Radios listeners will soon have the ability to buy tracks on impulse as they hear them thanks to a new technology that is launching early next year.

Called Digital Music Downloading, London radio listeners of Heart, Smash Hits and The Hits, Smooth and Classic Gold Digital will be the first to benefit from the service in January while the rest of the UK will have to wait until May.

Listeners with a special device like the Lobster 700 TV from Virgin Mobile will be able to purchase tracks on impulse and have them downloaded to the device as well as have a version that is sent to their home PC for playback later.

The technology has been created by UBC Media who is working with music labels such as Universal Music Group, Warner Music and EMI to make the scheme a reality on a national scale.

The company has said that it has already completed successful consumer trials in Birmingham with Chrysalis-owned radio station Heart 100.7.

UBC has said the technology will also be available to mobile phone users as the system is able to work in tandem with 3G telecom networks to allow users to choose this method of delivery for the files to mobile devices.

UBC expects to announce further radio stations that will enable DMD in the coming weeks alongside further partnerships within the music industry.

Other companies are also getting in on the act. Radio Tones, for example, allows people to text the name of a radio station that they're listening to in order to receive a song delivered as a ringtone, with an option to download the full track.

This service will launch before Christmas with Heart FM, and rolling out to other station next year.