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HP and Napster join forces in music giveaway

Napster will come pre-loaded on HP computers

All HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario desktop and laptop computers sold in the UK and Germany are to be sold with Napster's music subscription service included. Each PC will also come with a free introductory 1-month subscription to the service.

HP customers will have access to more than four million full-length tracks and more than 80 advert-free radio stations using a Napster desktop icon.

After the first month, subscription to the service will cost Napster users £9.95 a month. For those that want to transfer an unlimited number of tracks to their compatible MP3 player or PlaysForSure-enabled mobile handset, the Napster To Go service will cost £14.95.

"By pre-loading the Napster software on the latest HP PCs we're making the world of digital music just a click away and hopefully introducing Napster to people who share our passion for music," said Thorsten Schliesche, vice president of sales and marketing at Napster Europe.

HP's Joseph Sweeney said that the partnership with Napster will give customers "direct access to a huge library of songs and other digital content as soon as they start using their new PC".

Napster's offerings include an on-demand music-subscription service, Freenapster, a web experience offering free on-demand music and mobile music platform, Napster Mobile.

Napster was formed in 1999 and popularised P2P (peer-to-peer) music sharing on the internet. At its height, Napster had more than 60 million users. A lawsuit was later filed that resulted in it being closed down. After Roxio bought the rights to the name in 2003 it was then relaunched as a legal music download service.

Napster's main competition is Apple's iTunes Music Store, with Napster seeing a net loss of $9.8m (£5.2m) in the three months ending 30 June 2006.

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