Why I won’t be paying for Rdio… yet

Edit: Post no longer relevant, Rdio closed its doors in 2015.

After years of using Spotify I decided to give Rdio a chance, as a few friends at work use it and really recommended it. I’ve used the web app, mobile app, and desktop app for a few weeks now, so I thought I’d give a brief rundown on the pros and cons from my point of view.

The other purpose of this list is to function as a set of recommendations for Rdio from a hardcore Spotify user.

Cons of Rdio:

1. Songs take too long to start (sometimes 1 second between songs, it doesn’t do efficient pre-fetching like Spotify does). This happens both on mobile and on the desktop version, even with a good internet connection.

2. Genre stations play completely unrelated stuff (try “dubstep” genre for example).

3. Bad last.fm integration sometimes (too slow to Scrobble) – this is intermittent as sometimes it works great.

4. Lack of plugins (like the awesome “Sounddrop” plugin for Spotify) – Wow, Spotify killed plugins as well

5. Less content available on Rdio (but I suspect they will catch up eventually)

6. Frequent/strange UI glitches (due to flaky connection, etc.) Solution = better/longer local CSS cache:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 14.00.31

7. As a musician I encountered a strange problem in Rdio. I use Distrokid to distribute my music to all popular music platforms; one of the songs in my latest single cuts off at 31 seconds, whilst on all other platforms it does not. Proof (Deezer vs Rdio):

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 22.23.54

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 22.24.52

8. The thing that really annoyed me the most is that they are too quick to pull the plug when a payment doesn’t go through. I changed banks recently and forgot to update my payment details on Rdio. The very moment the payment failed to go through they cut the cord and switched me to a free account. Popular services like Github, Google Apps, Spotify, and many others will give you a bit of leeway. Ultimately this is why I won’t be paying for Rdio, because it’s the small details like this that matter.

Pros of Rdio:

1. More control over playback quality.

2. Nicer/simpler UI.

3. AUTOPLAY… this is the biggest win I think. Similar to Pandora. Finished the album? It just looks for similar stuff and carries on playing music.

4. Artist-based stations are better than on Spotify; the find better related/similar stuff.

Problems that affect both services:

1. Small clicking/spacing between continuous songs. Add option to have continuous playback maybe? An example of this is Madeon’s latest album which have linked songs.

2. Lack of plugins/apps (SoundDrop was cool!)

Both services cost roughly the same. Spotify has content, plugins and speed, whilst Rdio has UI and awesome autoplay. If you are deciding between them I would choose Spotify for now; but I really hope Rdio catches up soon as it is a promising service.

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