HP to Distribute Music Service on PCs in Europe

Hewlett-Packard will distribute a music service and software developed by Omnifone on over a dozen of its computer models sold in ten European nations, Omnifone said Monday.

Omnifone’s MusicStation Desktop software will be pre-installed on 16 HP desktop and laptop models and provide Omnifone’s music service for free in a two-week trial. People who want to keep the service have to pay a monthly subscription fee of around US$14 (UK £8.99 (US$14.48), or Euro €9.99 (US$14.13), or Swiss Francs 14.95 (US$14.36) or Swedish Krona 99 (US$13.67).

The software will synchronize with MusicStation software on mobile phones to share music and playlists.

Music downloaded on the service can only be used so long as the monthly subscription fee is paid, though 10 tracks a month can be downloaded in a DRM (digital rights management) free MP3 file format each month and kept forever, according to a news release from Omnifone.

MusicStation Desktop software will be available on the following HP laptops: Compaq Presario CQ61 and CQ71, as well as HP G61, G62, G72, HP Pavilion dm3, dv3, dv6, dv7, dv8 and HP Envy 13, and HP Envy 15. HP desktops involved the scheme are the Presario CQ53 and Pavilion HPE-1, p63, and s53.
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HP’s First USB 3.0 Laptop Ships; Others on the Way

HP Laptop

HP Laptop

HP announced today that certain configurations of its Envy 15 laptops will come equipped with the new USB 3.0 spec. This makes HP one of the first computer companies to offer the incredibly fast technology on their machines.

We’ve been talking about USB 3.0 forever, it feels like—the news here at PC World started more than two years ago. USB 3.0 promises speeds more than 10x as fast as USB 2.0, making the transfer of even things like video files incredibly fast.

At CES last week, no fewer than 17 devices designed for USB 3.0 were introduced, coming from companies like ASUS, Fujistsu, Western Digital, and more. Thanks to speeds up to 5Gbps (compared to USB 2.0’s 480Mbps), 1GB of data can now be transferred in just 3.3 seconds, compared to at least 33 seconds with USB 2.0.

All USB 3.0 devices will be backwards compatible, meaning that they’ll work with USB 2.0 and 1.1 devices, but those devices won’t see the speed increase that USB 3.0-enabled devices will.

USB 3.0 is making its way onto nearly everything that connects via USB, and the early favorite seems to be hard drives, with both LaCie and PQI including USB 3.0 on their new hard drives.
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