As part of the Universal Music Group's announcement that it was to start trialling the sale of DRM-free music tracks, Universal named a list of companies that are to offer the downloads.

Within that list was Google. But Google doesn't sell music tracks, so why name the company as one of your online vendors?

The obvious assumption is that Google is planning to launch some kind of online music download service, perhaps to complement its music search offerings.

In January last year, rumours were doing the rounds that Google was to buy Napster as a way to get into the music download market.

This supposed purchase plan, and the prospect of a Google music store was denied at the time:

"We have no plans to acquire Napster, nor do we have plans to develop a music store at this time", a Google spokesperson said.

Google does offer a Google Video service, currently in Beta, that includes music videos and lets users buy videos via Google Checkout, so it would not be a stretch for the online giant to extend that offering to pure music downloads.