Roxio is gearing up to launch its own online-music download service, in competition with Apple.

Roxio - which already owns what remained of Napster - is now understood to be closing a deal to buy existing online music service Pressplay fron Universal Music and Sony, reports Reuters.

The company is understood to have offered $30 million in cash and stock. Roxio brings its expertise in CD authoring to the deal, plus intellectual property in the form of certain Napster patents and the services of Napster founder Shawn Fanning.

Since late April, Roxio shares have climbed 35 per cent. Analysts believe the movement to have been triggered by the noteworthy success of Apple's own digital-music download service, which attracted two million sales in two weeks.

Roxio will hold an analyst briefing on Wednesday May 21 in order to discuss its March quarter financial performance - the company expects these to meet target revenues of $32 million.

Analysts believe it is unlikely Roxio will launch a music download service at the meeting.