For quite some time, I have preferred to buy my music rather than pay for a subscription. However, my friend Andrew recently got married, and the couple used Spotify (she has a Premium subscription) for their reception music. I was extremely impressed at how this worked for them. He and I stayed in a separate room from the bride, and our internet was far less reliable than where she was staying. So it went like this:
1. Create playlist on Mac at our place.
2. Set it to sync to iPad at her place.
3. Pick iPad up when finished.
This meant he was able to work on the playlist from multiple locations as we took care of pre-wedding errands. But by the time we went to pick up the iPad, all the music was ready and waiting. And they didn’t have to buy the tons of music that typically go with a reception.
Mobile Sync Necessary
If I was going to sign up for such a service, I personally wanted to be able to sync music to my phone for offline listening; no way I’m going to stream everything when I share 2GB of LTE data with my dad. So either way, I would be paying. This mostly makes Spotify’s free plan moot (the exception being able to connect with my crazy friends who only use the desktop application).
The service’s apps have to be good. And Spotify’s aren’t. They’re dark and boring. It feels less like listening to music and more like looking through a database. Rdio is very different. Their apps place a great deal of attention on album artwork, which I appreciate. The music experience stays alive.
I read somewhere that Spotify has around 11 million songs, whereas Rdio has about 8 million. 3 million is a somewhat significant gap, however, 8 million songs is still a ton, and I haven’t discovered music I want that is unavailable.
All in all, I’ve been very happy with Rdio’s $10/month plan. I’m starting to think about removing most of my iTunes library from the iPhone’s music app. I can just sync tons of music to Rdio’s app. Huge selection, reasonable price, playlists stay in sync. Aside from that, it is more social – playlists can be collaborative, be made public or private, and shared on social media (if that’s your thing; it isn’t mine).