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HP: New iPod-ready printer, HPTunes expand Apple’s products

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Friday, August 27, 2004
News Categories: iPod

Not content to allow the “Apple iPod from HP” to be dismissed as just an iPod clone from a second company, Hewlett-Packard has disclosed in an interview with iLounge both the company’s new iPod-related product offerings and the actual differences between the Apple and HP versions of the iPod. “There are a lot of similarities between the two products,” explained HP’s Perry Ralph, Product Manager for the Apple iPod from HP, “we wanted to extend [the iPod] and integrate it more into the PC space and the digital entertainment space.”

picTo that end, HP has demonstrated a new portable, LCD-equipped 4"x6” photo printer, the HP PhotoSmart 375 ($199), which can connect with the iPod via USB for direct digital printing. The printer can run off of battery power and also includes Bluetooth wireless functionality for direct print connections to cellular phones and other devices. HP has also introduced HPTunes, software compatible with Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center operating system “which lets iTunes music be played on the Media Center’s extended interface,” which Mr. Ralph explains was previously not possible.

Tech-savvy users will likely believe that HP’s changes to the iPod hardware are only skin deep. Mr. Ralph said that although the HP logo will now appear in addition to Apple’s on the back of HP-distributed iPod hardware, “other than that, the physical components are all the same.” From cables to Docks to earbuds, the Apple iPod from HP will use all of Apple’s parts, not HP’s.

But the differences, including new packaging, manuals, and a poster, are intended to make the iPod even easier for first-time digital music users to enjoy. “The user guide is very Windows-centric,” said Mr. Ralph, “so we can talk to the Windows-based consumer.” Noting that HP’s research suggested that new iPod users needed more help ripping CDs and transferring music to the iPod, Mr. Ralph said that a “setup poster we have is the first thing you see when you open up the box; in a single page you let the consumer see how to connect it up [and easily use the iPod].” And unlike Apple, HP will recommend use of the included USB 2.0 cable for music transfers, given the smaller penetration of the FireWire standard in the Windows PC market. Software in the HP box will be identical to Apple’s PC installers for the iPod.

picStarting with the September 30th issue of Rolling Stone magazine, HP will also give away HP Tattoos - iPod covering stickers featuring photographic and artistic content from various recording artists. Each magazine will include one Tattoo from a total of five or six variations, and blank Tattoos will be available in 10-packs ($14.99) from HP, Circuit City, and CompUSA. Free art will be provided for the blank Tattoos by MTV and BMG at www.hp.com/music. Individual blanks will not be available. HP claims that the Tattoos will last for between three and four weeks and will leave no residue on an iPod.

On a final note, HP explained the following regarding its use of two product names in publicity materials today, the abbreviated “iPod+hp” name is intended to appear in headlines, while the actual product name is “Apple iPod from HP.”

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Comments

21

Those “tattoos” are the naffest thing ever. If you spot anyone with one of those things on their iPod, please, kick them for me.

Posted by A. on August 27, 2004 at 3:23 PM (PDT)

22

“The iPod weighs just a few ounces (5.6 for the 20 GB model) and you can put 10,000 songs on it*.”
- from HP’s iPod: The Basics

hmm… that isn’t true, or at the very least, it is misleading.

Posted by Harrison in Melbourne, Australia on August 27, 2004 at 4:23 PM (PDT)

23

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (#781) has a six-page spread about HP’s iPod, although there are no actual photos of the device.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on August 27, 2004 at 4:48 PM (PDT)

24

printer? so hm… isn’t the ipod a music player? tsk. like i’d bring a printer with me on the road!

Posted by Hanako on August 27, 2004 at 4:58 PM (PDT)

25

So how does the printer work with the iPod? What does it print? and how do you get the pictures onto the iPod in the first place?

It cant be as complicated as to need a belkin card reader, but then again HP is a PC company they dont make the whole widget just ‘invent” bits and peices of it.

Posted by Ariza on August 27, 2004 at 5:29 PM (PDT)

26

Are they scratch n’ sniff stickers?

Posted by poser on August 27, 2004 at 5:42 PM (PDT)

27

The printer according to the HP site has nothing to do with the ipod. They only mention the camera connection via memory cards.  One could imagine a usb2 link to the printer and viewing via the ipod. There could also be a similar projector, viewer, etc, but there is nothing in the description to say that there is a connection besides this was the day to dump their new products. “HP Photosmart 375 Compact photo printer

With the lightweight and portable HP Photosmart 375, you can print true-to-life 4 x 6-inch photos almost anywhere imaginable — at home, birthday parties, sporting events, family gatherings or on vacation (with optional HP Internal Battery or car power adapter). Includes the adjustable 2.5-inch image display/editing screen. Images can be printed directly from a digital camera via the printer’s memory card slots for quick and easy photo printing without using a computer.”

Posted by 10 GOTO 10 on August 27, 2004 at 6:51 PM (PDT)

28

Jon-

You may think AAC is a great format, but MP3 leaves nothing to doubt…it’s gonna play on any computer…on any player…anytime…anywhere!

Of course you may be saying that AAC has higher fidelity.  Is the fidelity that much better when you’re listening through Apple earbuds?  Or, using an FM transmitter in your car?  I don’t think so.

Long live MP3!

Posted by Talking Madness on August 27, 2004 at 8:19 PM (PDT)

29

“Hewlett-Packard has disclosed in an interview with iPodlounge… the HP PhotoSmart 375 ($199), which can connect with the iPod via USB for direct digital printing”

Posted by read on August 27, 2004 at 8:47 PM (PDT)

30

MAC IS THE BEST

HP must make a copy of the iPod to stay in the challenge !

Posted by Alex on August 27, 2004 at 10:00 PM (PDT)

31

Love the abbreviation iPod+hp not!! The people who make up these names are dumb, here we go i`ll try, why not hPod. make sense??

Posted by jepkus on August 28, 2004 at 12:32 AM (PDT)

32

bad example:

Doom 3 is coming shortly to the Mac… all 25 million users

Er.. okay.. all 13 million OS X users… wink

Posted by Mike on August 28, 2004 at 4:29 AM (PDT)

33

According to HP’s spec page, the HP iPod will play unprotected WMA files. That’s news.

Posted by Chris on August 28, 2004 at 4:49 AM (PDT)

34

Oops. Here is the right link to HP’s spec page.

Sorry about that previous post.

Posted by Wrong spec page! on August 28, 2004 at 4:51 AM (PDT)

35

Like a bastardized HP blue iPod would have looked good?  Geez, give me a break.  HP wised up and realized that no one would buy that ugly thing so they stuck with what works and left it alone.  You don’t mess with perfection and finally there is a PC manufacturer that realized that for once.  I’m sorry that it won’t blend in with the rest of their ugly PCs, but that’s what you get for having one of those ugly pieces of junk to begin with.  All any of the Wintel companies have done is copy everything Apple has created now for 20 years, both hardware and software wise.  For once at least Apple gets 100% full credit, it’s about time.  Thanks HP for doing something right.

Posted by Rob on August 28, 2004 at 5:07 AM (PDT)

36

Could have fooled me Alex.  Sounds like you’re the one that is intolerant and ignorant as you obviously blindly support anything Bill Gates shoves down user’s throats yourself.  Sounds just like a typical CNN viewer and Kerry supporter to me that is so wrapped up in their extremist agenda that they turn a totally blind eye to reality and the actual facts.

Posted by Alex The Intolerant on August 28, 2004 at 5:16 AM (PDT)

37

“According to HP’s spec page, the HP iPod will play unprotected WMA files. That’s news.”

The PortalPlayer chipset that Apple licenses to use in the iPod has alwaqys had native support for WMA decoding and (more recently), encoding.

The same chipset is used in the Samsung Napster and Philips players and they process WMA perfectly.

It was purely a strategic decision by Apple to de-activate the WMA features of the iPod’s basic capabilities that has resulted in the iPod’s lack of WMA ability.

Perhaps HP have renegotiated their contract to enable them to mix and match the firmware components supplied to them by PortalPlaer through their Apple intermediaries?

Posted by WMA on August 28, 2004 at 5:32 AM (PDT)

38

I made a big mistake. That spec page I referred to was for iTunes, not the iPod.

Posted by No WMA support after all on August 28, 2004 at 7:14 AM (PDT)

39

Hey, I’m kinda new to this….but is the iPod+HP exactly the same as the iPod except for the packaging and manual?

Posted by J-Tizzle on August 28, 2004 at 7:48 AM (PDT)

40

is it me or is the ######## towards eachother getting worse on this site? also this mac vs windows is getting old, can’t we have a discussion without this being brought in to it everytime? and criticising eachother’s spelling is a tad childish.

Has HP done/not done something it said it would/would not do? no, it’s trying to sell iPod to Windows users,which as a company who makes Windows PCs and Apple is making money off of it too.

It’s not blue, which I think is a shame a choice of two colours (or more) would be good, some people may prefer the white (which i did) but everyone’s enttitled to their preference.

Posted by bitching on August 28, 2004 at 9:40 AM (PDT)

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