Rdio

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Rdio: a Social Music Revolution?Thanks to Luke, I’ve been able to enjoy Rdio for a day now and I like it so far, but I’m not sold on it.

Follow me on Rdio.

There are three ways to use Rdio: a mobile app (Blackberry, Android or iPhone), a desktop (AIR) app, or via the web. I downloaded the AIR app and synced my local library. (It checks to see if songs you have are available on Rdio. It doesn’t actually upload your files.) Your friends can then see what kind of music you listen to you. As you add friends you’ll start seeing what’s hot in your network’s rotation. This is arguably the most interesting aspect of Rdio. As you add songs to your Collection or to playlists, your friends will see this in a social stream.

Pros:

  • Subscription plans are flexible. Either opt for web-only for $4.99/month or $9.99 for mobile access + sync.
  • It’s easy to discover new music based on what your friends are listening to.
  • If you’re listening to something via web browser and open the AIR app, it matches what’s playing in the browser. (You can then close that tab or browser window.)
  • Listen to your music anywhere.
  • Add any song to your collection.
  • Last.fm scrobbling supported!

Cons:

  • There is no free plan. Competitors like Pandora or Last.fm have free plans. You can try Rdio for three days, but after that you have to choose a subscription.
  • The AIR apps “Match Collection” feature revealed that only about half of my library was available through Rdio. If you have a large collection of music, Rdio may not have everything available.
  • I found a lot of albums had Clips only. I’m sure this will get fixed in time.
  • US only. For now.
  • As far as I can tell, there is no way to play a collection or playlist from the AIR app. If you hit play, it plays from your Queue. If you want to listen to anything else, you have to initiate it through the website first.

So, should you subscribe to Rdio? I’m still torn. Are you using it? Do you plan to subscribe? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Oh. And I have one invite left. ;) If you’re itching to check Rdio out, tell me why. Best answer gets it.

5 thoughts on “Rdio

  1. As an aside, Rdio feels very much like Twitter in the early days. I “know” a lot of the people using the service, and I’m really enjoying seeing what people are listening to. (I know I could do this on Last.fm as well, but I like the way Rdio displays the social stream…)

  2. I think it’s a great service Chris. Only problem I have aside from the “no free plan” is that it is very weak on jazz artists and albums. A lot of them are not found when I search the service. Hopefully they’ll fix that soon.

    • I’m sort of surprised they aren’t planning an ad-supported version, but I can understand not wanting that on the site. If it takes off, I’m sure their catalog will grow. I have my fingers crossed for them. I dig the idea and hope it succeeds.

  3. Apple screwed me by killing Lala.com, so I’m looking for a new music service. I’d love to check it out.

  4. Just finished my trial period. I thought the service was fair. Their music selection was at times spotty (They had Dead Kennedys’ greatest hits, but not their first two albums).

    The Air App was very hit or miss for me. It loved to play one song and stop. I had to click the next button for it to advance to the next song in the queue. I also with the Air App was more expansive. You have to queue songs on the website before they play in the app. I wish I could search/queue songs from the app instead of having to go back to the website. Even if it were a simplified handing of it, such as three similar artists you can play, it would still be better than it telling me to go back to their site.

    I had hoped I could listen to songs on my phone, but Android isn’t supported. I also tried to match my collection, but only WMP and iTunes are supported. I wish it had a MP3 file match instead of only two specific media programs.

    And, of course, I wish there were a free ad-supported version. $5/month seems too much for the basic package when Last.fm/Pandora/Slacker/Grooveshark have free versions.

    Overall I give the service 5/10. It has potential to be great, but it’s still very rough around the edges right now.

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