MySpace has talked of plans to sell music downloads before the end of this year.

According to the Financial Times, the company plans to develop a scheme under which unsigned bands will be able to sell their tracks in MP3 format through the website.

MySpace will charge bands a small but undisclosed fee for the sale, and bands will be allowed to set their own prices for tracks.

The company has chosen to sell songs in the non-rights-managed MP3 format so that music fans will be able to play the purchased tracks on their iPods. Apple does not license its FairPlay digital rights management system to third-party companies.

In the future the company hinted at plans to make catalogues from signed artists available through the service.

Talking to Reuters, MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolf said: "The goal is to be one of the biggest digital music stores out there. Everyone we've spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative."

MySpace currently has 106 million users and is now owned by the giant international media conglomerate News Corporation.