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Music Labels Test New Pocket CD

At three inches in diameter — or roughly half the size of a conventional compact disc — the pocket CD carries a selection of music tracks and mobile phone ring tones from a host of artists ranging from 50 Cent to Black Eyed Peas.

The technology made its debut in Germany last summer with Universal Music, Sony Music and later EMI and BMG, all selling a limited number of the CDs to test the public’s appetite.

Now, Universal Music, for one, is introducing the format in the United Kingdom next month. A spokesman said it will ship 1,000 units of the pocket CD for 16 of its artists including 50 Cent and The Rasmus. Pricing has yet to be determined, he added.

With ringtone sales on the rise and CD single sales plummeting, record executives are hopeful the new format will reverse the fortunes of an industry beset by rampant piracy and slumping sales.

The discs can be played on a PC where the ringtones can be downloaded and then transferred to a mobile phone.

Read more at CNN.com