Can you imagine if subscription music services had to sell their own hardware? Thankfully, for many reasons, they do not. In order to deliver a new music player for their millions-of-songs-strong catalogs, services like Rdio can simply release new apps to iTunes and Android (and the others, when it has time).
Having been poring over the music app scene since its inception, I can safely declare that not all music apps are created equally.
Rdio’s latest batch — of bespoke versions for iPhone, iPad, and Android — is clean, as you can tell from the above and below screenshots, with a helpful, persistant left-hand navigation bar. (The iOS version went live minutes ago and we hear the Android version is going live soon.)
That’s great, but we were more interested in the pair of new, advanced features they offer:
· Remote control: The app will notify you if ‘Rdio is playing elsewhere.’ Pause, skip, or play a station from wherever you are, or click ‘Play Here Instead’ and your mobile device will pick up right where your laptop left off.
· Infinite scroll: You’ll never run out of new music to explore. Rdio loads more content as you scroll through Heavy Rotation, Top Charts, and New Releases.
The former goes a long way towards realizing the dream of having one music experience follow you throughout your date.
The latter complements Rdio‘s ability to play appropriate music right from the moment you load the site or app, with the ability to keep the three main browsing portals infinite, meaning that you could technically listen and fast-forward through Rdio’s 18 million-plus songs in order of chronology, popularity, or how often you listen to it.
Rdio also tries to distinguish itself by being the “people powered” music service. Artists who have created Rdio profiles you can follow and listen along with include Snoop Dogg AKA Snoop Lion, Marc Jacobs, Ladyhawke, NPR Music, Pitchfork, and Stereogum.
Screenshots for iPhone: