According to the sources, Apple CEO Nobuyuki Idei, head of Sony, in January during a golf tournament organized by the Japanese company in Hawaii. Apple, it seems, was ready to open up its iTunes Music Store and make the song downloads there compatible with Sony's digital-music players.made his offer to
Apple and Sony representatives declined to comment.
Who will win the
battle to dominate?
Apple has been reluctant to provide licenses to companies seeking compatibility between their digital-music products and iPod, much to the chagrin of other players in the sector. In July, RealNetworks drew strong protests from Apple on the launch of its, which allows people to play songs bought from its store on the iPod and other players. The technology, which effectively recreates Apple's proprietary copy protection technology, was released without Apple's permission.
However, Apple has signed up Hewlett-Packard, which released anin August. And in the mobile space, Apple licensed its technology to enable some handsets to play iTunes downloads.
Microsoft's music downloads, on the other hand, can be read by a far larger number of music players. Last week, Microsoft released a beta version of its online music download service,, which lets people download tracks onto PC hard drives and onto portable devices that support the Windows Media digital audio format.
Sony has launched its own download service, Atrac technology, and Sony is unlikely to want to . It also has a tool called Sonic Stage that lets users convert nonprotected MP3, WMA and WAV files into the Atrac format., hoping to repeat the success of the iPod and iTunes by pairing the service with its digital music player, the Network Walkman NW-HD1. But the Walkman-branded music player and the service both depend on Sony's proprietary
Christophe Guilleman of ZDNet France reported from Paris.