April 2012

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This Week on Rdio

This Week on Rdio: April 23 - 27, 2012

This Week on Rdio

Here's what happened this week on Rdio. Don't miss a thing — like Rdio on Facebook, subscribe to the Rdio blog feed, and follow @Rdio on Twitter and on Rdio. Or drop by every Friday for our weekly blog round-up.

Here’s what happened on Rdio this week:

Follow this week’s newest Influencers:

EventsNew Features

From Rdio Engineering: Rdio Hack Day #1

A couple weeks ago, the Rdio engineers participated in the first ever Rdio Hack Day. Using the Rdio API, they built some incredibly cool features and extensions for New Rdio. We’ll let the engineering team take it away and show off their creations.

On Friday, the Rdio engineers put down their task lists and rolled up their sleeves for the first ever Rdio Hack Day. We put aside our regularly scheduled programming and focused our attention on any project we wanted. We built dream features and spelunked into unexplored coding depths. The results included everything from esoteric visualizations to practical hacks that streamlined that one annoying thing that ruins your coding flow every day. Here’s the rundown on a few choice hacks.

Visualization

Web Audio API Hacks
With the new Rdio’s flash-free music playback, Google Chrome gives us access to the Web Audio API. Michael Smith built an equalizer that lets you adjust your music’s frequencies. This hack is using bleeding edge browser technology, so you may need to wait a bit until you can pump up the bass on that dance party playlist. Also using the Web Audio API was Brian Ferrell’s visualizer. Brian added basic support for WebGL with the three.js library and ported the brilliant visualization by felixturner into Rdio.

Song Identification Integration
Eugene and Raul integrated Shazam and VCast Song ID with Rdio through email. These services let you use your smartphone to identify a song that is playing through nearby speakers. They used Shazam and VCast Song ID to send a digestible email that would then use Rdio’s API to search for an Rdio library match and add it to your playlist. Now you can have the club’s playlist in the comfort of your own home.

Search Results RSS
When is that new album coming out? Eric Fikus tackled this problem and developed an RSS feed for Rdio search results. Tie it into your favorite feed reader and you’ll get notified as your favorite artist's new album becomes available.

Blog-hack-android

Related/Influencer Artists for Android
Brett and Adam supercharged the artist page on the Rdio for Android app, so you can now view the artist bio, related artists and influential artists.

Blog-hack-vis

Visualizations
Jim Fleming made an abstract visualization that shows the play count in real-time for Rdio’s top charts. Matt Erkilla and Jon Klobucar built different map visualizers that shows Rdio activity on a world map.

Roku Screensaver
For all your set-top box fans out there, Ryan Nordman added a screensaver for the Roku. Now your television will show album art from the currently-playing track while saving your plasma screen from burn in. Expect this to be in the next Roku update.

Artist View in Collection
Jesse Dawson implemented an artist view in the new Rdio’s collection pages. It shows you a list of all the artists in your collection with collapsible lists of albums. (This feature is coming soon.)

Pay attention in the coming months, you may see some of these shiny new objects make their way into the product. So what would you have built? What’s your Rdio dream feature? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments.

Music

From the Sky to your Ears: Collaborate on the Birds of Preylist

Bird

When we found out Rdio exclusive-feature band Greylag shared a name with a species of goose, it got us thinking — how many bands out there share names with birds? In a roundhouse discussion trying to find out, we came up with the playlist below: we call it The Birds of Preylist.

Yeah, we know, National Bird Day isn’t for another while, but we just couldn’t wait that long. Know some more feathered band names? Add a song or two to the playlist now, and challenge your non-feathered friends to do the same.

Giveaways

Win a Trip to M83’s Sold-Out Show at Stubb’s in Austin, Texas

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Late last year, M83 impressed the music world with a larger-than-life double-album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Want to be there when M83 takes Austin by storm on May 18? All you have to do is make the ultimate pre-show playlist. If M83 picks your playlist, you and a friend will be flown to Austin, put up for two nights at local lodging and gain entry to the sold-out show at Stubb’s BBQ! Not only that, your playlist gets airplay in at Stubb’s before the show starts.

First, assemble a playlist that you think would be the perfect soundtrack while you wait for M83 to take the stage. Keep some logistics in mind — your mix should be at least 8 songs long, flow from one song to another, feature a variety of artists and genres, and keep M83’s sound in mind. Check, check, and check? Then your playlist could be the pre-show music at Stubb’s!

Like the contest on Facebook and enter your details — your name, email address and Rdio playlist URL — to try your hand at winning the Ultimate M83 Concert Trip. Don’t stop there: show off your playlist and tell your friends about the contest. If one of them wins, you could get a free one-year unlimited Rdio account.

So go on and get started — we want to hear your awesome playlist.

Read the Official Rules for details.

ExclusivesMusic

Only on Rdio: Listen to Greylag’s The Only Way to Kill You

Greylag Confetti Photo 2

Portland duo Greylag are Andrew Stonestreet and Daniel Dixon — two friends who loved jamming together. In mid-2009, the two seriously began their creative endeavour, and they began crafting sparse, acoustic folk songs as Greylag. Their debut EP is titled The Only Way to Kill You, and will be released next week by Ninth Street Opus Records.

The Only Way to Kill You is on Rdio now for your listening pleasure, a week before its release.

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday - April 24, 2012

NmtwhiteNtmguestNmtyela

Now that Coachella’s over, we all need some new music to fill the void, right? Say no more — this week’s new releases include a live EP from retro-futurist Toro Y Moi, a long-awaited new full length from SoCal punk-poppers Eve 6. It also includes the new Torche album, an EP of hazy pop noir from The Raveonettes, the latest album from Canadian piano singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and former model Lissy Trullie’s indie pop effort.

For still more new music, consult our notes below, listen to our New Music Tuesday playlist and browse the New Releases yourself.


Playlist Notes

  • Jack White - Blunderbuss
    Jack White is now solo, and his first full-length is more personal than anything he did as a White Stripe.

  • Electric Guest - Mondo
    Los Angeles electronic pop duo Electric Guest drop their debut album this week. The Danger Mouse-produced album is punctuated by chanted vocals, pop hooks, and groovy bass — it’s perfect for your summer playlist.

  • Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf - The Slumdon Bridge EP
    This collaborative EP from UK vocalist Ed Sheeran and Alabama rapper Yelawolf is the product of a 10-hour recording studio marathon. Try out the four tracks born from their whirlwind session.

  • Azealia Banks - “212’”
    The internet sensation’s debut single, “212,” is a rollicking ride through Banks’ multiple talents — her silver tongue, filthy mouth, and soulful croon, all delivered in broad strokes via her larger than life personality. If you haven’t heard this track yet, do yourself a favor.

∞  April 24, 2012 — 10:46AM

ExclusivesMusic

An Rdio Exclusive: Listen to The Spinto Band’s New Album

Spinto_pink

Delaware five-piece The Spinto Band created quite a buzz in the latter half of the 2000s, with albums like 2005’s Nice and Nicely Done and 2008’s Moonwink. That pair of albums demonstrated their knack for pop hooks and quirky instrumentation. They’ve been relatively silent since but on May 1, The Spinto Band returns with Shy Pursuit, their first album in over four years, and seventh overall.

Want to hear what The Spinto Band’s been working on these last few years? Rdio has an exclusive of the new album, a week before its official release date. Listen to Shy Pursuit below, and add it to your collection now.

MusicNews

Now on Rdio: Hüsker Dü

Husker

Hüsker Dü started as a straightforward hardcore group, but they became much more. Frustrated by the restrictions of hardcore music, they toyed with the genre’s formula, thereby setting the bar for what alternative and indie rock could be with albums like Zen Arcade, New Day Rising, and Flip Your Wig. If your favorite band can even loosely be categorized as punk, indie, hardcore, DIY, or alternative rock, they owe something to this pioneering quartet.

We’re happy to announce that Hüsker Dü’s catalog is now on Rdio for your listening pleasure. Listen to the revered Zen Arcade below. Then, at long last, add the rest of the band’s albums to your collection.

∞  April 20, 2012 — 10:00AM

Recommended By Rdio

Unofficial Rdio App: Radio Time Machine

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Here's one more awesome app brought you to by the Rdio API. This time, we’d like to spotlight Radio Time Machine as the featured Unofficial Rdio App.

Visit Radio Time Machine to travel back in through the years and discover how music changed from 1960 to today. Toggle the interactive timeline and the app will play the most popular songs from your destination year according to the Billboard Top 100. Powered by Rdio, Radio Time Machine goes all the way back over 50 years so let the music transport you.

Want to hear more about music apps and the Rdio API? Read more about it on Rdio’s Developer page, register for an API key, and start building. Visit our Github and API Google Group for sample code and libraries, or just for support. Need another reason? You can even earn some green via the Rdio Affiliate Program.

∞  April 19, 2012 — 10:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

Listen to Kate Campbell’s New Album and Playlist

Pub shot

After almost 20 years of recording songs on the acoustic guitar, folk singer Kate Campbell is returning to the instrument on which she was introduced to music: the piano. 1000 Pound Machine is a sparse and moody album, characterized by her subtle piano playing and Will Kimbrough’s elegant guitar. The album features guest spots from legends like Spooner Oldham, Emmylou Harris, and Sloan Wainwright — it is on Rdio now for your listening pleasure.

As an added bonus, Campbell selected a playlist of her Favorite Artists. Listen to 1000 Pound Machine and playlist, along with Campbell’s notes on her song choices, below.

Playlist Notes

  • The Allman Brothers Band - “Midnight Rider”
    I think “Midnight Rider” is a haunting song. I listen to it at least once a day when I'm on the road and even have it as a ring tone.

  • Will Kimbrough - “Interstate”
    Will Kimbrough is the producer of my new album and “Interstate” is another one of those life on the road songs I'm so partial to.

  • Jimmy Webb - “Galveston”
    I don't know if I need to say anything about “Galveston” and Jimmy Webb but the song usually makes me cry and I don't know why.

  • The Rolling Stones - “Moonlight Mile”
    I am currently re-listening to all of the Rolling Stones albums and working on collecting all of their re-releases.

  • Dolly Parton - “Down From Dover”

  • Emmylou Harris - “If You Were A Bluebird”

  • Shirley Horn - “If You Go Away”
    Like most of the tunes on my playlist, I always carry with me a CD by Dolly, Emmylou and Shirley Horn. These three tunes always stay at the top of my list. Dolly wrote “Down From Dover” and Emmylou and Shirley's interpretations of “If You Were A Bluebird” and “If You Go Away” are near perfect.

  • Marc Ribot - “Sous Le Ciel De Paris”
    I like so much of Marc Ribot's work, and “Sous Le Ciel De Paris” is what I call a landscape tune.

  • Glenn Gould - The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981): A State Of Wonder
    I always carry some classical music on the road. In honor of my new piano CD, I'm listening to Glenn Gould's brilliant A State of Wonder. This is a set of Bach's Goldberg Variations containing Gould's 1955 recording and the later 1981 interpretation. Really almost beyond words.