updated 02:30 pm EDT, Mon June 13, 2011
HP cloud media still a long ways off
HP's cloud media service for the TouchPad is much further away than implied, music industry tipsters claimed this weekend. Marketing material suggested the music and video services would ship with the TouchPad on its now-confirmed July 1 release, but labels said that the talks are in the "early stages." Billboard's insiders said HP hadn't even made clear its objectives and when it wanted the service to go live.
One anonymous music studio executive said might behave like Sony's Qriocity in supplying on-demand music both to webOS devices like the TouchPad as well as, presumably, HP PCs. He nonetheless acknowledged that labels "don't know how serious they are" at HP since the company has regularly been non-committal on the concept. It had started looking for music partners three years ago, before webOS was even an option, but it hadn't decided on which partners to use or even whether to have partners at all.
Anything that would come might not arrive for "at least" half a year, according to the tips. HP may have been deliberately snubbed by labels, which favored Amazon, Apple, and Google. All three had much more definite plans and have formally unveiled at least some form of cloud media service.
HP has been confident it could bring webOS back into relevance by wielding its size and reach but has been at a disadvantage through a lack of content. Apple's iTunes has been considered an edge in giving the iPad books and movies from the start. Google has had to catch up but now has both Music Beta for streaming a personal audio collection and Movies for platform-wide rentals.