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HP tips its hand on new iPod

Hewlett-Packard reveals the pricing and storage capacity for its clone of Apple's music player.

Hewlett-Packard turned on the music a little early Friday morning, revealing on its Web shopping site the details of the new HP-branded iPod music player clone.

The Palo Alto, Calif., computer giant wasn't expected to unveil the details of the product until a news conference later Friday in Miami, where CEO Carly Fiorina will announce the beginning of a broader consumer electronics push for the holidays.

According to the Web site, the company will offer two versions of Apple Computer's iPod.

The players, both dubbed the Apple iPod from HP, will offer the same design as Apple's latest iPod, including features such as the "click-wheel" navigation design. The HP players will also offer the same amount of data storage and the same prices, according to details revealed on the company's site.

Thus, just like Apple, HP will sell the music players in 20GB and 40GB capacities for $299 and $399, respectively.

The 20GB model will be good for up to about 5,000 songs, and the 40GB model offers enough capacity for 10,000 songs, HP's site shows.

The players' other specifications also appear to be the same, including their 4.1-inch height and 2.4-inch width, their 12-hour advertised battery life and their ability to interface with a PC using USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 FireWire.

At its press event later Friday, HP is expected to formally release an avalanche of new consumer products, including the iPod clone and the company's first line of televisions.

A company representative declined to comment on the early release of the products' details.

HP's site says that the company is taking preorders for the iPod clones now and that it plans to begin shipping the music players Sept. 15.

HP, which first announced plans to sell a version of the iPod last January, had originally aimed to begin selling the music player this summer. But in July HP said it would wait for the latest iPod models and their click-wheel interface for playing music and making menu choices.