updated 08:30 pm EDT, Sat April 16, 2011
HP TouchPad cloud music, video supported in leak
HP's intention to build a webOS cloud media locker, and possibly beat Apple and Google to the feature, was given more definitive support late Friday after a leaked presentation. A pair of slides describing the TouchPad reportedly showed both the known HP Movie Store but also an intelligent, online music syncing option. PreCentral's copy showed that it would not only allow remotely storing and streaming music, including songs users "don't yet own," but would determine owners' preferred music and prioritize it for local caching on the TouchPad itself.
The app mockup in the slide wasn't likely to reflect the real app. HP did promise that the service wouldn't be exclusive to the TouchPad and would eventually make its way to webOS phones like the Pre3 and Veer.
While unconfirmed by HP, the PC builder bought Melodeo and its desktop-to-mobile Internet music sharing technology last year, not long after its deal to buy Palm had solidified. HP has long said that it would help the Palm team by giving webOS the kind of financial backing and scale it couldn't manage on its own, but until now it was less certain what that would involve. Most of its public talk has focused on carrier and retail deals that Palm couldn't afford up until it was bought out.
The TouchPad is due to arrive in June and could land a symbolic win if the cloud service is active on launch. Apple has publicly stated goals to switch on a massive datacenter for iTunes and MobileMe that many believe will lead to an online media locker for both iTunes and iOS devices. Google has given clues that it has been developing a Google Music music service since Google I/O last spring, but it has seen numerous delays and may even be abandoning its plans after frustrations with labels.