“Apple’s iPod is the killer device of online music, and HP very well should have owned it. Back in 1999, researchers at Compaq designed a 30 Gbyte portable music player that weighed 9.5 ounces, could fit in your pocket and had 10 hours of battery life. The Personal Jukebox – aka PJB – went on sale for more than $500, and Compaq received a handy patent for its work,” Ashlee Vance reports for The Register.
“But the PJB is not all that interesting in and of itself. Plenty of companies were busy working on their own music players at the time. The demand for such devices was pretty clear, as consumers rushed to organize their music on PCs and wanted a way to carry the tunes around,” Vance reports. “The PJB is interesting because Compaq was working on the product so early and because the company became part of HP in 2002.”
Vance reports, “Much of the HP/Compaq deal centered around the two companies linking their PC, server and storage operations. Make no mistake, the acquisition of Compaq was meant to bring HP as close as possible to rivaling IBM for big business deals. Furthering some weird Compaq music player project probably did not fall real high on the list of post-merger ‘things that need to get done.’ Maybe it should have.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Yes, but did Compaq have a version of iTunes and the iTunes Music Store?