The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

CAW a.k.a. The Aquatic Ape Hey, c’mon – cut Turd some slack. You’ve seen that video of him getting biffed on the youtube. With that hairdo, zaniness, anything goes attitude.. he’s the John Hughes leading-man who should have been! 4 months ago

Turd Ferguson I resemble that remark.

I just signed up for the premium Spotify membership just moments ago. If I can integrate my library with their library and create playlists like they say I can I will be cancelling my Rdio membership. 4 months ago

Biker Chick lol… that would work if I wanted to stay stuck in the 80s forever! 4 months ago

CAW a.k.a. The Aquatic Ape Turd? 4 months ago

Biker Chick I was curious to see if my UK account would work here. It does. So 10 hours of music and tracks 5 times for the free version. Where is the social interaction though? Who am I going to bounce songs off of and compare opinions with? Who is going to challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone? 4 months ago

GrEtcHen It’s difficult to assess, because of Rdio’s communication limitations, but I believe the only people really pushing the envelope here involves a core group that came from Lala. I estimate about 70 members, who brought a culture of music-based conversation and playing around with a site’s features for amusement. I’m pretty sure if we weren’t here, you wouldn’t see the kind of 6 degree project Dau points out, nor the Redd Foxx experiment. Plus others like the Vision Quest series, the weekly new release playlists, and many other spontaneous “flash mob” style activities.

These activities by now include people who were not on Lala, which is great. What is frustrating is how difficult it is to grow this circle of participation beyond this original group, because of the communication limits. 4 months ago

Jason Paul So Spotify has finally launched this side of the pond:

I will definitely check it out as I’m curious about all the fuss. It sounds exactly like Rdio to me. I don’t anticipate subscribing to it though. 99% of my Facebook/Twitter/Real friends don’t have the same taste/interest in music that I do. I like Rdio because it’s a group of people that’s out of my circle. Much better for discovery. But we’ll see. Maybe Spotify will push subscription to the mainstream and that is probably a good thing for Rdio (and maybe Apple will get with the program). 4 months ago

Jason Paul @dau . that’s a pretty impressive experiment. I don’t have a head for games but I’ll try to wrap my mind around it a little more as it seems people are really getting into it. And yeah, I probably went a little soft on Rdio about the convertsational limits…it could be tons better!

4 months ago

dau . jason. read your post on the state of digital music and agree with most of what you said. especially re: the future of music discovery is represented by what is happening here on rdio. the combination of social network, breadth of selections, and the listening depth of its users makes for a powerful combination.

CAW a.k.a. The Aquatic Ape’s Red Foxx experiment was great fun. but i’ve recently come across an even better example of the power of social community and discovery. even if you’re not a jazz fan, you can still appreciate the interaction going at the Six Degrees list started by skydivingrhino rob. i’m sure the same can happen for any genre. check it out at:

I really hope the rdio folks are paying attention. despite the conversational limitations of rdio, real communication and discovery is happening. imagine what it could be if they really did it right 😛 4 months ago

Jason Paul Thanks Gretchen, I really appreciate that. I’m including the link to that post in case anyone wants to check it: 4 months ago

GrEtcHen 🙂 yes, it’s me. I really like the Jim Jarmusch quotation you included. The creative process you describe using yourself, leveraging something existing to create something new, that strikes me as so obviously right and true. 4 months ago

Jason Paul wait, you were Popsilly! I was wondering what happened to you. Changing it up I see. 4 months ago

4 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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