Music Industry

Now That Rdio is Going to Disappear, Where Can Users Go?

I’m one of those who are really, really sad to see Rdio go, another collapse in what was supposed to be a brave new world of music distribution and consumption. I’ve been using the service for both personal and professional use since 2010 and once the company disappears–the wind-down has already begun–I’m going to have to migrate to a new streamer. But who?

Given the size and reach of Spotify, I’m going to have to keep that account up-to-date. In fact, I just had a meeting today with a potential business partner about a music project and the overwhelming consensus is that we’ll have to use Spotify for our plans.

But will Spotify be my go-t0 service for personal use?  I’m not sure. My next big music discovery will be what I will use for music discovery in the future. tackles the issue.

Since Rdio announced it’s filing for bankrupcy protection and is selling off key technology and assets to Pandora this week, many of us who used and loved Rdio are now faced with where to go for our streaming music.

For me, the only legitimate choices seem to be Spotify and Apple Music. I’ve chosen not to test other streaming services like Google Play Music (Sound Ears Noise Yes), Amazon Prime Music, and Pandora (I want to escape the radio not have a worse version of it) for various reasons. I’m sure there are many great reasons to like any of those other services (there aren’t), but I don’t want to hear about them (I recommend you write your own opinion piece about them). Below is my personal experience with both services thus far.

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37464 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

8 thoughts on “Now That Rdio is Going to Disappear, Where Can Users Go?

  • Hey Alan, I went to Rdio based solely on your advice. I am quite upset that they are going away. I have always loved their clean look, and ease of search. Making a playlist on Rdio is a breeze. I am not sure where to go next. I HATE the Apple Music set up. I’m not sold on Spotify (last time I went on my Spotify account, it didn’t even give me an option to become a paying member – I’m stuck with the free service). I’m looking forward to seeing where you suggest. I left a few more thoughts here –

  • I really dislike that author’s dismissive attitude. At least give the other options a look hah.

    This is really effing long, but I spent a shitload of time trying to figure out what to do after Rdio announced it was closing up. I figure this might of use to someone.

    First and foremost, I think people that liked Rdio for the community aspect should really check out Deezer, or just sign up for and connect their Spotify or Deezer account to it. (GPM and Apple Music don’t support it natively.)

    I dropped Google Play Music and Deezer because they do not remember your queue between sessions. Close the tab, it’s gone. Also I kind of hated Google Play’s design the more I used it. Deezer has a beautiful design, and it’s mostly functional, but some features are a touch tedious and/or buried.

    I ended up going with Spotify despite the horrible first-impressions it left on me. My use for Rdio was mostly queuing nearly a hundred albums at a time: every time someone recommends something I’d add it to my queue, and it would follow me around from home to work, and even listenable during my commute if necessary.

    Unfortunately the regular queue in Spotify is a god damned mess, but I could mitigate it using playlists instead. I have two: “Current Queue” and “Album Queue”. The album one I just add anything to that looks interesting. Then I cut & paste them to the Current one as I feel like I want to listen to them. If I just play directly from my Current playlist, the regular Spotify one behaves more normally and syncs better. I can then continue to edit it on-the-fly unlike the default queue.

    One nuisance with Spotify is that the playlist doesn’t show the tracks’ albums. So if you queue three albums by the same artist in a row, you need to figure out where one ends and another begins if you just want to pull one to play on the current queue. (It’s not terrible though — you can right-click in the desktop client and get an option to “go to album” directly.)

    Deezer unfortunately didn’t work for me with playlists, because adding albums to them and editing is a bit too tedious in its current incarnation. Spotify is actually a bit better than Rdio in editing playlists, somewhat.

    (Caveat emptor: I’m talking about the desktop client. I haven’t given the mobile app much use yet, 99% of my music listening is in the office and around the home. I use podcasts mostly while out and about.)

    Finally … all of these have free trials. Just try them all and see what works for you.

    • …and as of this morning, Spotify has added an ‘abum’ field for tracks in playlists! That was fast!

      I wonder if they’re stepping up their game now to capture more displaced Rdio users.

      • …”album” not “a bum”.

  • I’d try rhapsody too, if i were you/the author of the article.

  • Looks like it is going to be Spotify for us, not that I am thrilled with it. We need something that will work with Windows Phone and Sonos. Unfortunately, they do not have family plans in Canada so we will be left paying more for what I consider to be an inferior product.

  • I’ve been down on Spotify a bit because, partially things just aren’t the same, but I’ve been running into bugs and quirks. Something that was just driving me nuts recently was that I couldn’t get a playlist from home to sync to my work computer. I closed and reopened the Spotify desktop app twice. I then tried creating a new playlist to see if that would force it to sync … and it did! But then I also got this Discover Weekly playlist.

    The results are shocking. Like … I can’t believe how well this feature knows me. For context, here’s what I’ve listened to on Spotify the last week with a relatively new account:

    Sonic Youth
    No Joy
    A Place to Bury Strangers
    Club 8
    The Legends
    The Rentals
    Project Pitchfork
    Neil Halstead
    Trentemoller’s Night Tails
    Ólafur Arnalds
    Kate Boy
    Lights of Euphoria
    God Module
    Run Level Zero
    Ulrich Schnauss
    Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
    Assemblage 23

    And with that data I got:

    How the heck did it pull favourites like Jesus Lizard, Mudhoney, Helmet, Killing Joke, Smashing Pumpkins and New Order from that?

    Autechre, Aphex Twin, Apoptygma Berzerk, Front Line Assembly, VNV Nation & Nine Inch Nails are a more understandable. It even got some guilty pleasures like Camouflage and Shriekback.

    I look forward to checking out a the few things I’m not terribly familiar with: Mighty Lemon Drops, Sugarcubes (I know they’re Bjork’s old band), Meat Puppets, The Meeting Places, Death In Vegas, Paw, Sponge, Led Er Est, The Sundays, Swirlies, The Dead Milkmen, and Smoking Popes.

  • I too am in the same situation – I need and want something works with my Sonos system at home and Spotify looks like the ‘best’ solution for us in Canada. If I was based in the US, it would probably be Rhapsody as that is what my brother uses – he’s based in Austin – and loves it.


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