HP Teams Up With Omnifone To Launch Online Music Service

The world's biggest computer manufacturer, HP, will be bundling Omnifone's MusicStation software that will allow its customers to listen to music for free for two weeks with the option to subscribe to an unlimited service.

From today, customers who buy one of 16 HP desktop and laptop models across ten European countries will be able to pay a fee of £8.99 and get access to more than 6.5 million tracks that can be streamed without limits.

In addition, users will be allowed to keep ten DRM-less tracks free per month from the four main major music labels as well as a number of other nimbler, independent labels.

The songs - which are available in WMA format - will be available as long as the monthly fee is paid and can also be paid on Omnifone-compatible handsets. Users may synchronise and play their favourite tracks on a number of different devices. HP did not specify how many devices could be served by one licence.

It is worth noting that UK subscribers will be paying the most for the service (roughly $14.48) while Swedes will be having a bargain ($13.67).

As a reminder, Sweden is the land of Spotify, the main rival of Omnifone's bid for platform supremacy.

Our Comments

Are the labels playing one online music service against one another? So it seems. Customers are likely to be the winners as prices slowly go down, hopefully along with the rate of piracy. Any how, the eat-as-much-as-you-want scheme seems to be gaining momentum and 2010 could well be the year when it goes mainstream.

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