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June 28, 2006 at 4:10 PM

Melodeo moves from music to podcasting

Seattle-based Melodeo said it was revamping its business model to focus on a podcasting and social networking service for the Internet and mobile phones.

Former U.S. Senator John Edwards, who was a Democratic candidate for vice president in the 2004 elections, will be one of the first Melodeo users. Edwards is scheduled to be keynoting Gnomedex, an annual technology conference, on Friday at Bell Harbor Conference Center..

Edwards will use Melodeo to distribute his “One America” podcast. In addition, Melodeo.com will offer free access to other podcasts, radio and soon video programs on a wide variety of subjects.

Previously, Melodeo had focused on launching a full-track music player service on mobile phones. When that faced some resistance by carriers, Melodeo rolled out a mobile podcasting service and most recently made its digital-rights management (DRM) software available to the open-source community.

“Melodeo is a great way to search, browse, organize and play podcasts on a range of topics such as politics, world events, sports, music and many others,” said Bill Valenti, one of Melodeo’s founders.

The service is expected to launch shortly, which may explain why the Melodeo Web site says, “Beta is coming soon.”

Melodeo will continue to evolve as new features and user suggestions are added. The company will soon offer an advanced Web to mobile service as well as video programs. Melodeo plans to announce significant deals with two major US wireless operators in the near future.

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