HP Preps For Cloud Music, Storage Battle With Apple iCloud

Apple iCloud

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computing giant has already made clear HP's cloud computing strategy for the enterprise, but according to a Billboard report, HP is in talks with major record labels about building a cloud service that will offer music, movies and TV shows.

Analysts and industry watchers believe an HP cloud offering would be closely tied to the HP TouchPad tablet, which is expected to be released on July 1.

Accoroding to a story on PreCentral.net in April, "The TouchPad will come with a music-synching solution built in that utilizes cloud servers to synch and remotely store your music." That report also stated that HP marketing materials showed the TouchPad would allow users to stream music they hadn't yet purchased.

This week, however, PreCentral.net reported that the HP cloud storage and music service, preliminarily known as HP Play, may not be ready in time for the TouchPad's release. Billboard also cautioned that the discussions between HP and the record labels for an iCloud rival are still in their infancy.

Sponsored post

"They're debating doing something like Qriocity for a variety of media, which can be delivered on any HP device," a major label executive told Billboard, citing the Sony-owned Qriocity service for streaming music, games, e-books and video on-demand from the cloud. "We don't know how serious they are."

HP's cloud locker and cloud music plans come after nearly a decade of HP trying to break into the music business with lackluster results. In the early 2000s, HP and Starbucks partnered to run the coffee giant's in-store music kiosks that let customers download and burn music inside the coffee shop. HP last June also acquired online music streaming service Melodeo and in September HP revealed that it teamed up with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney's company, McCartney Productions Limited (MPL), to digitize and deliver McCartney's library via a private cloud.

HP's dive into the cloud music and storage game would be a direct shot at Apple iCloud, a cloud-based service Apple announced last week that stores music, photos, documents and other content into Apple's cloud and can be accessed by up to 10 different devices, meaning data does not have to be stored locally.

The iCloud launch was on the heels of a major consumer cloud push from Amazon which saw the launch of Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player. Amazon Cloud Drive is a "personal disk drive in the cloud" where uses can store music, photos, documents and other digital media, while Amazon Cloud Player lets users stream the media stored in the cloud from their computers or Google Android smartphones.

Google is also prepping a cloud music service, called Google Music Beta, a streaming cloud music service Google showcased at its Google I/O developer conference last month.