A friend of mine sent me an invitation to preview Rdio back in July before it was released to the public. I reluctantly signed up and gave it a perfunctory once-over, thinking yeah, yeah another subscription-based streaming project with social media aspirations to languish in obscurity. Then, just a few days ago I noticed that Rdio had released an Android app. Intrigued, I downloaded it just to see what it could do. Now, I still don’t know how I feel about stream-based music sites and their requisite monthly fees. It’s like paying for vapor. I’m old school when it comes to music. I buy everything on vinyl because I like the physical product, something to show for my money, but I must admit the Rdio Android app combined with the website functionality and its desktop dock are pretty slick. I am in the midst of an extended 10-day trial. The well-designed Adobe Air-fueled desktop controller can “match” your iTunes collection. By “matching” Rdio denotes that it will scan your music collection and check that against what they offer. Out of the 22,468 songs I have on my hard drive at work, Rdio could match almost 50%, which is pretty damn good considering a lot of my music is on the obscure side. The way the Android app works is that it can “see” your collection and once you decide on something to listen to it will then sync the data to your mobile. If you’re a planner, you can queue up several albums worth of songs to be sync’d to your device. There is an “offline mode” as well, so that you can listen to your tunes even when you don’t have 3G or Wi-Fi available. It is impressive to be able to have that much music available at your fingertips that can easily sync up to your phone on a whim. I’ve found myself listening to a lot more music than I normally would at work. Rdio integrates with Twitter, Facebook, and Last.FM, so that all your listening habits can be scrobbled. Now, whether I will actually pony up for the $9.99 per month subscription remains to be seen, but I do know that I will miss Rdio if I don’t.
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