Apple negotiating unlimited music downloads for iTunes customers

Apple is in talks with the major music companies to allow customers who have purchased music through iTunes, greater access across devices according to a report at Bloomberg.

The sources, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Apple is in talks with music companies such as Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG) and EMI Group Ltd; and that an agreement could be reached by mid year.

Apple and the record labels are eager to maintain the demand for digital downloads, and would offer users more flexibility in how they purchased music, amid the popularity of services like Pandora Media Inc., which don’t sell tracks and instead let users stream songs from the Web, to any device.

An agreement would allow customers a permanent backup of purchased music as well as the ability to copy downloads to iPad, iPod and iPhone devices linked to the same iTunes account, meaning that damaged or lost purchases would be a thing of the past.

The move is also another step closer to universal access, where purchases would be centrally stored on the Internet.

When asked for comment from the aforementioned record labels, all declined to comment; Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, also remained tight lipped.

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