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HP Makes Its Music Push

Last week, PC giant HP finally unveiled its "innovative" music strategy, which includes components from a partnership it struck with Apple Computer back in January. Of course, we use the term "innovative" sarcastically, because the strategy basically involves a rebranded version of Apple's iPod music device and Apple's iTunes store. The only difference between's Apple's and HP's iPods is an HP Invent logo on the back of the HP iPods (and no, the irony of the use of the Invent slogan isn't lost on us). HP will offer 20GB and 40GB iPods for the same price as Apple's devices. One unique feature that HP did release for the iPod is a new iPod Tattoo that lets you wrap different stickers around your iPod. The stickers feature artwork such as colorful patterns and CD album artwork. Although HP has had over 8 months to figure out how to integrate Apple's proprietary Protected AAC format into its other products, it has shown little progress, and it seems that HP customers will be unable to play their purchased music on most of the company’s wide range of products, including its iPAQ Pocket PCs. We're still surprised that HP didn't opt for a music store that uses the Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, which just about every other music store uses and would have easily integrated into the company's other existing products. We'll be interested to see whether HP's attempt at being cool with the kids by licensing Apple products works

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