The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

=) 4 months ago

GrEtcHen oh god, huddles? does that mean group huddle hugs?

*runs away again* 4 months ago

maudeman Well . . . Don’t forget that Google+ is attempting to change the social game by letting you have Circles of friends, (and huddles etc.) and while FB is a non starter for the music-specific sharing we do here, “comments on playlists” and deliberately difficult person to person communication isn’t going to lead to any musical revolutions. Rdio has done a good job over the past 12 months catching up on the catalog, but outside of mobile this place is almost exactly the same as it was a year ago. Genres, anyone. Spotify has a huge catalog compared to Rdio or MOG, certainly will take a few months to get all the US i’s dotted and t’s crossed. But Spotfy has a large number of tools to help discover music – your listens will give you new releases based on those listens, and lots of other little goodies. 4 months ago

Ray Hewitt Haha! Found you! Hi Gretchen/Popsilly(incognito) ! I knew you would go to ground and come crawling back after too long! Missed your input! 4 months ago

CAW a.k.a. The Aquatic Ape Oh, well, as for all that other stuff, each time you give birth to a world-changing insight, segueway or bon mot, you just do a screen-capture and file it away in your “Extra Witty Online Repartee” file or your “Unforgettable Pearls of Musical Wisdom” file on an encrypted, redundantly backed-up and secure off-site data locker. ;>)

[Yeah, I’m teasing – and, yes (of course), I captured the reviews I wrote in lala. Ultimately, though, turn, turn, turn on this stuff, no?] 4 months ago

GrEtcHen CAW, listening history is one thing. Playlists and comments/reviews are another. You may recall the relief a ton of people felt when one of the Lala techies kindly provided a little utility to export some info to text files.

Burl, even though I nuked my Rdio account, I’ve been able to rebuild playlists because everything was cached by Google. Even another member was able to redo a list I hosted, under her account, using Google. Not the comments, but the tracks.

That would not be possible for Spotify, as it’s not run in a browser. So your point holds there.

What kinds of “musical history” are you concerned about, other than these? 4 months ago

CAW a.k.a. The Aquatic Ape No, no, no about the wiped out musical history, Burl – that’s where a scrobble from rdio comes in. is going to used by our mutated cockroach overlords after the apocalypse, I’m quite sure, and scrobbling’ll make a damn thorough replica of your listening history – and even permits some cool tricks with the data, if you let it. 4 months ago

Turdish Burl -1 for US centric.

To my knowledge, is the only streaming service of this type in town for Canadians at the moment. That said, so far it seems like immense value for $5 a month and once word spreads it should prove popular.

However, the web interface stability and stream reliability have been surprisingly poor for a service that has been running for this long already (intermittent interruptions, disruptive interface tweaking, loss of queue data, etc.). Spotify will have a good chance to usurp them if the core experience is more reliable (as far as the web client goes) even if it is missing other features. I can’t speak for the mobile app as I have never used it.

My biggest fear with any of these systems is that businesses and their plans are fluid. For example, an entire generation’s musical history was partially destroyed when was killed off back in the dot com days. Likewise here, if’s (or any similar service) situation changes it will mean your entire musical history gets wiped out.

It is definitely on my to do list to take a look at’s API to see how easy getting data our of the system is. It would suck after building up a large collection, playlists, etc. to have it suddenly go “poof” because gets sold to another entity that has a different plan in mind or because they go belly up. 4 months ago

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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