Hugh Pickens writes writes "Bloomberg reports that Apple is in talks with record companies including Vivendi SA (VIV)'s Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG) and EMI Group Ltd. to give iTunes music buyers easier access to their songs on multiple devices. The deal would provide iTunes customers with a permanent backup of music purchases if the originals are damaged or lost and would allow downloads to iPad, iPod and iPhone devices linked to the same iTunes account. The negotiations come as iTunes is facing competition from new Web-based services such as Spotify Ltd., Rdio Inc. and MOG Inc. that focus on letting customers listen to songs from anywhere with an online connection, instead of downloading tracks to a hard drive. 'Long-time iTunes users know that one of the more obnoxious differences between music and app downloads on the iTunes Store is the fact that apps can be re-downloaded a seemingly infinite number of times,' writes Jacqui Cheng. 'In contrast, users can only download music tracks once — if you find yourself without backups and your music disappears, you must beseech the iTunes gods to let you re-download all your music—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, should they hear your prayers.""