I love streaming music. In fact, I’ve been paying $10 per month to streaming music services since April of this year. Until recently, though, my $10 was going to Spotify, which introduced itself into the US streaming music market in the summer of 2011. But Spotify isn’t the only streaming music service option in the US. There’s also Rdio, MOG, and a few others to choose from. And since I had a few glaring issues with Spotify, I decided to cancel that subscription and try Rdio for a while. Needless to say, I’m now paying Rdio that $10 a month. But why did I make the switch? There are actually three simple reasons I did.
1. Music discovery is easier with Rdio.
Whereas Spotify relies on user-made playlists and a shoddy radio function to give its users new music, Rdio’s music discovery is very reliant on social media. You can follow people you know, and go through what is in their Heavy Rotation or Recent Activity pages, which are essentially about the music they listen to most and what they’ve synced to their devices, respectively. I’ve learned about literally dozens of new artists from this social media aspect. It’s one of the seemingly little features of Rdio that add to up to make it the best service with which to discover new music.
2. Rdio is absolutely beautiful.
Spotify is not what I consider a beautiful app. Beautiful apps would be the last version of the iPad Twitter app, MetroTwit for Windows 8, and, of course, Rdio. Compared to Spotify, Rdio has a minimalistic white user interface, and everything is easily accessible. Spotify, on the other hand, relies on a very dark UI that is, in my opinion, quite cluttered – and very ugly in comparison. The best part is that this minimal, white, and beautiful UI spans across all of Rdio’s apps, from Windows 8 to Android to iOS. To be fair, so does Spotify’s – but the fact remains that I’m still looking at Spotify, a dismal combination of grey and black with a splotch of very offensive green.
3. Rdio knows which device you are using.
Rdio does something really cool when you play it from another device: it stops on the unused device. For example, I could be on my newly-built Windows PC, streaming some music from Rdio, and realize that I have to quickly go to town to do something. Instead of stopping the music on my desktop and wasting time doing it, I can get up from my desk chair, head to my car, and continue playing Rdio through my phone. At that point, the streaming on my desktop will stop and Rdio will display that message until I get back to that device. Then, I can start listening to the song from my phone at the exact moment I clicked the button on my desktop. It never skips a beat – much like a fantastic song, which is what Rdio offers me every day.
These are admittedly three small reasons to make a switch, but they are important to me – especially the first one, which has given me a number of new artists and groups to listen to and, based on them, discover even more artists and groups to listen to. For $10, I’m getting a much better experience than Spotify in my opinion. Rdio is more fun to use since it’s more beautiful and it’s easier to find new music when you follow people with similar tastes in music. If you use a streaming music service, which one do you use? And why are you using the one that you have chosen?