Radio, Radio

Elvis Costello – Radio, Radio

I finally got the email I’ve been waiting for this evening, telling me that Rdio is folding. I’d read that they’d been bought by Pandora and would be filing for bankruptcy protection and that Pandora was going to take the parts of Rdio they liked and graft them on to Pandora but Rdio hadn’t said anything official to its users before now. Sigh.

It’s because I just admitted that I was at peace with my streaming music app. I am the kiss of death for online music services. Do you have one you want to go under? I’ll join it and become a regular user and then it is doomed to failure. I’ve lost count now how many music sites/apps I’ve been a fan of that have closed up shop.

I’ve got a Pandora account but I haven’t used it in years. I’ve got a Spotify account that I only use if I wanted to have a friend listen to a song and there was no other way to get them to hear it. I have the Amazon music and Google Play music apps on my phone, plus the Bandcamp app, TuneIn Radio, Soundcloud, not to mention the other ones that came pre-loaded on my phone that I never use. I’m not lacking in ways to listen to music online, I just don’t like any of them.

Here’s what I liked about Rdio. It was integrated with Shazam and Songkick. I am more of a Bandsintown user but just the fact that it would give me a heads up if the band I was listening to was going to playing nearby was a great feature. If I Shazamed a song, it would automatically add it to an Rdio playlist so I could check out the band more when I was at the computer. They had good, mostly accurate suggestions of other bands in the same vein as what you were listening to and they made it easy to find new music. They didn’t have everything but it was as close as a streaming music service could get to browsing through your local record store with your friends. And it was easy on the eyes.

When my car’s tape deck died I bit the bullet and paid the $10 a month so that I could have full functionality on the app instead of the web version only. I didn’t use it all the time but if I wanted to listen to particular things, it was the best solution.

Spotify is ugly and feels like the bully of the streaming services. I hate the free version, with its ads for itself constantly interrupting and the scroll bar forever shifting location so you are always clicking on the ad space when you’re just trying to move down the screen. I don’t like the way it always wants to load the app instead of just using a web version when I’m on the computer. It drives me nuts when I encounter a Spotify embed someplace while I’m surfing on my desktop because you can’t just click and have it play in place, it has to boot up the app and get you to login, blah, blah, blah.

The email made it sound like we have a couple more weeks before they shut the whole thing down. I’ll probably end up using Spotify but if anyone has a different music app they like (besides iTunes, this has to work on my Android phone), let me know.

One comment

  1. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been loyal to any particular streaming app since Yahoo did away with Launchcast about ten years ago (now THERE was a great platform…its algorithms were almost always dead-on and rarely gave me a bum song I had to skip over). Like you, I’ll use other apps ‘when I have to’. 😉

    But regular music listening? I find a radio station I like and listen to their livestream, or pop onto one of the Sirius XM stations. Most of the other apps kind of leave me cold, tbh. I think, again, it’s the algorithm. You start from nothing (or from the most generic batch of bands) and I just can’t be bothered anymore to like/dislike every song to fine-tune it.

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