News.com is reporting about an iPod dock in the newest HP Media Center platform. Reading a bit deeper, it’s simply a molded piece of plastic in the case so that the Apple dock sits nicely there but still an interesting combination. It brings up the question of interoperability.
The iPod is the undisputed king of music players, so it makes sense for HP to hitch their wagon there (for the record, I’ve never used an iPod). However cobranding the Media Center PC with the iPod is an interesting tactic, especially since MCE can’t natively play iTunes AAC files. HP has created an MCE app called HP Tunes that allows you to play iTunes music using the MCE interface, but it’s a shame that they’re not all integrated into one interface.
One can only hope that the portable media center concept catches on (which I believe it will once the devices slim down a bit) and OEMs start shipping MCE with a dock for a PMC.