July 2012

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An Rdio Exclusive: The Used’s Vulnerable Album Release Show

The Used Rdio_EP

Back in March, post-hardcore quartet The Used dropped their fifth album, Vulnerable at a special album release party at Los Angeles’ The Troubadour. Rdio was at the exclusive event, and now we’ve got a special souvenir: an Rdio-only recording of four songs from the evening’s setlist.

If you missed the show, here’s your chance to relive the sounds — the Rdio Presents Vulnerable Release Show EP is below.

∞  07/30/2012 — 6:00PM


Shovels & Rope Unveil New Album a Week Early on Rdio


South Carolina duo Shovels & Rope play a timeless, freewheelin’ brand of alt-folk that hearkens as far back as Johnny & June Cash and as modern as Jack White. Their first single, “Birmingham,” was a clattering, joyous affair, punctuated by harmonica and junkyard drums. Next week, the duo will release their debut full-length, O’ Be Joyful, but why wait? The album is on Rdio now, a week before the official release date.

The duo have also been busy putting together a playlist of their favorite songs. The 1-2 album-playlist punch is below.

∞  07/27/2012 — 6:00PM


Preview Dappled Cities’ Lake Air a Week Early on Rdio


On their last album, Sydney romantics Dappled Cities piled on layers of synth-y atmosphere to lend their songs grandeur. On new album, Lake Air, the melancholy quintet go grand in a different direction, opting for sparser production that isolates each instrument and highlights its importance.

The album isn’t out until next week, but you can preview the whole thing now, only on Rdio. Listen to the spacious and atmospheric Lake Air below, and just try to keep both feet on the ground.

∞  07/26/2012 — 5:00PM


Festival Watch: Splendour in the Grass


Besides having the best lineup announcement ever, Byron Bay festival Splendour in the Grass is also one of the country’s biggest winter festivals, best known for balanced, varied line-ups. This year’s assortment of artists is unparalleled: Jack White, Bloc Party, Smashing Pumpkins, At The Drive-In, Miike Snow, The Shins, Azealia Banks, Wolfmother, Kimbra, Lana Del Rey, Miss Higgins, Ladyhawke, Metric, Howler, and tons more are all scheduled to rock Belongil Fields.

Splendour on Rdio have put together a Splendour 2012 Lineup playlist for your enjoyment. Bump it on the way to the fest, on your way back, or in your living room.

∞  07/25/2012 — 5:00PM

New Features

Introducing: Custom Playlist Artwork on Rdio


Personalise your playlist on Rdio with one of the most popular features from our last Hack Day: Custom Playlist Artwork.

Open one of your mixes and hover over the existing artwork at the top. Click on the pencil icon to upload your own image. Make sure the image is at least 72 dpi for the best results. For those with high resolution displays, upload a hi-res photo and prepare to see music in a whole new way.

Try out the new feature and enjoy designing your own playlist cover art.

∞  07/23/2012 — 4:00PM


Only on Rdio: Pnau Electrify Elton John’s ‘70s Catalog

Elton PNAU

Elton John has had a long and varied career, but he’s still trying new things. The singer-songwriter’s latest venture is a joint one with Australian dance duo Pnau. The unlikely pairing re-imagines classic songs from his early ‘70s catalog as pulsing dance-floor anthems.

Elton John vs. Pnau’s Good Morning to the Night is out next week, but you can hear the album in its entirety now, only on Rdio. And you thought you’d never “Good Morning to the Night” in the club.

∞  07/19/2012 — 6:00PM

New Features

New on Rdio: Notifications


Today we're pleased to share the new Notifications feature on our web and desktop apps.

Simply click on the new bell icon in the upper right-hand corner to find out what notifications are waiting for you. The number next to the bell represents how many new notifications you have.

What will Notifications tell you?

  • You have a new follower
  • A song, album or playlist has been shared with you
  • Your playlist has been subscribed to, reviewed or updated
  • A Facebook or Twitter friend joined Rdio

Stay up to date with all your notifications in one place now on Rdio.

∞  07/19/2012 — 5:10PM

Developer App

Developer Apps: Roadtrip Mixtape


Near, far, wherever you are — this month’s Developer App is ready to DJ your next drive. Roadtrip Mixtape customizes mixes for you based on your route.

Head over to the site and plug in your start and end destinations. Roadtrip Mixtape will then create a playlist of local artists from the areas you’ll pass through according to the Google Maps directions. Driving through Sydney? Get ready for some Van She or Angus & Julia Stone. Passing by Newcastle? Boy & Bear or Silverchair may grace your speakers. Not hitting the road any time soon? Click any city on the map to see and play the most popular artists from that area.

If you think you’ve got the next big app idea, then take a look at Rdio’s Developer page and register for an API key. We even have an API Google Group and a Github page to get you going. Need another reason? Your app can earn you some cash from the Rdio Affiliate program.

∞  07/18/2012 — 5:00PM

EventsNew Features

From Rdio Engineering: Rdio Hack Day #2

Rdio’s inaugural Hack Day in April was a great success, so we decided to continue the tradition. Rdio’s engineers took last Friday to work on any Rdio project they wanted. This gave engineers the freedom to create any feature they wanted to see in the product, jump into some unexplored code, or create web apps using the Rdio API. We saw cool results — read on for some highlights.

Drag and drop interaction on mobile
Jimmy O’Neil added drag and drop functionality to the iPhone Rdio app, so by long-pressing on a track, you can drag onto a collection or playlist.


Keyboard Controls and Multi-Select
Matt Montag went to work on improving the Rdio web experience in playlist and album views so that users can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate the track lists and select multiple items. He also added a popularity indicator to each track so you can tell which items are getting the most plays.


Heavy Listeners
Sure, you can claim you’re the world’s biggest Radiohead fan, but where’s your proof? Drew Bazan added a section to each artist page that would list all the heaviest Rdio listeners of each artist.

Automated Front End Testing
Rob Ferguson worked with Sikuli Script (front end automation with screen shots) and Python to batch together front-end testing. Instead of writing long scripts to automate the full process, the new method allowed users to drop in tiny scripts directly from the Sikuli IDE and automatically batch them together.


Mix in Related Artists
One feature that didn’t make it into new Rdio was the control to mix in related artists when playing an artist radio station. Raul Agrait remedied this situation with his Hack Day project, adding in this control to the iPhone app.


Commit Music Tracker
Pat Tuckey and Jonathan Klobucar teamed up to create a tracker that shows the most recent code commits to the Rdio code repository, along with the Rdio music that the programmer was listening to when they made the commit. This may help prove once and for all that good code cannot be written while listening to anything but electronic music.

Custom Playlist Artwork
Justin Tulloss added an image upload feature to your playlists so that you can assign your own image to the playlist cover art.


New Releases Discovery and Collection Items with Low Play Counts
Devin Sevilla created two external tools using the Rdio API. The first one suggests new releases that are by artists you have in your collection, and the second shows you items you have in your collection that you’ve only played once, so you can rediscover some old favorites. You can try Devin’s hack for yourself here.


Album Shuffle
Eric Fikus added a feature to the player that lets you shuffle complete albums. For those of you who like to randomize everything except your albums.

iPhone Visualizer
If pretty pictures are your jam, Brett Duncavage created a visualizer on iPhone that analyzes your music and flips through a series of images along with the beat of the music.

Play Top Songs
Gautam Joshi added a play button to artist pages that will play a set of the artist’s most played tracks. Sometimes you want to know “what is best?” rather than “what is new?”

Integrated Build Tests
Matt Crocker created a practical hack: a triple integration between Jenkins (our test running system), Phabricator (our bug tracking and code review tool) and Skype (our internal chat tool). Now when engineers submit code in Phabricator, Jenkins runs the unit tests associated with the code and comments on reviews. Jenkins also congratulates or shames engineers in our group internal Skype chat, using emoticons and image macros for additional effect.

∞  07/06/2012 — 4:00PM


An Rdio Exclusive: The Laurels’ Second Album, Plains


The Laurels’s new album, Plains, took only ten days to record, but it was almost wiped out in an instant: a flash flood nearly washed the tapes away, but the band’s producer, Liam Judson, waded back with them in his hands, high above his head. The album is the Sydney-based psychedelic shoe-gaze outfit’s second, and finds the band toning down the reverb in favour of a cleaner sound that still evokes their live energy.

Plains is out next week, but you can hear it exclusively on Rdio, starting today. Put your flood pants on and listen below.

∞  07/05/2012 — 4:00PM