Rdio Redesign Emphasizes Music Sharing and Art
When you’re up against iTunes and Spotify in terms of social music sharing, you have to go big. Rdio not only did that when it launched its chic new look at SXSW, it also went as far as to brag about why its redesign puts it as the top contender in the music sharing market.
“With the new Rdio, we’ve gone even further, making it simpler, faster, and more beautiful to create an experience that’s all about music and people,” Rdio designer Wilson Miner said during his SXSW presentation after VP of product Malthe Sigurdsson put down other music services for bland “spreadsheet-like” layouts, impersonal recommendation generations, and playlist and search-driven findings.
“Music discovery can’t be staring down the barrel of a search engine,” he said.
Thus, Rdio’s update (which completely overhauled its old look based on user recommendations), attempts to tackle all three issues in addition to being the prettiest girl at the ball.
First–and most noticeable–is the layout. Rdio’s homepage now centers album covers (which, unlike iTunes, actually display artwork for all of its artists) in the middle of a page bordered by a recent activity bar on the left and a real time listening bar on the right which connects users to what their friends are listening to through Facebook. The set up seems similar to Spotify and iTunes but cleans up the content. Instead of random apps, play-lists, and song lists which take focus on the two services, Rdio hones in on simplicity and personalization. It displays albums neatly against a white background and is set to a default “heavy rotation” feature which places your favorite tunes front and center. Below each album cover, users can easily see which of their friends and followed subscribers have also listened to the tracks. Other center settings include recent activity, top charts, new releases, play-lists, and friends’ play-lists, according to Hypebot.
Next, Rdio expanded the social experience by immediately offering recommendations of friends, magazines, and record labels to subscribe to upon signing in. It also simplified sharing by allowing users to drag-and-drop full play-lists and albums to their friends’ names.
Finally, the subscription service sped up the music-perusing process. Users can search through albums that are constantly refreshed and return to the place they left off if they find one they like. Pretty nifty.
Rdio currently only offers a cost model–subscribers must pay $4.99 per month to use it on their computer and $9.99 per month if they want access from their smart phones and tablets, similar to Spotify. PandoDaily also writes that a free subscription with limited access to the subscription’s 15 million song database will be arriving soon.
Though their new set-up is sweet, Rdio’s still going to have a tough time snatching up Spotify’s large subscriber base and iTune’s nearly ubiquitous group of users. But as the music industry continues to shakily adapt to technology, there’s space for a shuffle.
For a complete list of the Rdio’s new features, click here.
Second photo from PandoDaily