Sony and Apple are in discussion to make Sony artists available through iTunes Japan.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant told AFP this morning that talks continue.

"We are negotiating with Apple over the download business and hope to expand our customer base to iPod users," said Yasuhi Ide, a spokesman for Sony Music Entertainment (Japan).

Apple's Japanese iTunes service launched last month, generating one million sales in just four days.

Sony and some other local labels had declined to make music available through the service, leading some Sony stars to protest at the lack of an iTunes deal.

Sony appears set to accept its artist's needs: "We simply want iPod users to listen to our music," Ide said.