Business Matters: What HP's Bargain Tablet Sale Means to Music Companies
Business Matters: What HP's Bargain Tablet Sale Means to Music Companies

For months rumors have been swirling that Hewlett-Packard might be planning to integrate some kind of music service into its TouchPad tablet computer.

Now we know at least what part of that plan is.

The company today announced the addition of 7digital's music download service as a featured app for the platform. According to 7digital, this version of the digital download service was built specifically for the webOS system that HP uses as the core of the TouchPad system.

With it, TouchPad users will be able to browse music by genre, artist, and popularity, listen to samples, and buy and download full tracks, encoded at the higher-quality 320 kbps MP3 format. It is not, as some had suspected, an on-demand streaming service. Pricing will vary by country.

Deals like this are pretty much 7digital's bread-and-butter. The company also powers digital download stores for BlackBerry and other devices, in addition to running its own branded shop.

This announcement, however, still leaves open questions about any cloud plans HP may still have hidden up its sleeve. Since April, there have been rumors indicating that the company may want to enhance any music service with a cloud element that would allow users to share content across devices, not just limited to the TouchPad.

Last year, HP bought streaming music service Melodeo (branded as nuTsie).