Apple is negotiating with music companies including Vivendi SA (VIV)s Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG) and EMI Group Ltd., said the people, who asked for anonymity because the talks are private. An agreement may be announced by midyear, two of the people said.
This would give iTunes customers a permanent backup of their music purchases and let them download purchases directly to their other devices without the need to sync.
The new download policy is reportedly one of several service changes Apple is exploring. Improvements to the capabilities of Apple's MobileMe service and reductions in its pricing are also being considered.