If Apple and Microsoft can't figure out how to make their digital rights management technologies compatible, music and tech industry players will do the job for them.
On all sides of the fence, critics complain that Apple's system - called FairPlay - is unfair to consumers because it locks them into using the company's products. An iPod won't play tunes from most other services, and iTunes purchases will only play on iPods, and some mobile phones.
A discussion on Business 2.0 takes a look at a new music selling firm called Navio. The company is assembling a service which offers music lovers perpetual rights to a song they have downloaded.
At present, people buying songs through legitimate online services are only acquiring a license to use the tracks, rather than perpetual ownership of them.
Navio will let its users buy a song in perpetuity. Song-owners will be able to transfer those rights to others, and if they lose their music will be able to redownload it from that company's servers. "Pay once and the song is yours forever", writes Business 2.0.
Though under heavy criticism right now over its flawed attempt at copy protecting CDs, Sony BMG is one of the major labels experimenting with the new service.
Navio will also offer music in whatever format a user wants at the time - a computer, a phone - even iPods will be supported.
In December Navio will launch a new version of its service that will support iPods, the report claims.
"How will Apple react to this news? 'I think they will go ballistic,' Roever predicts, before adding, 'There is nothing Apple can do to prevent this.'", the report states.
This may not happen. Navio has reverse-engineered the iPod in order to be able to support the music player.