Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch its own music download service, which some claim may rival iTunes.

The reports claim Amazon will enter the online music retail market with an all-DRM-free approach, offering all the music it sells in the unrestricted MP3 format.

Amazon reportedly made contact with all four major labels to propose such a service within the last fortnight, reports claim.

The time may be ripe for such services following EMI's decision to make its catalogue available to online music services in high-quality, DRM-free formats.

Independent music labels in all territories have all reported strong sales of tracks released free of rights restricting technologies.

Such activity makes it likely the remaining three majors will be forced to follow the market and make their own music available in unrestricted formats in future.

Amazon is expected to open its online music retail service as soon as next month.