July 26, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
The people behind Rdio know that success won’t be easy. Not only are they competing with on-demand streaming services like MOG and Rhapsody, they are entering the music subscription game at a time when people are increasingly opting for personal radio services like Pandora or Slacker rather than on-demand playlists. However arduous the task, Rdio has done a good job of creating an Android app good enough to make people take notice.
Rdio is a U.S.-only, Android 1.6+ app that requires an invitation to use the preview. There is a free 3-day trial, but afterwards it costs $9.99 per month. Rdio has a minimalist interface much like its website, which users should embrace because that’s the easiest way to manage their collection. Rdio members can browse through its large library and add songs to their collection, which are available to stream at any time, or sync to mobile, which downloads certain files and makes them playable offline. The catalogue includes most of the familiar names that you’ll search for, and there’s even a crapshoot of finding less common acts in the Indie and Dubstep genres. And when you finally select a song, you’ll get decent-sound quality streaming to the phone (192-to-256kbps).
The absence of marking songs as favorites to ensure easy access at a later date is disappointing, Rdio performs well at the most basic feature of providing a solid on-demand experience. Both the Rdio app and company are in its infancy, so expect more features and improvements when it sheds its “preview” tag.
Also, you can easily import your iTunes library with the desktop client. Here’s a video from Lifehacker showing how:
- Stream music on-demand
- Download songs for offline playback
- Import music from iTunes or see what friends are playing
- No favorites or song bookmarking
UPDATE: This review was based on a previous version of Rdio that did not include easy access to radio stations. It has been edited to reflect the recent changes.