Exclusives

Exclusive: SOHN Shakes Up Rdio Sessions

You can hear the world-wise poise in the music of English electronic artist SOHN (aka Christopher Taylor). Since 2010, he has called Vienna his home, where his work as a producer for himself as well as for rising stars like Banks along with remixes for the likes of Lana Del Rey and Disclosure have earned him shout outs from unique artists like Lorde and Miguel.

SOHN’s exclusive Rdio Sessions was performed at Decibelle Recording Studio in San Francisco and features highlights from his deliciously dark and soulful debut album Tremors, including the singles “Bloodflows” and “Lessons.” Tune in to the Rdio Sessions Station to hear more live sets from this eclectic series, including recent performances by Daughtry, Jon Pardi, Lucius, and many more.

∞  21/10/2014 — 10:10AM

Posted by Rdio at 10:10AM in Exclusives |

New FeaturesNews

Rdio Now With iOS 8 and CarPlay Support

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Today we’re announcing an exciting update for iOS 8 that continues our commitment to creating the best music service in the world, tuned to you.

Our latest update includes:
- CarPlay Support. We’re one of the first music services to be integrated into Apple’s CarPlay. Control Rdio playback and navigate your favorites and playlists from the built-in display in CarPlay-enabled cars.
- Interactive Notifications. Play music and follow people directly from an Rdio push notification.
-Optimized Visuals. Enjoy high-resolution images and album artwork with your iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+.

Download Rdio for iOS and try out the new features for yourself. Be sure to follow @Rdio on Twitter and Like Rdio on Facebook to stay up-to-date with our apps.

∞  16/10/2014 — 12:16PM

Posted by Rdio at 12:16PM in New Features, News |

New FeaturesNews

Introducing High-Quality AAC Audio Across The Globe

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Today we’re happy to announce we’ve converted our entire catalog of over 30 million songs to high-quality AAC audio. Listeners around the world now have four sound quality settings to choose from across iOS, Android, and the web. All Rdio users can choose between data-efficient 64 kbps all the way up to 192 kbps. Rdio Unlimited subscribers now also have the option of listening in pristine-quality 320 kbps. Plus individually select your audio settings for a variety of uses, whether you’re using Wi-Fi or cellular streaming or listening to offline downloads.

Our commitment to sound quality also deepens today with our partnership with Bob Weir, the legendary founding member of the Grateful Dead and champion of Musicians for Audio Quality Initiative. To celebrate this milestone, we’re releasing an exclusive catalog of Bob Weir tracks recorded at the Tamalpais Research Institute (TRI Studios), his state of the art studio in Marin County, CA. The catalog features Weir as well as musicians like Dave Schools, Sammy Hagar, and many others.

Download the latest updates to Rdio on iOS and Android to start this exciting new listening experience today.

∞  16/10/2014 — 11:17AM

Posted by Rdio at 11:17AM in New Features, News |

Exclusives

Exclusive: Daughtry's Rockin' Rdio Session

Daughtry has been rocking for seven years strong now. Fronted by American Idol alum Chris Daughtry, the band has become one of the most successful acts to be even tangentially associated with the reality show, blowing past the small domestic screen to achieve international success. Their live performance for our exclusive Rdio Sessions showcases songs from last year’s risk-taking album Baptized (including the title track, “Long Live Rock & Roll” and “Waiting for Superman”) alongside “Home,” a single from the multi-platinum selling self-titled debut album that topped Billboard’s Adult Top 40 and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts in 2007.

Head over to the Rdio Sessions Station for frequently updated highlights of this multi-genre live series that’s recorded all over the world in front of Rdio listeners just like you.

∞  14/10/2014 — 12:35PM

Posted by Rdio at 12:35PM in Exclusives |

Exclusives

Exclusive: Strange Talk's Effortlessly Cool Rdio Session

Melbourne’s Strange Talk has gotten rave reviews for their concerts, where their energy and charisma has won them a growing legion of fans. We’re excited to now have an opportunity to share their special onstage synth pop magic with listeners all around the world.

The quartet (Stephen Docker, Gerard Sidhu, Travis Constable and Gillian Gregory) brings their sunny beats and memorable melodies to the latest Rdio Sessions performance. The five-song set draws from the band’s killer debut album Cast Away, including the propulsive debut single “Climbing Walls” and the most recent sizzler “Young Hearts.”

Tune in to the Rdio Sessions Station to hear more from this international live series that’s exclusively for you!

∞  23/09/2014 — 12:26PM

Posted by Rdio at 12:26PM in Exclusives |

News

The Renaissance of Music Collecting

By Marc Ruxin

I was six when I first fell for music. I raided my parent’s record collection, skipped the classical records, didn’t quite understand jazz or blues, but fell hard for The Beatles. Although it was the music that made me smile, it was also the act of pulling the record from the sleeve, admiring the art, reading the song titles, cleaning the vinyl, and dropping the needle on the record that was very much part of the fun.

As it turned out, this was not a passing phase. I’d listen to the radio to fall asleep. It was the mid-70’s so the commercial music on the radio was what we now describe as classic rock, with a heavy dose of disco. By the time I was 12, I would begin to spend my hard earned allowance on records. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Styx, Foreigner, Wings, Billy Squire, The Police, The Who, Ozzy Osborne - it was pretty obvious stuff I suppose, even though some of it didn’t endure the test of time. In the 7th grade, a buddy with cool older brothers, played me a cassette called “This Are Two Tone.” My mind was blown initially by the stark black and white mod cover art, but then I listened to the music. It was on that tape that I discovered The Specials, The Selector, Madness and finally The English Beat. My life was changed by rock and roll. The next day I raided my piggy bank and bought all the records I could find by the artists on the compilation.

I was hooked. I begged my parents to get me a subscription to Rolling Stone, and then Spin, and a few years later Option Magazine. I clipped out album reviews, band photos, and hung them on the cork wall in my bedroom next to the posters that came from the various albums: Devo, Wings, Rush. The first thing I did when I turned 16 and got my drivers license was drive to Cleveland to buy records. For the next 20 years I frittered away most of my allowance or paychecks, and much of my free time, milling through bins of records and CDs building a massive collection of life-changing music.

But at some point in the early 2000’s I started buying digital albums, primarily from eMusic and then eventually from Amazon or directly from artist sites. I never liked the DRM on iTunes, and so I steered clear of Apple as a music store. I stopped going to Amoeba Music music every weekend, Kim’s Video in NYC closed, and slowly but surely a huge part of my lifelong obsession collecting physical music ended. Option Magazine was long gone, Rolling Stone had become a magazine about politics and celebrity photos, and Spin had long lost its focus. I now bought external hard-drives and spent an ungodly amount of time digitizing CDs, scrubbing the messy metadata and multiple copies of albums digitized at various bit rates. Then Napster happened, and the music business was turned on its head. It became easier to steal music than to buy it. I never bought into file sharing, because after all if artists couldn’t make a living making music, there wouldn’t be as many artists trying to make music. I was trying to do my part in a very small way, so I continued as a small patron buying tracks and albums.

There were no more beautiful double albums, liner notes, and song lyrics. There was no more flipping of albums, browsing through walls of CDs in search of the perfect album. It was more about accumulating digital bits on increasingly small and slick drives. But then came the iPod. The Walkman and headphone culture had been largely dead for eons, but these digital files could now be consumed on these small sleek devices. Tiny white headphones became a fashion accessory, and collecting music started to get interesting again.

But then something amazing happened. Online music services started to emerge. There was Pandora, Rhapsody, Mog, iMeem and eventually Spotify, Soundcloud and Rdio. Initially they were web services because mobile devices weren’t sophisticated enough to handle the software, and there wasn’t enough storage to take advantage of the promise of “renting” infinite amounts of music. Broadband signals were weak so streaming was often challenging. But then came the iPhone and the app store, and the companies that survived built apps, and the labels started to allow for the legal streaming of music to phones and computers. Companies like Sonos made it easy to stream files from central archives, and eventually blue tooth devices like the Jambox made it easy to push music over Bluetooth to compact devices.

The magazines of old were replaced by wonderful blogs like Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, Aquarium Drunkard, and Hipster Runoff. Artists could now release singles, covers and EPs immediately, and ride the hype cycle into instant stardom. Distribution was becoming increasingly influenced by artists, and these new platforms made being a music collector so much more immediate, accessible and inexpensive.

In the old days, you needed to be rich, or content being poor to be a great collector. Albums, CDs and cassettes were expensive relative to today’s $10 a month subscription service. For less than the cost of one downloaded album on iTunes or Amazon, you can have over 30M tracks available online or offline, on the web or your phone, played through a stereo, or computer or tablet. Instead of having to commit to buying something on a whim that might suck, you can easily test drive a song or an album at no additional cost. Had this option been available to me as a teenager, I would have saved literally thousands of dollars a year. Instead of buying magazine subscriptions, I can read reviews, watch live concerts and videos for free.

Discovery is also considerably easier. You now have social features that prompt you when there are new releases and highlights popular music across your social graph accessible in a single click. After all people turn people onto music and that will never change. Things like bios, photos, and social media are integrated into these services, reducing the endless trolling for the right reviews, or buried diamonds in the new release rough. Now you can have most of the music ever recorded complete with all the context (reviews, ratings, etc.) delivered over the Internet to whatever device you happen to be on.

The act of collecting has become more about consuming and connecting. The times they are a changin’.

At Rdio we have built what I would argue is the most comprehensive service available to give music lovers music any way they want it. Songs, albums, playlists and starting today radio stations built around you. From algorithmically generated stations that can be initiated with a song or artist, to fully curated stations based on mood or genre, to personal stations where people can listen to other people’s recent activity. You can now access all of this for free supported by ads or uninterrupted for a fraction of the cost of a single CD.

The future is now. Artists can reach a global audience instead of the one restricted by physical distribution and retail marketing. This is a good thing. The more listeners an artist can attract directly, the more money they can make. The more money they can make, the more artists will continue to pursue creating art.

In the end surely something was lost when the act of physical collecting disappeared. The era of “High Fidelity” is largely over. The Jack Blacks who man the counters of dusty record stores are gone. The smell of new vinyl is restricted to purists, and the hand printed zines of old are all but extinct. The walls of records and CD’s have disappeared from apartments and houses, but now these private collections can be shared with the world in pint-sized digital images.

Collecting music is now a democratic, global endeavor. You don’t have to live in hip cities to access limited edition music. You don’t have to be rich to afford the pursuit. Nearly everything is available to anyone with a smartphone or computer. Music is, after all, one of the world’s most creative inventions. It is highly local, yet massively global. After years of trying to build a model where both consumers and artists win, we are finally at the beginning of something amazing. Technology has caught up, and the business of music has finally entered a safe and exciting time.

I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a company that built a business specifically to bring music to everybody, wherever they are and no matter what music they like. In the immortal words of Bob Marley “where there is a will, there is always a way.” It has been a long journey, but today the song doesn’t remain the same, but then again it does … only differently.

Marc Ruxin is the COO of Rdio.

∞  04/09/2014 — 8:15PM

Posted by Rdio at 8:15PM in News |

News

Music Sounds Better With You

By Joe Armenia

Rdio has always focused on giving music fans the best access to the artists they love while also coming up with new ways for them to discover their next new favourites. The promise of discovery through people has always been paramount at Rdio, and we get really excited when we get to facilitate the process. Creating platforms and programs that showcase not only the superstar artist releases but also the most obscure albums from artists we think need to be heard is a privilege, and we take it seriously.

Today, we advance that promise another great leap with the introduction of our free stations-first offering, creating even more exciting opportunities for you to connect with tastemakers and artists who feel exactly the same way about connecting people and music.

As a diehard music fan, it’s always fascinating to know what music my favourite artists or personalities are listening to. Now, you can turn to some of the influencers and tastemakers you trust most to serve up some new music. Stations from our friends at BBC6 Now Playing: Music, The 405 and Hype Machine will give you a good earful of what they’ve got in rotation for their audiences. If you’re an indie lover, check out labels like Domino Records and Wichita Recordings featuring the best of their releases. You can even play stations programmed by TV personalities like Carly Wilford and the chatty one Alan Carr. The listening possibilities are endless, with stations curated by everyone from Scissor Sister Jake Shears to Aussie electro legends The Presets to – just in time for New York Fashion Week - the always fashionable Marc Jacobs International and tons more. Look for the Tastemakers section on the Browse tab and dive in.

What’s insanely exciting about these stations is that it’s really just the beginning. We have the opportunity to create hosted Rdio stations, so your connection to your favorite artist or celebrity can be much more personal. Watch this space next week for news on our first-ever hosted station.

And the announcements aren’t over yet. To celebrate all the great new Rdio features, we’re rolling out a slew of Rdio Sessions over the next few weeks. Continuing the ongoing series of unique, intimate recorded performances hand-picked by and exclusive to Rdio, we’re introducing 2 new sets today: hot country duo Dan + Shay (our first country Session!) and Canadian rockers Tokyo Police Club.

These sets will be joined in the coming weeks by Rdio Sessions from an amazing lineup of artists: The 1975, Daughtry, Switchfoot, SOHN, Haerts, Strange Talk, Jon Pardi, Little Boots and Tensnake, our first original DJ Session. Can’t get enough of these amazing, intimate recordings? Tune into the Rdio Sessions station (you knew I was going to say that) to catch up on all of the great music in the Rdio Sessions vaults.

Joe Armenia runs Rdio’s music team and influencer programs. Follow Joe on Rdio.

∞  04/09/2014 — 3:41PM

Posted by Rdio at 3:41PM in News |

News

Come As You Are: An Evolved Rdio for Every Kind of Listener

Help-home
By Chris Becherer

A great music service should let you listen any way you want. Sometimes, like when you’re driving or hosting friends, that means “turning on the radio” and letting the service do the work. Other times, you want complete control of what you’re hearing, such as when a new album drops from your favourite band or when a friend shares a song with you that you need to hear, right now.

No streaming music service has successfully combined these listening experiences. Music fans have been forced to go to different services for “lean-back listening” (radio stations) and “on-demand listening” (albums, songs, and playlists). This is an unnecessary hassle, and it cheats you out of having one service really get to know your music taste.

Today, we’re rolling out a significant update on iOS, Android, web, and Roku that for the first time pairs a first-class stations experience with a first-class on-demand experience — along with a suite of new features that seamlessly integrates the two and personalises the entire service around you. It’s an evolved Rdio, tuned to you and your unique way of loving music, and we’re thrilled to finally share it with you.

Free radio, front and centre

Last year, we added the Stations section to Rdio, along with the ability to start a wide variety of endless stations based on artists, songs, albums, playlists, genres — even record labels. We also introduced You FM, a station that takes into account everything we know about you — what you’ve listened to, what you’ve told us you liked, even what you Like on Facebook — to create a truly personalised listening experience. You can listen to your own You FM, or tune into the You FM station of a friend or tastemaker like BBC6 Now Playing Music or Alan Carr. You FM quickly became one of our most popular features.

Today, we are doubling down on lean-back listening and moving stations to the forefront of the Rdio experience. After downloading the app and signing up in a few simple steps, new users will immediately start listening to a free radio station based on their favourite artist, with no trials to start or paywalls to navigate. From there, they will have access to all the various station types we offer, each drawing on the 30 million tracks in our catalogue. They will also be able to enjoy hundreds of brand new curated stations, handcrafted by our in-house team of experts to fit any mood or activity.

That’s just the start. We’ve re-examined all of Rdio through a stations-first lens. Rather than a single dedicated section, stations now live throughout the app. Whether in Recommendations, Trending (our new section combining Heavy Rotation and Top Charts), or Browse (our new home for expert-curated stations), new users will be looking primarily at stations.

All of this is completely free to users today in 20 countries around the world with plans to roll out to more of Rdio's 60 supported countries in the coming months.

We believe Rdio is now the best free radio experience on the market. But what about Rdio Unlimited subscribers, our most loyal fans? Rdio Unlimited pairs all of these great stations with the ability to play albums, songs and playlists on-demand and offline. One of the central design goals of this update was to maintain a single app with a consistent user experience that scales gracefully across our subscription tiers. Every one of the new features we are introducing today was carefully designed to be flexible enough to benefit all of our listeners, free or paid. The best example of this flexible approach is Home, our new landing page on web and mobile.

Your new Home on Rdio

Home is the feature we are the most excited for you to try out. It’s based on ideas that Head of Design Ryan Sims and a group of designers, engineers, and product managers here have been thinking deeply about for several years. Rdio was founded on the idea of social music discovery — that the best music recommendations come from people you know and tastemakers you trust. Home is the next step in the evolution of that idea. As one beta user told us, “It’s what Rdio always wanted to be.”

Home is an evolving feed of personalised music stories that surfaces the best of Rdio in a single destination. Stories can be based on your own activity, such as “Keep Listening” — where you can quickly get back to music you’ve recently played — and “Similar to…” — which gives recommendations based on your favourite artists. Stories can be based on your friends’ recent activity, or recommendations from our in-house team of music experts, such as “Artist to Watch” — which highlights new and emerging talent on a weekly basis. As you keep using Rdio, the stories you see will become more varied and personalised. There are over 20 different kinds of stories in Home, and we’ll be adding new ones all the time.

One of my favorite stories is “Dig deeper with more by…”. It looks for albums that you haven’t yet played from familiar artists, surfacing deep cuts from our vast catalogue of 30 million songs — remixes, b-sides, reisssues, etc. This morning, I discovered three gems from one of my favorite bands, The Flaming Lips, that I hadn’t ever heard — one live album, one soundtrack, and one single with a bunch of amazing b-sides that I never would have found on my own with just a search box.

Home also gives us a vehicle to highlight user-generated contributions to Rdio, like comments and playlists, in a way we couldn’t before. I follow some hardcore music nerds, many of them Rdio employees, and if one of them leaves a gushing comment about a new record, I’ll probably want to give it a listen — as long as I see the comment. Now, that comment will make its way to me right in Home, the most precious real estate in Rdio. Simply put, Home encourages conversation around the music you love.

Home borrows some of the personalisation concepts of You FM and applies them to not just one station, but the entire user experience. As you grow with the service, playing more music and following other listeners, Home will evolve and tailor all of Rdio to you based on how you like to listen. The word we keep using to describe it is “elastic” — whether you are a free stations listener, a hardcore collector of albums, or a playlist creator, Home will stretch and bend toward your tastes, suggesting music you’ll like and have the access to play.

More new ways to organize and discover

Home is just one of many cool new features launching today. Favorites is an expanded, smarter version of your collection — you can now collect any artist, album, song, station, or playlist by tapping the heart icon to favourite it. The more you favourite, the more Rdio gets to know you, surfacing music relevant to you in Home and You FM. With Trending, we’ve improved Heavy Rotation by combining it with Top Charts so that you can quickly see the music that's popular with your friends or the entire Rdio community. Check out our new curated stations, handcrafted by our in-house experts and organized around a variety of moods and activities, in Browse. Continuing our long tradition of social discovery features, we’ve created a new section on the web called People that lets you see what your friends are listening to, right now.

All of these features are available to everyone, whether you’re listening to stations for free or you’re an Rdio Unlimited subscriber. Give them a try, or learn more about how they work.

Built by fans, for fans

With this update — which includes more new features rolled out at any one time since the original launch of the service in 2010 — we’ve put Rdio in a position to be the daily music destination for a wide variety of listeners. Rdio now pairs a first-class, cross-platform, global, free experience with the best on-demand experience on the market.

Every day, the team here at Rdio focuses on building the very best music service possible. Not the best music service for the industry — but for you, the fan. Because we’re music fans, too. We get to work on a product that we ourselves passionately use every day, that we obsess over. Everyone here has strong opinions about Rdio. This creates heated arguments about the product, its features — even its pixels. It’s never easy, but this kind of passion ultimately leads to a better product. I want to thank every single person at Rdio for channeling all of that passion and hard work into this release. It’s our best yet.

We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. We invite you to try out the latest evolution of Rdio, and we very sincerely hope that you love it as much as we do.

Jason Russell, playlist junkie and lead product manager for Home, assembled this for the occasion. Enjoy.

Chris Becherer is Rdio's SVP of Product. Follow him at rdio.com/people/becherer

∞  04/09/2014 — 11:09AM

Posted by Rdio at 11:09AM in News |

News

Get Connected To Rdio With SoundHound

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Today, we’re happy to announce a new milestone to Rdio’s integration within SoundHound, the revolutionary sound search mobile app. With the introduction of a new feature called “Connect to Rdio,” after you tag a song in SoundHound, it will be automatically placed in a “SoundHound" playlist accessed from Rdio. Along with this new update, SoundHound users will see a significant increase in the speed of their returned search results.

Here’s how it works — existing SoundHounders will see a Plus sign (+) in the results page if they have not connected to Rdio. When the Plus (+) is tapped, SoundHounders will be directed to the set-up page for “Connect To Rdio.” By enabling this feature, users will see all of the songs they identified through SoundHound as a playlist inside Rdio.

“We are always looking for additional ways to enable music discovery for our listeners,” said Chris Becherer, SVP of Product at Rdio. "We’re excited to be working with the SoundHound team to create a dynamic listening experience around songs identified in the real world, right inside Rdio.”

This new update is available now on iOS and Android.

∞  20/08/2014 — 4:56PM

Posted by Rdio at 4:56PM in News |

Developer App

Experience Rdio on U Browser

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We're excited to announce that Rdio is now available on U, an innovative new browser that lets you control your music while you check your email, chat with friends or read the news. With Rdio’s app on U, you can pull up your favorite music and take it with you while you keep browsing. Volume control, album artwork, and play/pause/skip buttons are always right where you want them. It's being called CrossOver™ browsing, and once you experience it you’ll never look back. U is available for download now.

∞  14/08/2014 — 4:18PM

Posted by Rdio at 4:18PM in Developer App |