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Recently the Verge wrote about Rdio’s new redesign, and it looked interesting, so I thought I would give it a spin. I’m probably late trying Rdio, but my impression is that almost everyone in New Zealand uses Spotify. I’ve used Spotify for a while, and it’s a cool service, but the ads annoy me a fair bit. (I know I should shell out for a premium subscription, but I’m not quite willing to let go of the idea of mostly owning music).At first glace, Rdio looks really nice. You can put in album track-listing mode, and the tracks fill up the whole screen. It just looks gorgeous — and way cleaner than Spotify’s sliding card interface. Overall I find the design way nicer than Spotify’s.

Everything looks so much better designed than Spotify!

In terms of ads, my listening experience so far has been blissfully free of them. I’m sure that will change soon, as I think I’m in the middle of a 6 month honeymoon period where they try and make it seem as appealing as possible. However even when my trial period runs out, it does look as though they are trying to reduce the number of ads on the service, as covered by the The Verge recently:

Free users will see the web and mobile apps place near-total emphasis on Rdio’s ad-supported radio stations, including more than 60 programmed by new human curators, while seeing fewer pleas to upgrade to the premium version.

The cynic in me is always suspicious of claims like this that they’ve decided to reduce the number of ads, but I’ve been loving the lack of ads in any case, and I’m definitely more tempted by getting a Rdio subscription than I am to get a Spotify one even after (or perhaps because of) all those Spotify ads. They also have a cheaper premium plan than Spotify where you can get unlimited just-web/desktop streaming for USD$6.50 per month.

I recommend you try Rdio if you haven’t already!

Last updated 8 December 2014

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