Rdio: Because It’s Hard To Find a Name For a Music Startup That Isn’t Taken

The irony of this situation is not lost on me. The founders of Skype, your favourite instant messaging alternative, have decided to jump on the music streaming/subscription bandwagon with Rdio.

The irony here is that said founders, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, are also the founders of Kazaa, one of the early applications that crippled the music industry. The confusingly-titled Rdio (AR-dee-oh (R-D-O)) is their attempt to help resuscitate it. As with all things these days, Rdio of course is cloud-based, meaning you can play your library on any device, anywhere – for a fee, of course. Ten bucks a month for mobile, five for desktop. Not bad.

Perhaps where Rdio really attempts to differentiate, though, is in its social aspect. Basically, it’s the Twitter of music, providing a history of your listened tracks for all the world to see, and a trending list of top tracks. You can not only listen to your own purchased music, but also the music of anyone you’re friends with! Legitimate music I didn’t even pay for? Not at all bad.

“Many digital music services have tried to address specific challenges, but no one has managed to elegantly integrate discovery and a high-quality music streaming experience under one roof,” Friis explains of the service. “We think people are ready for the next evolution in music. Rdio gives you unlimited access to all the music, anytime, for the equivalent price of one album download per month.”

…Really, Friis? All the music? See, there’s a question I’m kinda not addressing for fear of sounding like a hipster elitist music snob… alright, we’ll use me as an example, here. I listen to really, really obscure music. We’re talking about independently-released concept albums made of the time-stretched sounds of doorbells and stuff. Weird. Now, Rdio claims to be able to read your iTunes collection and immediately sync with its own cloud-based collection. Something tells me that if I do that, only half my collection’s going to show up on Rdio due to much of my music not being even nearly popular enough to be in the iTunes Store, let alone Rdio. My question is, what about people like me?

It’s stuff like that that makes my faith in The Almighty Cloud waver a bit. Still, that shortcoming aside, it’ll be interesting to see how Rdio pans out once it’s out of beta, and whether or not it can stand up to the other music streaming giants – Pandora, Rhapsody, Imeem, you know, that crowd.

[Via VentureBeat]

By tydunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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