Apple may be close to loosening the reins on its FairPlay digital rights management system -- the technology responsible for restricting iTunes purchased files to only other Apple products.

According to a UK technology blog -- citing unnamed sources -- Apple is exploring the idea of allowing manufacturers of in-home media adapters to stream iTunes music through home networks to entertainment systems like home stereos and other devices. Only companies participating in Apple's Made for iPod program will be eligible to license the FairPlay technology.

The move would come at a strange time, as Apple just unveiled its own in-home iTunes media adapter, called Apple TV, at the MacWorld conference earlier this month.

If true, its certainly an interesting step, but does little to solve the larger problem facing the digital music industry -- that files purchased from services other than iTunes still won?t work on the iPod.