Let’s face it. A good startup name is awfully tough to find. So tough, in fact, that you are oftentimes better off going into the dustbin of the Internet to pick out a name.

That appears to be what happened in this scenario. Last week, we got a press release from a company called Melod.io, a new mobile music messaging service that allows users to share personalized audio messages and music with friends.


I’ve been covering the tech scene around these parts long enough to hear that one before. After all, does anyone else remember the Seattle mobile music startup Melodeo? The Seattle upstart, led by former executives from Tegic Communications and backed by Voyager Capital, Ignition and others, was a hot up-and-comer in the mobile music arena when it was founded in 2003.

But Melodeo never found its footing in the rocky digital music arena, and eventually was sold off to H-P two years ago. Melodeo, which operated the music service nuTsie, an anagram of iTunes, is no longer being used as an active name by H-P. That URL now redirects to the Web site Top 100s Radio.

I asked H-P and former Melodeo executive Dave Dederer about the similarities between the two names, and the former guitarist for the Presidents of the United State of America said Melodeo co-founder Bill Valenti “obviously had an ear for a good-sounding name.”

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  • Oglape

    Whrrl and Whirrl had this same problem nearly 5 years ago: not only were their names virtually identical, so too were their business models! http://www.wired.com/business/2007/10/whrrl-and-whirr/

    In the end they worked out their differences and moved on. I expect that Melod will too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Dederer/604164807 Dave Dederer

    Hey! Never found our footing? Pretty sure we had the first cloud-based personal music service, the most successful paid music listening apps in the iPhone App Store for 18+ months, a #1 overall iOS music app sponsored by Bing and a successful exit with the world’s largest tech co.

    • johnhcook

      Thanks Dave. I didn’t mean to imply that there weren’t some successes, just not up to the initial promise of transforming how everyday consumers listen to music on mobile devices.

      Seems like Apple wrapped that up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Dederer/604164807 Dave Dederer

    Hey, John! “Melodeo never found its footing”?! Pretty sure we had the first cloud-based music service, the #1 paid music listening iOS apps for 18+ months straight, #1 free app overall in the App Store with a Bing-sponsored offering and a successful exit with the world’s largest technology company, with the team still pretty much intact and productive inside H-P.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wlvalenti William L. Valenti

    I had that name inspiration in the wee hours of the morning, logged onto Godaddy and was amazed that “Melodeo” had not been taken. $9 investment turned out to be pretty good!

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