plans to integrate its services with parent company,, reports say, citing an email despatched to customers last week.

The service launched in July 2003. One of the first music download services for Windows, it offered a confused price structure and limited usage rights.

A $40 million series of ads to promote the service were also released, with these clearly inspired by those previously released by Apple to promote its own iTunes Music Store.

On launch, company founder Scott Blum called Apple CEO Steve Jobs "a visionary", but added: "He's on the wrong platform. If you don't support Windows, you cut off 97 per cent of the market."

Blum had expected to sell millions of tracks through the his service, encouraged by Apple's achievement in selling 6.5 million songs in the first 61 days of the iTunes Music Store's existence.

The service had hoped to shift as many as one million tracks each day, but restricted usage rights and its pricing structure drove many users elsewhere.

However, hit immediate problems, with early users of the service unable to transfer tunes to their MP3 players.