A metallic tray is placed on a table in front of you. There are two pills. The blue pill will take you to an exploratory eargasm-like collection of music deep in a social universe. The red pill leads to Ping or Pandora. Assuming you chose the blue pill (with that description, why wouldn’t you?) will send you to RDIO, the only music service ever worth paying for.
The other day, a coworker of mine asked me when the last time I purchased music. I couldn’t help but laugh because I completely drew a blank. He then brought up RDIO. The things he promised it would do intrigued me enough to download the app onto my iPhone. An app you say? Don’t fret if you don’t have an iPhone. Welcome to the world of cross platform. PC, Mac, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, whatever your flavor is, there’s an app for you. RDIO takes all of the things Ping couldn’t do and makes it a completely enjoyable experience. With RDIO, you can discover music through friends and other influencers. Unlike Ping, you can stream the music anywhere, any time, and as often as you’d like. Facebook and Twitter are also integrated, so making fun of a friend for having several Justin Bieber songs is finally possible.
Ok, what’s the catch? For $4.99 a month you get access to an unlimited collection unlimitedly on just your computer. For $10 a month, you get the same unlimited access but the ability to use it on pretty much anything that can play music and connect to the interwebs.
Don’t hate, hater.
What I really like about RDIO is if you’re planning on traveling somewhere that doesn’t have access to 3G or WiFi, you can sync music to your device beforehand. That’s right, you’re not strapped to a streaming service but a full fledged music library that’s accessible once offline. I have a fair amount of music on my computer and iPod. So deciding on which playlist to delete on my iPhone in order to import a new one is like Sophie’s Choice. Thanks to RDIO, harsh decisions no longer need to be made. I stream all of the songs currently owned and sync new albums that I really dig. Technically, there’s no reason to even own an iPod or MP3 player anymore.
Another aspect of RDIO that’s got me by the hook is it’s search engine. “Chuck”, being one of my fave shows right now, implements popular and indie music. And it can get quite overwhelming trying to find what song was played during an episode let alone the rest of the previous season’s soundtrack. Plugging “Chuck” on RDIO’s search brings up multiple playlists created by other fanatics. And based on how often I listen to those songs, similar artists will be recommended. That’s just one example of how much music is filtered through RDIO. Test it and you will be humbled.
A few downsides include massive battery drainage, bandwidth usage if on 3G, and lack of popularity. Unsurprisingly, my phone’s battery will drop around 15-20% by song number 5. I can’t say how much bandwidth it eats up but if you’re on at&t like me (2GB cap), you’re naturally worried. Granted RDIO is fairly new, the fact that none of my facebook or twitter friends have the service is a real bummer.
It wasn’t until a few nights ago where searching for new and similar music was a pain in the ass. That has changed and now I can confidently answer the age old question- the last time I purchased music was last month.
Have your mind blown at RDIO.