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Culture

Starbucks, HP music cafe percolating

The companies are opening musically inclined shops where coffee-sipping customers can compile and burn their own CDs.

Coffee company Starbucks and computer maker Hewlett-Packard are working together on a new music-centric coffee store as they look for ways to grow.

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz and HP CEO Carly Fiorina plan to be in Santa Monica, Calif., to launch the companies' first such shop, according to an HP advisory. More of these stores, each called Hear Music Coffeehouse, are expected to open later this year, according to the Starbucks Web site.

The coffee house customers will be able to create their own music compilations from a digital library and burn them to CDs. HP Tablet PCs will be used in the stores, along with listening stations, where consumers will be able to listen to music before purchasing it.

Store locations and the prices of their services and products will be detailed at the Tuesday press conference, the companies said.

Starbucks, which already owns several Hear Music retail stores that sell albums only, declined to comment for this story. HP representatives also declined to comment.

Both companies have turned to digital music in varying degrees as a way to complement their businesses.

Starbucks and its Wi-Fi partner T-Mobile USA . And earlier this year, HP, which has been making a broad expansion into consumer electronics said it was teaming with Apple Computer to resell iPod portable digital audio players. HP is expected to start preinstalling Apple's iTunes and reselling its iPods by this summer.

BusinessWeek first reported of the Starbucks and HP partnership on Thursday.