Wi-Fi-enabled storage devices aren't anything new, but HP's just-announced at CES 2013 Pocket Playlist introduces an intriguing twist to the now-familiar formula. At a basic level, the Pocket Playlist packs enough portable storage to hold 16 full-length movies, 7,600 songs or 10,000 photos. Cool, but ho-hum.
The secret sauce lies in the Pocket Playlist's ability to stream said content to up to five simultaneous device via a direct Wi-Fi connection — no Internet service required — and the inclusion of a one-month subscription to the PlayLater app, which brings the world of online video to your offline Pocket Playlist.
PlayLater basically acts like a DVR for streaming video, allowing you to record your favorite shows from Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix and more directly to the HP Pocket Playlist. Once a show is saved to the hard drive using PlayLater, the Pocket Playlist can then stream it to connected devices regardless of whether or not you have a working Internet connection. Nifty!
The HP Pocket Playlist will be available on February 15th for $129. It's compatible with Wi-Fi devices, including most Android, Apple and Windows Phone devices. If you end up liking the ability to record on-demand streaming video for on-demand offline use, subscriptions to PlayLater currently cost $19.99 for one year or $39.99 for a lifetime license.