Guess Who Else Could Build A Killer Music Service To Beat Google And Amazon?

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Earlier today, Wall Street Journal tech guru Walt Mossberg pointed out the biggest flaw in Amazon and Google’s cloud music servicesThey require you to upload your music files one by one, which can take days if you have a big collection. Every time you get a new song, it has to be uploaded.

The better way would be for a service to scan your hard drive to see what songs are on there, then let you stream those songs directly from the company’s servers.

Mossberg speculates that Apple is working on that kind of service, based perhaps on technology from Lala, which Apple bought in December 2009 and shut down a few months later.

But there’s another big company that could do the same thing: Hewlett-Packard.

Last June, HP bought a Seattle music startup called Melodeo for a rumoured price of $30 million. It has a service called Nutsie Mobile that lets you upload information about iTunes playlists to the cloud and then stream those songs to Android phones and other devices.

Critically, the songs reside on Melodeo’s servers — you never have to upload anything.

Melodeo was also working on a music locker service that sounded more like what Google and Amazon have now. Then HP bought it and those plans were shelved.

Several sources confirm, however, that Melodeo is still alive and well within HP.

Nobody will say what the group is working on, but HP has its TouchPad coming out later this year. Launching with a scan-and-play music service would be a big surprise, and give it a fighting chance against the iPad — and a real edge against the current crop of Android tablets.

Melodeo also had more than 30 patents related to wireless media and delivery and recommendations, which HP could find useful in this increasingly patent-encumbered market.

HP wouldn’t say anything specific about its plans for Melodeo, but a spokesperson said that the company is “excited about the potential of [Melodeo’s] technology to bring the power of cloud-based services to millions of customers.”