Who needs iTunes? HP TouchPad has HP Play

HP (s hpq) hasn’t introduced the rumored music store and streaming service for its line of webOS devices, but it does have an application that currently syncs music to the HP TouchPad tablet and Veer smartphone. A beta version of HP Play is available for both Windows (s msft) and OS X (s aapl) computers, and while it’s an early edition of the software, it worked well enough for me to get some tunes on the Beats Audio-powered TouchPad. And unlike early webOS media sync cat-and-mouse games, HP Play doesn’t try to fake out iTunes; instead, HP Play is built on the open-source Songbird software.

On the desktop, you can use the software to manage and listen to music, so it’s not limited solely to media syncing. Without a music store, however, HP Play is one-dimensional in what it can do for now. Some beta testers have reported sync issues, but I had no problems moving the tracks in my Purchased playlist; even while I was using the software to play other tracks. You can manually choose what to sync or setup an automatic synchronization.


While you could always manually move music to the TouchPad, HP Play offers a nice start to what I hope will be a useful tool for webOS device owners. Neither photos nor videos are supported yet, so there’s still work to be done. But I expect HP will get them added quickly, especially since the Pre 3, an upcoming webOS smartphone, will also be supported by HP Play. Ideally, some type of wireless syncing will be part of the solution as well; the days of using a USB cable to move data between devices is dying a slow painful death that can’t come soon enough.