Hewlett-Packard once relied on Beats for audio technology in its PCs and tablets, but that was before Apple acquired it. HP has now found a new audio partner in Bang & Olufsen.
HP will use Bang & Olufsen audio technology to its PCs, tablets and accessories. The companies will “custom tune” audio for each PC model; different models typically have different hardware specifications in order to meet different expectations. For example, a gaming laptop typically delivers more booming sound than a low-cost laptop.
HP will put the Bang & Olufsen brand on the high-end Spectre, Omen, Envy and some other commercial PCs. The B&O Play label will be on lower-cost Pavilion PCs and tablets. The companies will also resell audio Bang & Olufsen accessories for HP hardware.
The first Bang & Olufsen branded PCs will appear this spring, HP said. The PCs will likely have a sticker attached or logo engraved on them to highlight the audio technology, similar to stickers for operating systems and processors widely found on laptops and desktops.
HP for a long time partnered with Beats for audio in PCs as well as some all-in-ones. HP laptops still sell on HP’s website with the Beats brand on it. But the partnership crumbled after Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion last year.
After the acquisition, HP stopped attaching Beats logos or brand names to its PCs, and instead started saying it was using homegrown audio technology. At the launch of the recent HP Spectre X360 last month, an HP executive declined to tell the IDG News Service whether the homegrown technology was influenced by Beats, or if it had Beats amplifiers in them. HP has excellent in-house technology to boost audio in PCs, said Mike Nash, vice president of product management for consumer personal systems, at the time.
Audio is becoming more significant in PCs and tablets, particularly with more music and movie streaming services now available. The partnership will Bang & Olufsen will fill a big audio hole left by Beats in HP’s PC and tablet lineup. HP will work with Bang & Olufsen to develop audio circuitry that will go on PC motherboards.
Photo: Gordon Mah Ung
While Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody and other music streaming services tout their expansive music catalog and discovery services, what sets Google Play Music apart from the rest of the pack is the ability to upload already owned music into the service’s cloud for free.
Today Google announced that it is upgrading that song storage from 20,000 songs to 50,000 songs. The kicker is that you don’t even have to sign up for Google’s Play Music All Access subscription service. You can just store the music to stream to your devices without using up storage on all your devices.
If you own music that’s unavailable on music streaming services (i.e. some early hip hop and bootlegs from bands like the Grateful Dead), you can couple this with Google’s $9.99 a-month Play Music All Access for a great way to create playlists with a mixture of music you own with a vast library of tracks available through your subscription.
If you want to start storing your music in the cloud for streaming access nearly anywhere, here’s how:
1. Sign in to Google Play Music with your Google account – Go to your computer and visit play.google.com/music. Sign up if needed.
2. Claim your free storage – If you’d like to try the Google Play music subscription service too, click “Get Started”. Otherwise, click “No Thanks” to continue with the free storage.
3. Add your music collection – The setup process will guide you through adding the Chrome app, which provides seamless uploading. You can choose to simply upload your entire iTunes library or select other music folders. You can upload 50,000 songs for free.
4. Access your music at any time on multiple devices – You can stream or download music to your Android, iPhone, or iPad for easy offline listening. It’s also all available on the web when you’re on your computer.
From “Andrew Lloyd Webber: 40 Musical Years”, first shown on ITV on March 31, 2013.