Rdio v. Spotify – Round One

As you may or may not know, Spo­tify launched this week in the US, and I of course jumped on board. I’m going to give Rdio and Spo­tify a fair shake before I decide which to use full time (I reviewed Rdio a while back, and have been an avid user since the ser­vice launched), but the early lead is with Spo­tify even though it’s lack­ing the excel­lent dis­cov­ery tools that Rdio has. Until the full review, my ini­tial thoughts in list form:

Spotify Pros:

  • Awe­some app on the desk­top and mobile
  • Amaz­ing sup­port & website
  • Huge community
  • iPhone app is easy to use, and much better than the Rdio one
  • Easy to add mul­ti­ple songs to a playlist or to your library
  • Abil­ity to share a par­tic­u­lar song / album to friends just by drag­ging the song to your con­tact is amazing
  • Spo­tify caches the music you listen to so it loads faster the next time you play it
  • Dead simple playlist cre­ation & album navigation
  • Non-​blue icons!
  • Abil­ity to sync Spo­tify songs to an iPod 

Rdio Pros:

  • Library is global b/c it’s a web­site – this makes it a lot easier to keep things in sync between my home and work Rdio account.
  • Album driven, as opposed to playlist driven.
  • Great community 
  • Great dis­cov­ery tools (the land­ing page with the ‘heavy rotation’ is the most valu­able fea­ture of the site, along with ‘ recommendations’ and ‘new releases’)
  • You can tailor the library to things you want, which is view­able in the iPhone app
  • Faster development

Spotify Cons:

  • Queue is lost between launches?
  • Queue is hard to under­stand in gen­eral – if you go to ‘play’ an album it tends to play the first track then revert back to the queue.
  • Very playlist driven, so unless you keep your music orga­nized into many playlists, you’re forced to star almost every­thing you’re lis­ten­ing to.
  • Each instance of Spo­tify (mul­ti­ple desk­top apps, iPhone app) is it’s own instance so it can feel dis­jointed as if you need to manage each copy on it’s own.
  • No real ‘metrics’ on what you’ve been lis­ten­ing to a lot.  Last.fm helps with this, but Rdio shines in this area of track­ing what you have been lis­ten­ing to a lot

Rdio Cons:

  • The ‘application’ is really just an opti­mized ver­sion of the web­site. It’s not ter­ri­ble, but there is a lag, and all of the but­tons & inter­ac­tions remind you that you’re on a webpage.
  • The UI of the iPhone app is lacking
  • iPhone app doesn’t allow you to play through/mark played your queue, only one album in queue
  • iPhone app doesn’t allow you to add songs/albums to the queue * only to collections/playlists
  • Adding mul­ti­ple songs to a playlist at once isn’t possible.

Ok, now what?

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