February 21, 2010, Updated September 24, 2012

Google is in early talks to buy the Catch Media startup to better compete with its archrival iTunes, according to the Cnet news website. Catch Media is based in Los Angeles and runs an R&D center in Jerusalem.

Catch Media’s “Play Anywhere” technology is being developed to help surfers to access digital information stored on their home computers – from regular files to movies and music – using a range of devices, such as cell phones and car media players. Users will also be able to share their files with friends.

iTunes enables surfers to purchase and download media, but only to Apple hardware – be it computers, iPhones or iPods. Catch Media’s technology would enable users to purchase and download material to any device using Google software, such as computers and Android-based cellphones.

Their home computer system would essentially become a “home base” for their favorite files, which they could then read, see or hear on other devices either at home or outside the home.

Catch Media already has collaborative relationships with four major music companies: Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group and EMI Music.

Neither Google nor Catch Media was prepared to comment on the report.

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