Rdio launches major update of its Android app

Streaming music service Rdio is launching a nice upgrade to its Android app today. The last time we talked about Rdio was back in October when they announced their new ad-free, subscription-free membership tier for web users.

Rdio has been on Android for a while and the old version of the Rdio app got the job done but it felt pretty bare-bones. With the new version Rdio puts all it's main features on the home page with nine icons: Collection, Playlists, Queue, Heavy Rotation, Activity, History, New Releases, Top Charts and Recommended. A search bar always sits at the top of the app.

Ice Cream Sandwich users will be happy to hear the new app uses the "Remote Control" feature. What this means in practice is that if you're listening to Rdio and your phone is locked, you can tap the power button and control music from the lock screen. You'll see the artist and name of the song playing, skip forward and back controls, a pause button and behind it all, album art.

Another handy new feature is being able to filter music by what you have synced (Rdio allows you to download and store music locally to save on bandwidth). If you're closing in on your monthly bandwidth cap this makes it real easy to stay out of trouble while still listening to music.

Rdio is still missing a few features that I'd like to see. While you can access your queue from the mobile app, you can't manage it: that has to be done from the web interface. I'd also love a way to give a song, album or artist a "thumbs down" and remove it from crowd-sourced lists like Heavy Rotation and Top Charts (that's an issue with Rdio in general and not just the web app).

Finally, mobile use still isn't free: you'll need Rdio's $9.99/month Unlimited subscription in order to take Rdio on the road with you. I guess they have to pay the bills somehow!

The new app makes the mobile Rdio experience a lot more appealing, in my opinion. While I was testing it, I kept finding myself getting caught up in scrolling through recommendation lists, building out my collection and tweaking my playlists. Mission accomplished, Rdio; you've met your goal of making music discovery on mobile devices much easier.

Want to know more? Here's the full press release:

Rdio Unveils Brand-New Android App, Delivering the Best Mobile Music Experience

Total Redesign Delivers More Of Rdio's Discovery Features and Instant Music Accessibility into One Streamlined Application

SAN FRANCISCO, February 6, 2012 – Rdio (www.rdio.com), the digital music service started by the creators of Skype, today announced the availability of a completely redesigned Rdio for Android app, now available as a free download from Android Market or as an update for existing users.

The new app offers intuitive navigation with one-click access to features previously available on Rdio for Android, along with several new enhancements and key features including collection, playlists, new releases, top charts, recommendations, and support for Android Ice Cream Sandwich’s new remote control client. Now Android users not only have easy access to Rdio’s catalog of more than 12 million songs, they can also take advantage of Rdio’s rich social features and extensive music discovery options.

“With the Rdio for Android redesign, we were focused on bringing Android users the best mobile music discovery application possible,” said Malthe Sigurdsson, VP of Product, Rdio. “We believe this launch further reinforces our commitment to creating the most visual, social and interactive experience of music across every platform.”

New to this version, Rdio for Android now includes:

  • Streamlined Top-level Navigation – All-new home screen design gives one-click access to key features in the app
  • Convenient Control – Take advantage of Android Ice Cream Sandwich’s new remote control client to manage playback controls on the lock screen, including viewing controls and album art
  • New Releases – Be the first to listen to new albums and singles on the day they are released, and access new albums released up to two weeks prior
  • Top Charts - Check out recent chart-topping albums
  • Recommendations – Discover more music by exploring fresh album recommendations based on your listening history
  • Enhanced Search – In addition to searching for artists, albums, and songs, you can now search for Playlists and People
  • Synced collection and playlist views – View only the music you have synced for offline listening, without the need to go into offline mode
  • User Profiles - Search, browse, and follow other Rdio users; discover new music by seeing their activity, who they follow, their playlists and more
  • And features of the previous version including Activity, Collection, Heavy Rotation, Playlists, Listening History, Syncing for offline access, and a variety of settings to control syncing and streaming on Wi-Fi or 3G

Pricing and Availability

New Rdio for Android is available as a free download from the Android Market in the US, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. An Rdio Unlimited subscription is required to access Rdio on mobile devices; new users can sign up directly through the app for a free 7-day trial. Users can also sign up atwww.rdio.com.

Rdio offers flexible subscription plans for continued access across a growing number of devices. Plan options include:

  • Rdio Unlimited, $9.99/month: Unlimited Web streaming and mobile streaming on all available devices, as well as wireless syncing to listen offline
  • Rdio Unlimited Family: 2-3 person Rdio Unlimited accounts on one plan for discounted rate (2 for $17.99/month or 3 for $22.99/month)
  • Rdio Web, $4.99/month: Unlimited Web streaming and access through Mac/Windows desktop apps

Rdio is available on the Web; Mac or Windows desktop applications; applications for tablets (iPad, Kindle Fire, Kobo Vox and Android-powered devices) and mobile phones (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7). Rdio is also accessible on in-home devices like Sonos and Roku and in-car with Pioneer AppRadio (some devices may not be available in all territories).

About Rdio

Rdio is the ground-breaking digital music service that is reinventing the way people discover, listen to, and share music. With on-demand access to over 12 million songs, Rdio connects people with music and makes it easy to search for and instantly play any song, album, artist or playlist without ever hearing a single ad. Discover what friends, people with similar tastes, recording artists and more are listening to in real-time and share across Twitter and Facebook. Build a digital music collection that’s available everywhere - on the web, in-home or in-car, on tablets or mobile phones, and even offline.

Launched in August 2010, Rdio is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by Janus Friis, one of the creators of Skype. Currently available in the US, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, Rdio is funded by Atomico, Janus Friis through his investment entities, Skype and Mangrove Capital Partners. For more information and to sign up, visit www.rdio.com.


Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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