The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

Final note: I’ve really been digging some of the listening room ideas that have developed. Mumu/the Listening Room/turntable.fm seem to be the most popular right now, each with their own pros/cons. Personally, I sort of prefer the Listening Room (no limit to the number of listeners in a room, everyone’s picks come up evenly in the queue, some moderation from the room’s “owner” but it’s not heavy-handed). I haven’t used turntable.fm yet but have mixed feelings about the whole voting thing…

Okay, off to play with Spotify. 3 months ago

Turd Ferguson Thanks MM. There is an app that will upload all of your LastFM listens to you spotify library. I thought that was pretty cool. 3 months ago

Matt Marine I’m curious about the so called social aspect too. Here’s mine – spotify:user:mmgolf

@turd – I was able to see similar(related) artists when I’m on the artist page. One other thing that’s seems to be nice, is that people are actually building other sites to work with spotify. Tried out a couple of the playlist makers, and you can just drag those playlists right into spotify. http://www.spotify.com/us/about/spotify-on-the-web/ 3 months ago

Turd Ferguson spotify:user:mr_turdferguson

You have to make sure that you use all lower case letters when searching for someone or it will not work. There should not be any spaces either. It might me a good idea when you find someone to drop a song in their inbox so that they can follow you back. 3 months ago

Biker Chick I second the sound comments and I only have the free version but it was immediately noticeable. I was quite surprised. 3 months ago

Turd Ferguson @JF – I saw that remote. Have you ever used your Apple remote for your itunes? I use my iPad to control the iTunes DJ on my PC all of the time. Especially handy when I am listening to the speakers outside. With that any visitor that comes to my house that has Apple Remote can scroll through my digital collection and make requests. Works great when we have people over. 3 months ago

Turd Ferguson My biggest gripe about Spotify so far is that there is no review info…or even album description…or similar artists…sigh

Sounds good through the speakers though. 3 months ago

Nohbdy Ok, so I am having no luck finding any of you guys on spotify (unless K rom started listening to Gansta Rap and Nu-Metal). I know about the user search, but never seem to get any results. Its kinda hard to compare one service with the other without having some people to experiment with, So I’m just gonna post my URI here and y’all can feel free to come find me: spotify:user:nohbdy http://open.spotify.com/user/nohbdy 3 months ago

K Rom Did some more putzing around on Spotify, impressions so far:

Rdio’s a lot stronger in American Indie, Spotify is a lot stronger in electronic dance music. Neither is surprising since rdio’s based in San Fran and Spotify’s based in Sweden. What WAS surprising is that rdio is stronger in classical. I mean, by a lot. I’d be curious to hear what jazz experts think about the respective collections.

As Tod says, Spotify Premium’s sound quality is noticeably better than rdio’s. That didn’t surprise me, but what did is that Premium sound is also better than Mog’s, even though they’re both streaming 320. I think that’s because Spotify uses the Vorbis codec through a dedicated player app whereas Mog (and rdio) use unpublicized codecs through the Flash browser plugin (Flash isn’t really optimized for high-quality audio playback). Spotify also doesn’t have the insanely long buffering times that Mog does, making for a less frustrating listening experience.

So my current streaming menu is as follows, in order of most valuable to least: Rdio Unlimited (rdio4lyf) Spotify Premium (damn you Swedes) downgraded Mog to Basic already got rid of Napster some time ago 3 months ago

dau . wow, this list has now evolved into the deepest ongoing conversation thread i’ve seen to date on rdio. many good points. wish there was some way we could shoot this thread over to the rdio folks for their enjoyment and edification…whether they will listen or not though is another matter.

3 thoughts on “The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations”

  1. Great post and comments!

    Right. So… Is Rdio the Future of Music?

    The problem with these sorts of “x is the future of y” discussions, particularly where technology is concerned, is that x always changes the nature of y. Because of this, you can never quite arrive at point y.

    I see Rdio and it’s ilk bumping into a few issues shortly that run along these lines:

    1) The closer these services get to delivering on the promise of offering “almost everything” in the world of music, the more they will underscore what isn’t offered. Put another way, how much music needs to be available to make up for the fact that what you want to hear right now isn’t?

    2) Part of the appeal of these services lies in the social aspect, which presently is built on the enthusiasm of early adopters and music nerds. The tone and quality of the social interaction will change as more users sign on. Will Rdio still be compelling?

    3) Rdio is presently a novel way of trying to monetize music in a time where monetizing music is difficult. It’s an experiment that is occurring concurrently with other experiments at trying to resuscitate the monetization of music. A verdict will be reached. Recent high profile releases by Coldplay, Black Keys, Tom Waits — to name a few — are not present on Rdio. Presumably this is because posting on streaming services is viewed as possibly undermining the success of other channels, both experimental and traditional. Is this the start of a verdict being reached? Will this assessment be shared by others?

    Just a few thoughts.

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