HP is expected to begin bundling Apple's iTunes digital-jukebox software with its consumer machines by the end of March.

Metadata found in the source code of a page in the Music section of the HP site reads: "The iTunes icon will start shipping pre-loaded on Pavilion and Presario computers in late March and these pages will be the first landing site directed towards HP.com\music."

The metadata refers to the HP music pages as: "A set of online pages to direct consumers to the iTunes download and experience as a first phase in launching the HP iPod and iTunes suite of products and services."

A link on the HP music page points to a page on the Apple Web site that flags-up the HP version of the software download.

HP will also be releasing an own-branded iPod in the summer.