Goodbye, Rdio

I’m incredibly sad to hear that Rdio will be closing its doors soon.

A few days ago, when I saw talk on Twitter announcing that Pandor had acquired Rdio… I got really excited. But on closer reading, I saw that they were just acquiring tech and some personnel, but the Rdio service itself would be winding down.

I was never a huge music person. Whenever I found a song I liked, I would latch onto it and play it over and over again. I never thought I would be a person who would pay for an online music subscription service… but Rdio won me over.

// Edit: I’m now giving up on adding the URL to every mention of Rdio, because… what’s the point? This just adds to my sadness.

With Rdio, I found myself exploring a lot more. I found myself listening to artists I wouldn’t normally be into, and found new work I might not normally discover. I rarely bought albums, and it was always such a hit/miss thing. Getting a subscription service made sense to me at the time, and it still does.

Though a subscription service gives you access, you never actually “own” any of the music. With Rdio going away, I technically will be left with nothing. Although… I’ll be left with my data, hopefully. And it’ll be on me to find a way to convert my collections and playlists on to the next service. Wherever that might be.

While Spotify is the main streaming service in the US (which still baffles me), I chose Rdio because I just preferred Rdio’s interface. I tried Spotify initially, and just found myself confused as to how to navigate songs and collections. Going to Rdio after Spotify was like a breath of fresh air. Clean, intuitive. Well designed.

Watching the reactions of people I follow on Twitter, many seem to have felt the same way. It’s sad that, despite being the better product, Rdio will now exit the stage.

While I was excited for The Echo Nest when they were acquired by Spotify, I’m still leerly of Spotify ever since my first encounter. I guess we’ll see if I, ultimately, end up over there or not.

It’s a bit like finding out you have to move, in a few weeks. Supposedly Rdio is going to provide a way for its users to export out their data, which I’m really hoping is the case.

There’s going to be a lot of people packing up their virtual music colletions, in the coming weeks. And apparently, there weren’t enough of us.

Boil the Frog: Rdio Playlist Generator That Gradually Transitions From One Artist to the Next
The Verge: Why Rdio died

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I feel your pain, bruv. Let me know if you find a suitable replacement. I’d like to stay far away from Spotify.

    Chris Reply

    • I like that it seems to be good for Pandora, but I don’t see them shifting into a streaming service (since they’re primarily a discovery service). I’m afraid Spotify is the only contender now, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

      I’m a big fan of Paul Lamere and all the Echo Nest folks… so at least there’s that going for Spotify. But I hear ya. I’m reluctant.

      avoision Reply

  2. I can’t fathom not owning a collection of music. How do you handle air travel? Camping? Playing Midlake in the middle of a lake? These all feel like potential crises to me. Anyway, I do have Spotify Premium in addition to all of my digital files and vinyl. I don’t know when you last checked in, but Spotify has greatly improved since it started. I recently elected to keep it over Apple Music largely because I preferred its interface and it sounded a little better to me.

    Alex Reply

    • It’s interesting – the scenarios you’ve raised up are now making me re-evaluate my relationship with music. I was never as deep into music as I suspect all the other IU folks were – you, Dave, Kevin, Justin, Jim. It’s never been that strong a role in my life.

      For air travel – I tend to read articles on my iPad. Or comics. Or play games on my phone. Camping? Rarely do it. But I suppose if I needed music, I’d download a chunk of artists/albums beforehand so I could play songs without any Internet.

      I get that not owning or “having” music is problematic (particularly in an instance like now with Rdio folding). But I do think the trade was worth it. I’m actively exploring a lot more, way more than I ever did… and I can’t see myself doing that without having some kind of subscription service.

      And I have to confess – I don’t know Midlake. Looks like it’s time for me to look them up on Rdio. While I still can…

      avoision Reply

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