce is very much a mobile-first affair with its new e-commerce site accompanied by an m-commerce app that went live on the Apple App Store and Google Play today.

The free app allows Android and iPhone users to shop, look and listen to content by combining image search and sound search technology with high quality MP3 downloads. offers users the opportunity to browse HMV’s digital catalogue and buy or pre-order MP3s. MP3 purchases are added to the user’s digital locker, and a Download Manager seamlessly integrates purchases into the user’s existing iTunes or Windows Media library on their PC or Mac. Tracks are available in high-quality MP3 format in 320Kbs.

Image Search enables users to scan CD or album covers with their Apple or Android phone to access 30-second track previews and buy MP3 downloads. In HMV’s stores, Image Search provides a 21st-century take on the music store listening booths of old. At home or on the move, users can scan album artwork on posters or adverts to preview and buy music.

Sound Search lets users discover the tunes they hear around them every day, whether it’s the music playing in store at HMV or at the track playing on the radio, and buy an MP3 download immediately or pick up a copy on CD or vinyl from their local HMV. 

”We’ve had an extremely positive response following the Android app launch back in October,” said HMV Digital managing director James Coughlan.

“Today we launch and a mobile-optimised store allowing music fans to preview and download high-quality MP3s on multiple devices.

“Alongside, I’m pleased to say that iOS users in Ireland can now access the HMV image and sound search features everyone is talking about!”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years