“The latest Media Center PCs from HP come with a special iTunes-related feature built into Microsoft’s new Windows XP Media Center Edition software. The computer maker created the feature, called HP Tunes, to let users of its Media Center PCs play songs and playlists from iTunes within the Windows Media Center interface, the special Microsoft software designed to be controlled using a remote while sitting back in a chair or couch in the living room,” Todd Bishop reports for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
“Although Apple makes its iTunes software available on the regular Windows operating system, HP is unique among Media Center PC vendors in offering an iTunes connection inside the Media Center interface. The move results from the alliance announced earlier this year between HP and Apple. HP sells an HP-branded iPod and preinstalls the related iTunes jukebox and music store on HP computers,” Bishop reports. “Without the HP Tunes feature, Media Center PC users would need to exit the Windows Media Center interface and use the ordinary Windows desktop to access their iTunes music. That’s because Microsoft’s music software doesn’t play songs encoded in the AAC format that Apple uses.”
Bishop reports, “It would have been ‘mind-boggling’ for people who bought both HP iPods and HP Media Center PCs not to have a connection to iTunes within the Media Center PC interface, said Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg. For that reason, he said, it was ‘a really good move on HP’s part’ to create HP Tunes.”
Full article here.