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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM

HP buys Seattle streaming music venture Melodeo

Hewlett-Packard confirmed this afternoon that it bought Melodeo, a 7-year-old Seattle media company that streams customers’ music collections to various devices.

HP isn’t disclosing the purchase price, but Melodeo’s investors had put more than $19 million into the company. That includes $7.9 million from Voyager Capital and Ignition Patners in 2007 to fund Melodeo’s nuTsie streaming service.

Earlier today TechCrunch said an anonymous source valued the deal at $30 million to $35 million.

Melodeo Vice President Dave Dederer and HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan confirmed the sale this afternoon.

Melodeo was started by founders of Tegic Communications, creator of the T9 predictive-text system for mobile phones. Tegic was sold to AOL in 1999 for $350 million in stock.

Mangalindan’s statement said HP is “excited about the potential of this technology to bring the power of cloud-based delivery services to millions of customers.”

“Melodeo is one of the only companies which possess the technology to aggregate a consumer’s digital media, manage it in the cloud and stream it to the user on any device, along with additional streams of content. HP is always on the lookout for interesting innovative technology, especially as it develops its cloud-based offerings,” she said via e-mail.

Here’s a good story about nuTsie’s debut.

It’s an interesting move.

HP has already built a great application for streaming consumers’ digital media to mobile devices, called iStream, but it’s based on Windows Home Server and connects to Apple iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices.

Maybe it wants a purely HP stack of consumer software, based on the WebOS it received through its acquisition of Palm. I wonder if it considered Rhapsody.

Although HP’s deal has been characterized as a showdown with Apple’s iTunes, it also seems like more evidence of HP’s frayed relationship with Microsoft, which has its own cloud music service in Zune.

Comments | More in | Topics: Digital media, HP, iTunes

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