The battle lines between legitimate and illegitimate-music download services appear to be drawn, as hackers prepare solutions to harness built-in iTunes features to share music online.

Hackers are working to extend the Internet and Rendezvous features of iTunes, and its built-in capacity to download tracks from the Music Store in order to share their collections with others online.

The LA Times reports that in the weeks since iTunes 4.0 appeared several sites have launched to help users find others who are sharing songs online. Some programmers are working on ways to let people copy those songs.

The report quotes National Music Publishers Association attorney Cary Ramos, who says: "I would hope Apple will take steps immediately to address this."

One developer has halted work on his solution, the report claims. iTunes Database software developer Rob Lockstone began his site as a way to expose music lovers to more music, but stopped the operation when he learnt that software now exists that lets people copy songs stored on other Macs.