Starbucks ' chairman has indicated the coffee chain could provide in-store digital music downloads within the next year.

In a speech at the Levin Institute, Howard Schultz said: "Within 12 months, probably, you're going to be able to walk into a Starbucks and digitally fill up your MP3 player with music."

Starbucks has experimented with in-store music services before. In the US, the chain hosted ill-fated CD-burning machines that enabled you to create your own music mixes. The technology quickly became outdated though, and was removed from most of the stores.

The company also joined forces with Apple in October to launch its own section on the iTunes Store. The selection of music available is played in Starbucks stores worldwide.

On-site downloads could be either hosted locally on a media server, or remotely using technology similar to Microsoft's recently announced Windows Home Server . Starbucks could team up with its hotspot partner over the move, T-Mobile .