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Apple in talks to create custom Net music service, says report

The tech giant is in talks with record companies to license music for a service that would compete with Pandora, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Apple may be looking to expand its dominance of the online music landscape with a Pandora-like service.

The company is in talks with record companies to license music for a custom music service that would create "virtual" music stations based on a song or artist of choice, sources familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal. The service would reportedly operate on the family of Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and Macs, and possibly on Microsoft's Windows.

However, Google's Android operating system would be cut off, one source said, as a result of the growing fight for dominance of the mobile sector between the two tech giants.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Apple would be competing against Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora, which uses an algorithm to create custom radio stations based on a single song or artist and offers paid subscriptions as well as a free, ad-supported version and a suite of popular mobile apps.

However, Apple is negotiating different licenses to offer greater interactivity than that offered by Pandora, which limits how users choose and skip songs, the Journal reported.