To say he’s disenchanted with the online music store would be an understatement. Morris recently refused to renew his label’s multi-year deal with iTunes, instead opting to license Universal recordings on a month-to-month basis.

For Morris, iTunes represents a rather bleak digital future for major record labels. A future where tech companies like Apple call the shots and recording companies like Universal just bend over and grab their corporate ankles.

Morris is reportedly unhappy with the control Apple has exerted over music prices on iTunes, where tracks are priced at 99 cents and CDs at $9.99. Instead, Morris advocates a more flexible pricing structure – one set by the labels that release the music and not by the high-tech company making the deliveries.

And Morris has had some success. When Microsoft wanted to include a form of wireless song-sharing for its Zune personal player, Morris negotiated a licensing fee that resulted in the tech company paying the music company one dollar for every Zune sold.

And now it looks as if Morris is planning to take on Steve Jobs and iTunes by launching a label-owned online music store, called Total Music.

According to Business Week, Sony BMG has already signed on for Total Music and Warner Music Group is listening to what Morris has to say. Some of Total Music’s goals are similar to those expressed by Morris, such as regaining control over sales from iTunes and promoting non-iPod players in the marketplace.

To wean consumers off of the iPod, Morris is proposing that hardware and cell phone manufacturers absorb a $5 per month charge. In exchange, consumers purchasing their portable devices would get all the music they want for free. The idea is that an all-you-can-eat deal would boost sales of players not made by Apple as well as provide a healthy revenue stream for the labels.

But Total Music wouldn’t be the first online music store launched by one or more major labels. Back in 2002 Universal and Sony launched PressPlay, the first online music store that sold major label tracks.

But PressPlay wasn’t a hit. At first, PressPlay tracks were chained to the computers people used for downloading and prohibited transfers to portable devices. Other restrictions limited how many times customers could burn tracks by the same artists. Despite the labels’ best intentions, music fans couldn’t see any advantage in PressPlay’s legal downloads.

Eventually, PressPlay drifted off into Web history. In 2003 Roxio acquired PressPlay and adapted the underlying technology to launch the legal incarnation of Napster.

Of course, the marketplace will determine whether a label-backed online store will thrive. Record chiefs like Morris believe record companies know more about selling music than technology companies like RealNetworks and Apple. When you add the Total Music rumors to Universal’s recent endeavors, such as the label’s MP3 experiment of selling unprotected tracks, it’s clear Universal and Doug Morris want to lead, not follow.