A leading UK technology expert has accused RTÉ of "getting it terribly wrong" by selling music downloads via the new 2fm website which cannot be used on iPods.

Launched recently at a cost of €230,000, listeners can buy tracks heard on the station for 99 cent via the RTÉ website, which is being billed as a rival to iTunes.

However, the Sunday Tribune has learned that the majority of downloads sold from the 2fm site include DRM (Digital Rights Management) which allows the distributor and not the user to control how content is used. Tom Dunmore, editor-in-chief of the UK's best-selling gadget magazine, Stuff said: "I can't tell you how wrong RTÉ have got this. DRM is a copy-protection system. All DRM does is stop music-lovers using music in the way they want to.

"It's a bit like HMV selling a CD which won't play on a machine you bought in Tesco. I'm really surprised that anyone would launch a service with DRM.

"It also means music downloads from the 2fm website can't be used on iPods, which are the most popular music player on the market."

2fm's decision to sell largely DRM-protected music comes after Apple ann­ounced in January they would no longer use the copy protection on downloads sold through iTunes.

Confirming that the majority of music sold on the 2fm website cannot be played by iPod's due to the DRM protection, a spokeswoman for RTÉ said: "Yes the format is incompatible with iPods and Apple Macs.

"However, we are currently in discussions with the major record labels about making MP3 formats available on the site and we are very encouraged by the progress we are making. We hope to be making an announcement about this in the coming weeks."