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Festival Watch: LIVE at Squamish

Live at squamish

For a festival that balances music with breathtaking closeness to nature, the choice can only be LIVE at Squamish. This year, the three-day, two-stage festival, held annually in British Columbia’s beautiful Squamish Valley, will run from August 24-26. The line-up is chock full of talent from Canada and abroad: The Tragically Hip, City and Colour, The Sheepdogs, Chromeo, Mother Mother, The Airbourne Toxic Event, Kathleen Edwards, and more.

LIVE at Squamish has put together an official LIVE at Squamish 2012 playlist, perfect for blasting on your way to the show or from your backyard — as long as you’re in the great outdoors!


The Polaris Record Club returns to Rdio


The Polaris Music Prize is an annual award bestowed upon the Best Canadian album of the past year, from June to June, based on artistic merit alone. At the end of that period, an initial long list of 40 eligible albums is announced; in July, those 40 are pared down to just ten. The winner is decided by a panel of Canadian journalists, media figures, and musicians, and is chosen regardless of genre, sales, or record label.

Rdio has once again joined with the Polaris Music Prize to power a series of nominated album streams we call the Polaris Record Club. Starting today, August 21, the Polaris website will offer 24-hour full-album streams from the Short List, courtesy of Rdio. Every week, listeners can hear two new albums on the site, leading up to the Polaris Gala event on September 24 in Toronto.

But, you can listen anytime on Rdio to the nominated artists and albums, which include:

The award was established in 2006. Past winners have included Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds, Caribou’s Andorra, and Fucked Up’s The Chemistry of Common Life.

The first album of this year’s Polaris Record Club is Cadence Weapon’s Hope In Dirt City. The Edmonton, Alberta native is known for experimenting with the rap formula, using sparse, austere soundscapes and out-there electronic as beats for his unique flow and intelligent lyrics, but Hope is his most consistent album to date. The artist melds funk, soul, electronic, rock, and a myriad other genres to create a wholly unique album that represents the apex of an already formidable discography. Listen to it below:

The next album to be streamed is Cold Specks’ I Predict A Graceful Explosion, on August 23. We'll continue to preview the albums nominated for the Polaris Music Prize after that. For now, listen to Cadence Weapon and follow Polaris on Rdio, listen to their exclusive playlists, and be sure to check out for all award-related info.

∞  August 21, 2012 — 11:00AM

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.

∞  July 6, 2012 — 10:00AM


Celebrate Canada Day on Rdio


This Sunday is Canada Day! That means parades, barbecues, and waving your Canadian flag like mad, all in the name of celebrating the day our colonies became the sovereign nation of Canada. You know darn well this land deserves it.

Canada Day also means another great thing about being Canadian: Goin’ to the Cottage! Back in May, we wrote a post all about (ahem, aboot) the great tradition, and made a playlist of the tunes that reminded us of it. In the name of Canadian independence, why not add another tune or two now?

∞  June 29, 2012 — 10:35AM


Celebrate Gay Pride Month with Rdio

June is Gay Pride month — a chance for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual community to celebrate their thriving culture, and for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, to join in.

We’d like your help to celebrate! Add your favorite anthem to our second annual collaborative The New Sound of Gay Pride playlist. Some of our proudest Influencers to shared their own playlists — hear what their celebration soundtracks sound like.

Get in on the action and make your own mix to express your version of pride — no exceptions.

∞  June 21, 2012 — 9:00AM


Festival Watch: Sled Island


Calgary, Alberta’s Sled Island music festival leapt out of the gates in 2007, quickly becoming one of Canada’s best summer festivals. In past years the four-day fest has nabbed such international talent as Spoon, Cat Power, Mogwai, Dan Deacon, Grizzly Bear, The Breeders, The Buzzcocks, and local talent such as Chad VanGaalen, Braids, Final Fantasy, and Fucked Up.

The 2012 edition, held from June 20-23, features a similarly excellent line-up: Feist, The Hold Steady, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Timber Timbre, and Archers of Loaf, among others. For a preview of what’s to come, listen to the Sled Island 2012 playlist below, and follow Sled Island to find out what’s next from this consistently surprising event.

∞  June 20, 2012 — 9:00AM


Dad Deserves a Good ol’ Playlist

This Sunday, Dad gets his due — it’s Father’s Day. Don’t forget to make him feel special for everything he’s done for you: send a card, take him out to a ball game, or sit back and have a chat. While you do that, bump the appropriate playlist.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far is a compilation of songs by musical fathers and their kin: Bob and Jakob Dylan, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, and many more. Have we forgotten any good ones? Add it to our collaborative playlist above and have a very happy Father’s Day.

Still not sure what to get Dad to say thanks? If you love Rdio, he might just love it too. Give him a gift certificate.

∞  June 14, 2012 — 10:00AM


North by Northeast Takes over Toronto


Got your NXNE schedule straightened out yet? The 2012 new music showcase North by Northeast is upon Toronto once more, which means a lot of tough decisions between June 13 and 17 — which bands to see, where, and when? Purity Ring or The Men? Young Magic or Violens? Should you go to Brave Dundas Square for the Flaming Lips, of Montreal, and Raekwon and Ghostface, or hang out in the smaller clubs?

NXNE is on Rdio, and they’ve made it easy for fans to discover new music — listen to their playlists Go Chill, Get Rowdy, Let’s Dance for a sample of what's to come.

Of course, how you spend your NXNE is up to you! We here at Rdio will be throwing a party Friday night, where we’ll be hanging out with The Drums, Whaletooth (who we hear has a new album out soon), and DJ Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene. Then we’ll be stuck to puzzle over what to see next...

∞  June 7, 2012 — 2:25PM

EventsInfluencer Spotlights

Follow Mutek Electronic Music and Digital Arts Festival on Rdio


Canada’s premier electronic music festival is Mutek, the annual, five-day celebration of all music that blips, bloops, bumps, and blasts. This year’s edition will take place from May 30 to June 3, and will feature internationally acclaimed electronic artists such as Apparat, Nicolas Jaar, Blondes, Monolake, and Tim Hecker.

The festival doesn’t just come to Montreal — Mutek celebrates digital arts annually in Mexico and Chile as well, and is known for breaking local digital musicians. It’s easy to see, then, why the Mutek organizers have become such tastemakers, and why they’re an Rdio Influencer. Hear it for yourself — play the Mutek 2012 playlist below, and follow Mutek on Rdio to get the low-down on who’s up and coming in the world of electronic music.

∞  May 28, 2012 — 9:00AM


Festival Watch: Sasquatch! Music Festival

He might be hard to find in the wild, but every summer, take a peek into the valleys around George, Washington, and you’re sure to find Sasquatch — the indie music festival, that is. Every year, Sasquatch! brings the best and brightest indie musicians, rappers, comedians, and more out to its four stages for four days of music, comedy, and culture.

This year’s lineup includes Jack White, Beck, Bon Iver, The Shins, Girl Talk, The Roots, Feist, Childish Gambino, Fred and Carrie from Portlandia, and tons more. Rdio users have been busy making some pretty great playlists — listen to Rdio user Brick Hammerstone’s collaborative Sasquatch 2012 playlist below, or make one to soundtrack your perfect Sasquatch! Music Festival.

∞  May 25, 2012 — 10:00AM