Apple is thought to have signed a deal with EMI that will allow the company to launch a cloud-based music service.

According to CNET, which cited "multiple music industry sources", Apple is also very close to signing deals with Universal and Sony Music Entertainment, and negotiations could be finalised by next week. Apple already has a deal in place with Warner Music.

The deal will give Apple the ability to launch an on line service that stores digital copies of the music they own online so they can be accessed from a number of different web-enabled devices. Both Amazon and Google have already launched similar services, but these are not backed by licensing deals so users can not share or purchase new music. Music Beta by Google and Amazon's Cloud Player are both currently only available to US users.

Apple would not comment on the story.