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HP challenges iTunes with MusicStation PCs

MusicStation syncs playlists with smartphones

HP is to distribute a music service and software developed by Omnifone on over a dozen of its computer models sold in the UK and other European nations.

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 £8.99.

The software will sync 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.

As well as the UK, the music service will be available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, in local languages.

Omnifone offers over 6.5 million music tracks from major labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music International, as well as a number of leading independent labels.

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