How To Use Rdio, The Online Music Service iTunes Cloud Needs To Beat

rdio title image

Rdio is everything iTunes Ping wants to be, plus everything the iTunes Cloud is directly up against.

Click here to learn how to use Rdio >

Rdio is a subscription-based online music service. You pay a fee, then listen to unlimited amounts of music from any computer.

It’s a lot like Spotify, a music service we love, except Spotify doesn’t yet work in the United States.

Wonderful social features are included in Rdio to help you find new music, share music with friends, and write mini-reviews–but it’s not too different from Last.fm

The catch with Rdio is that you have to be connected to the internet. If you want to listen offline using a portable device, you’ll pay a premium fee, which is still a good deal.

But, at the end of the day, you aren’t buying any music. You’re basically leasing the rights to listen to music from anywhere, which for many people who are always connected, is just fine.

Pricing
Rdio is free to try (no credit card required for a week), but if you want to stay onboard, it’s $4.99/month which is an amazing deal for all you can eat music from any computer.

Rdio has more than 8.5 million songs in its library, which is fewer than iTunes (estimated at 11 million), but Rdio definitely has all the mainstream and just-off-the-mainstream hits most people are looking for.

For $9.99, you can stream as much music as you want to any computer or mobile device (iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone are all supported by a gorgeous app on each platform).

There’s an amazing desktop app which could replace iTunes, except it won’t sync with your iPhone or iPod, and can’t hook up to your home speakers via AirPlay or Sonos. The desktop app will, however, match songs you own to the Rdio library, and add all the songs you own to your Rdio library.

So Rdio is an incredible deal, but what’s wrong with it?

One disadvantage of using Rdio is that you can only listen to music found in Rdio’s library. For most people, this would be fine, but for music aficionados, it might get frustrating.

Another issue is that you have to commit to renting your music. Rhapsody and Zune users have been doing this for years, but not everyone’s ok with it yet.

It means that you can’t use Rdio as a full-time music solution because you’ll be missing songs that Rdio couldn’t match to its database.

We prefer a mixture of buying music we want to have forever (for the post iTunes and post Rdio days), and paying a small fee (like $9.99/month) to have the ability to listen to whatever we want, whenever we want. It’s a healthy combination.

So Rdio is a great service, and is a bright sign of things to come. Check out our how-to for using Rdio below.

Enter in your email address to begin your week-long free trial of Rdio.

Enter in the information to register your account

Check your email for the verification, and click the link.

Once you sign in, the first thing you'll see is recommendations for who to follow. See if any of them listen to music you like, and pick a few to get started.

Click Twitter (or another social network), then authorise Rdio to post to your feed and find friends using Rdio.

On your Rdio dashboard, scroll down to see what people you follow have been listening to and reviewing.

Search for any song, artist, or album and click it to start listening.

Sign in to the desktop app here. It will then load all of your collections, playlists, and more.

Here's the album view of the desktop app. It looks great, and even works with the play/pause/skip buttons on your keyboard.

Rdio's app is the online interface, but on your mobile device

Here's Rdio's music player, which is just as good as iPod.app

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