Rdio is not a typo, it is an online music streaming service with a library of over 18 million tracks, and now offering 6 months of free usage. Of course, the idea is to get you to sign up for premium services which include features such as download sync, allowing you to take your music on the go without a live internet connection.
Something sound familiar here? Well, yes. Essentially it is like a lot of those out there, Spotify probably being the first name you thought of. But hold the phone, Rdio is a little different, and definitely deserves your consideration, so read on for our Rdio Review.
The quick ins and outs:
- Available on Mac OS X and Windows PCs
- Apps exist for iOS (iPhone & iPad), Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone
- 18,000,000 songs
- Ad free
- Collections, rotations & recent activity , history and playlists
- New releases, top charts with regular update
- Social integration for friends & followers
Let me kick this off by letting you know that you can get a solid 6 months of free usage, without the burden of putting in your card details. This isn’t a free-for-all however, as Rdio limit the number of songs you can listen to. A meter shows you how close to the end of your allowance you are getting. Of course, signing up makes this bar disappear and then you get unlimited access. There are two levels of subscription, the first is just for the web app at £4.99, the second is the all inclusive premium service at £9.99 – sign up via the website rather than through your iOS app if you get the chance to avoid the Apple inflated cost!
Rdio is very simple and easy to use, and up to this point I’ve tested it on an iPhone, iPad, PC, Nexus 4 and a Sonos system. The apps all echo the same core principles of being easy to navigate and manage your music collection and playlists whilst using one hand. The web app is also a nicely laid out and simple to use. The simple idea of being able to get to where or what you want as quickly and as easily as possible is clear. The update they made to the interface back in November has really helped them achieve this goal.
One of the most noticeable differences between Rdio and its main competition is that it has what is called a music ‘collection’. In this you are able to collect songs and albums that you like, rather than exclusively creating playlists (looking at you Spotify!). If video killed the radio star, then music streaming killed the CD collection – but at least you can still have a virtual one in Rdio, like iTunes, but not absolutely awful. A similar feature that I am a big fan of, is being able to have the album art displayed and fill the lock screen of your device.
You also are able to interact with your friends via Rdio, sharing tracks or playlists via social media, or collaborating in making the most excellent house party playlist for the weekend. The privacy setting on these are, however, less restrictive than I would like. In addition to this, you are able to follow people you consider influential, see their music collections and discover new music – so if you think there is someone in the know, you can check out what they’re feasting their ears upon. As someone that does this, I can often find that I forgot what I heard a week ago, but fortunately Rdio’s history feature will tell you everything you’ve streamed in the past few months.
One particular gripe I have with Rdio, is that it isn’t capable of incorporating local files. I have a lot of music already purchased, and I have to have two players open if I want to switch to something not in the Rdio collection. It also means I don’t have to be logged in and searching for a track I know I already have, if I’m too lazy to switch players, I’m certainly too lazy to go hunting on Rdio for that song! A little update here – you can get Rdio to scan and match your local music collection based on artist/song titles, so you don’t have to do that searching, which is a real time saver and excellent for us lazy people. Still, it doesn’t help bridge the gap if it doesn’t have the license for tracks you have locally.
I seriously recommend checking out Rdio if you’re looking for a music streaming service. It is definitely one of the best if you’re looking at Spotify, Deezer or MOG. Since they all offer some form of trial, I think you should find which works best for you personally. Get Rdio on the go from their website here.