Spotify vs. Rdio: My Current Thoughts
It’s no secret that I’m quite a big fan of streaming music services. Currently, it seems that Spotify and Rdio are the best in terms of features, catalog size, and ease of use.
But which is better?
I’d like to write an in-depth article on this question, but right now, I just want to post some thoughts, since I get lots of ideas for huge articles and they often take a long time to make.
I’ve been an Rdio subscriber for a couple of days now, and I’ve played with the apps for Windows, OS X, iPhone, and iPad, as well as the browser version.
My reason for trying Rdio out is simple. Ever since I started using Spotify, I’ve been frustrated with their lack of a Collection feature. I want to be able to add songs and albums to a personal collection of music that’s organized by artists and albums - just like iTunes, WMP, Zune, and every other classic (non-streaming) media organizer does.
However, Spotify doesn’t seem to care - they’re content to force their users into organizing all their music into a myriad of playlists.
Fortunately, Rdio does have a collection feature, and it works quite nicely. They also give you the ability to create playlists, so it’s not like they’re just planting their flag in the other organizational camp, they’re giving you options.
This is pretty awesome. When I’m in the car and want to browse through my collection of music, I can do it now. With Spotify, I’d have to scroll through a million playlists or use the search feature. There was no way to browse through all the artists I like. It’s either type it, have it in a playlist, or suck it.
Rdio also has a fantastically beautiful interface. I’d honestly gotten quite used to Spotify’s look, and didn’t really have the desire to switch away. However, after seeing the new iOS 7 interface, Rdio’s very similar design is growing on me.
Anyway, I’d like to just give a quick rundown here of what I think each service needs to work on. Right up front, I think both are actually great. I love them. However, each can improve on several fronts.
These are my thoughts right now:
- There needs to be a collection feature. This can’t be that hard to implement. It’s your biggest weakness and you need to add it.
- The lack of local file support is your biggest weakness. I’d love to be able to listen to all my game and anime soundtracks that aren’t in your catalog, but I have to go to a different player to do it currently.
- It seems that files selected for mobile sync go to all mobile devices I have. The sync UI is really convenient, so I see why this is done - but I liked being able to decide which files go where on Spotify. That way I don’t take up my iPad’s space with files meant to be synced with my iPhone.
- I can only add one song or album to a playlist at a time. You really need a multi-select feature, or checkboxes, or something, so I can add multiple songs to a playlist at once. Spotify rocks at this.
While I have more ideas for Rdio, I’m actually preferring Rdio right now. The collection feature more than makes up for the small complaints I have, so I think I’m going to be using Rdio a bit more for now.
As both services evolve, we’ll see which one ends up as my favorite.