nuTsie, Melodeo, HP, and Palm: what does it mean? | webOS Nation
 
 

nuTsie, Melodeo, HP, and Palm: what does it mean? 29

by Mark Jensen Tue, 12 Oct 2010 1:31 pm EDT

Cloud-streaming music

HP’s recent acquisition of the Seattle-based company Melodeo should prove to be very interesting to the future of mobile music and how smartphone users access that music. As previously reported, Melodeo is a music streaming company which allows you to sync your iTunes library to cloud based servers then back to your smartphone or PC. It seems only obvious that webOS devices will benefit from this purchase, as HP is now the parent company to both Palm and Melodeo.

What isn’t as obvious, at least not yet, is how brands outside of the HP portfolio are also going to benefit from this service if they aren’t already. Melodeo is currently partnered with all four major US carriers (plus some smaller players) to bring music and media streaming to both smartphones and computers. According to their website, Melodeo services already reach over 50 million wireless customers through these distribution partnerships.

nuTsie is just one of the music streaming services developed by Melodeo and now owned by HP. nuTsie has the potential to be as ubiquitous as iTunes when it comes to mobile music while employing some features that may win over not just webOS, Blackberry and Android users, but oddly enough, iPhone users as well. nuTsie allows users to sync their iTunes library to the cloud, enabling streaming of that music back to their smartphone or PC. What you may not know, however, is that nuTsie does more than just stream your iTunes library to your devices.

First, Melodeo built nuTsie on its own proven high-quality, low-bandwidth mobile streaming technology, eliminating the need for massive amounts of device storage or the hassles associated with side-loading music to your devices. This makes high-quality streaming of your iTunes music library available to you on your smartphone or a PC anywhere you have wireless service.

However, this is just the beginning. nuTsie not only syncs your iTunes music library, but in its next iteration, nuTsie 3.0 plans on allowing the user to sync their entire desktop music library to the cloud for unlimited streaming playback. Masterstroke? We think so. Then there is the streaming of music you don’t own feature, similar to services like Grooveshark and Pandora. nuTsie’s streaming radio features its own “Recommendations” radio, tailor made for you based on a comparison of your music library. It also features a slew of radio stations based on genre, iTunes top 100 and a long list of “Top 100s Radio” stations to name just a few. If this wasn’t already enough, nuTsie also incorporates a form of peer-to-peer sharing of playlists made by other nuTsie subscribers compiled from subscribers’ own libraries. This little innovation allows you and your friends to make playlists from your own libraries and listen to each other’s music, in its entirety, without having to actually purchase that music.

nuTsie does this all legally under what are know as “radio rules” (same as radio stations and webcasters) and FairPlay licensing. Under radio rules, the listener loses control over the music, in that any library, radio stations or playlists automatically shuffle the music allowing the user to only pause the current track or forward to the next track. There is no rewinding or repeating of tracks under radio rules. FairPlay is iTunes licensing that allows users to access music purchased from iTunes and to stream that music over the internet. It should be noted that nuTsie is currently the only non-Apple service to legally stream iTunes purchased music --thus carrying the official iTunes partner label. Also of note and good news to the music industry is that under these legal parameters artists and recording labels get paid according to the number of times a music track is played, or, of course, when a music track is purchased.

All sound too good to be true? Well there are still some limitations associated with nuTsie. First, with iTunes there are over 13 million tracks available for purchase. How many of those tracks nuTsie has licensing rights to is unclear. While nuTsie’s licensed tracks is likely in the millions don’t expect to exactly get all of your music library streamed through a nuTsie app just yet. (2008 reports for nuTsie licensed tracks reported less than 1 million tracks—yes we know, 2008 was eons ago.) Another nuTsie limitation is that not all platforms currently have a dedicated nuTsie player app available. Interestingly, smartphone platforms not yet supported with full nuTsie players are our very own Palm webOS (HP’s webOS for that matter) and Apple’s iPhone. We guess iPhones probably don’t need a nuTsie player since, after all, they have iTunes built in… No brainer there.

For supported carriers and platforms nuTsie has a one-time paid app that runs much like an ipod on smartphone devices allowing unlimited playback of all of your music. Currently supported platforms include Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile while carrier apps include Verizon, T-mobile and Alltel. nuTsie does have some apps for iOS (Apple) and webOS, but for now they are limited to a form of paid apps like the “Top 100s by Year” app recently made available in the Palm App Catalog.

Subscribing to nuTsie is free on your PC as well as the uploading/syncing of your iTunes library. What you’ll pay for are the dedicated streaming nuTsie player apps, wireless carrier apps, or the nuTsie mini apps, again like those recently made available from HP in the App Catalog. Then there are the obvious songs you may choose to purchase while streaming music in any one of nuTsie’s various applications. Finally, it is unclear whether there will be a future cost associated with nuTsie 3.0 which is rumored to actually store your music versus matching your synced music to their servers as it currently does.

HP is not alone in its effort to become a player (pun intended) in media streaming; both Apple and Google have recently purchased the music/data services of LaLa and SimplifyMedia respectively. All things considered however, HP’s massive distribution channels and Melodeo’s proven technology may create quite the winning combination. In summary we say the future of mobile music is likely bright, loud and chock full of the music of your choosing thanks to HP’s new little company Melodeo and their streaming music service nuTsie. We’ve seen the first fruits of that purchase for webOS users with the handful of music apps available from HP in the Palm App Catalog. Let’s just hope a full-blown nuTsie player app for webOS in the very near future is literally a foregone conclusion. That will be a bright, loud and music filled day for webOS users indeed.

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29 Comments

nice

Watching all the news come through about HP's spending spree leading towards "cloud". It does sound very appealing and promising.

I have to confess that I'm worried that the Pre2 won't have a microSD slot. This could be a bad sign.

One nice thing about the Palm Pre (as first produced by Palm) was that it was designed to be an open-type phone--it would work with Google services, or Apple services (Palm tried, anyhow), Microsoft services--whatever. It wasn't trying to lock you in to subscribing to an iStore or Blackberry data services, or whatever.

I hope that HP doesn't take Palm over to the dark side by aggressively pushing users to use only cloud services that "closed gardens." ("Welcome to the Hotel WebOS! You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave!").

I hope that the Pre2 has a MicroSD slot (or at the very least 32GB of storage), so that we users can see that HP/Melodeo's streaming music service is a cool *option*, rather than the *only* choice, that they'd better get used to loving.

(p.s. speaking of openness and music: let's finally see support for ogg vorbis in WebOS 2.0!)

I agree that I would still enjoy a large amounts of memory on the phone as well, however, it is nice to see HP investing into a Full funtional "service" as oppossed to partial. It is clear that they have a plan in mind. Me personally am looking forward to seeing it finalized.

Lets not forget about the research HP is coming closer to dealing with "memristor". You can expect very fast/large amounts of memory in future devices as it comes closer.

Agreed, especially regarding OGGs!

This would be a great feature. I have enjoyed Slacker and Pandora. It would be nice to have access to my own music collection.

Since seeing this I've tried some of the nuTsie "radio stations" on the pc version of nuTsie. They remind me way more of Slacker than Pandora, which is good. Slacker is a great app with better music than Pandora, but nuTsie? Seems to do better "stations" than them both. I really liked the mixes I've listed to so far on nuTsie a ton!!! This could be good.

What exactly is the difference between this and Ampache/AmpachPre (besides AmpachePre needing some work yet)? I've got this combo going nicely to listen to anything that I want through my car stereo now.


M.

Good question. I'll have to confess not knowing much about AmpachPre even though I've seen it a ton.

What I do understand is that nuTsie in current form is like a combination of Pandora/Slacker, iTunes (user's library) and peer-to-peer (the old Napster). Don't know if all that figures into AmpachPre but I'm definitely going to look into it.

Seems like nuTsie 3.0 with 3Par cloud storage are going to give iTunes its first serious competition. I think that's what we can take from all this and what we have to look forward to as webOS users. --Thanks HP!!!

While this sounds nice, the carriers are switching to the tiered pricing. That is gonna suck.

which is why we need the 32GB of storage...

At a minimum!!

Since when is Sprint *for sure* going to go tiered?


M.

Did someone say Sprint and tiered in the same sentence? I don't think I did. But now that you did I do think Dan-whatever his name CEO of Sprint, did hint at tiered if the unlimited users abused the unlimited plans currently avail. on Sprint.

What use is this now we are all on tiered pricing? Or any streaming app? Local storage is becoming more and more important.

Music video and MAPS are key. Nokia is on the ball with Ovi in that regard, plus all their high end phones have tonnes of storage and memory card support. Pity about their software, as it's balls.

Tiered pricing doesn't mean every carrier will NOT HAVE an all-you-can-eat plan as the top tier. Verizon is hinting than unlike ATT they will still have unlimited. It may just cost more.

I do agree that there is no replacement, however, for tons and tons of onboard storage. Which was one of my biggest complaints day one with my launch day Sprint Pre. 8gb was always very annoying. Now I've got a Pre Plus and while 16gb is an improvement, my last mp3/video device (Sansa Fuse--I still use it actually) has a total of 40gb including the 32gb card I have in it. If you do video, that's about what you need if you don't want to keep off-loading media to make room for new stuff.

So, I agree.

I have to admit to being a little confused. Which of these is correct?

(1) I can upload my iTunes music (including all of it not purchased from iTunes, i.e., "all of it") to nuTsie and listen to it (in its ridiculous entirety) on my Pre.

(2) I can upload my iTunes music to nuTsie but only listen to thse songs that nuTsie is permitted to play?

I think the answer for now is both. In that for an iTunes library to play back, nuTsie (for now) has to have the rights to that music even if it's your music. For most people that will likely be most if not all their music as nuTsie has most well know music licensed currently. They haven't reported an update for nearly 2 years to how many tracks they currently have, but they imply you can stream "all" your tunes with the iTunes sync. So it's probably rare when a track you own isn't licensed already by nuTsie to stream back to you.

BETTER YET... nuTsie 3.0 which will be out soon will stream any music you have back because it actually uploads your files and you're accessing your actual music files.

Sounds like #1. It seems you can:

(a) upload all your music and listen how you like

and

(b) listen to radio stations ala Pandora

and

(c) Share your playlists with your friends ala Pandora

and

(d) Possibly purchase music as well???

Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.

At least if you have a dedicated nuTsie app. So, hopefully that's coming soon to webOS. They had Blackberry and Android apps dedicated player apps before HP bought them.

I think HP should consider a "free" nutsie offering specific to webOS devices as a value-add, potentially even match the app's playlists to user's itunes playlist.

nuTsie actually does that if you have a dedicated nuTsie app (Android and Blackberry). It doesn't just sync your iTunes. It also syncs your iTunes playlists.

Adding a free nuTsie player on a Palm phone would be awesome. That's probably why they won't do it :)

As many (including myself) have stated to the naysayers, give HP time to do their thing (starting early 2011). I think they plan to connect eco-system like we have not seen before.

Again, there was a reason for the buying frenzy of companies. They stated, their not trying to be like Apple....I will add they plan to be better.

I really hope there is a full player in webos2.0

Too bad this is all tied into iTunes. I won't touch that program or its ridiculous filing scheme with a 10-foot pole.

Too bad this is all tied into iTunes. I won't touch that program or its ridiculous filing scheme with a 10-foot pole.

"tied to iTunes" is very loosely based. It does so much more. It's also tied to Amazon mp3!!! It's also like Napster and Slacker Radio. In 3.0 it will completely circumvent iTunes if you don't use iTunes -- which I don't.

I too am not a fan of iTunes for so many reasons! I am however a nuTsie fan! It is really kind of an anti-apple type setup other than it's partnership w/iTunes.

Well then, that's excellent! The article here had me convinced that the integration was with iTunes only. Thanks for the info!

How is this any different that Ampache + LastFM? Easier to set up, I would guess, but the functionality is not so much a stroke of genius as a streamlining of features that any preware user can enjoy right now. Just set up Ampache to scrobble to your LastFM account, and you have your entire music library available, plus a LastFM station that is customized to your library.

I'm glad to see this, though. HP can use these technologies to bring to masses what a few of us already enjoy. And it is an amazing experience. No more storage woes, now that I can stream everything on my computer anywhere that I have a wi-fi or data connection.