A Eulogy for Rdio

At its best, Rdio had perhaps the kindest community in online music. People left comments on albums, and, lo and behold, the writing was good and interesting. Strangers constructed playlists that pulled from artists and albums you’d never heard of, but without the performative high/low-ness that afflicts so much online music talk.

Spotify is a revelation: It feels like you’re discovering the radio station that all your friends have been listening to this whole time. It feels, actually, like the Top 40 radio people went and made a music app: It’s hyper-condensed and just a little too overproduced and always mid-commercial (even if you pay for premium) and yet—dammit—like a college acquaintance who got rich right after school, it’s somehow stayed hip.

Rdio, on the other hand, was cool. It went with sky-blue over neon green. It felt like Internet people made it. (Partly because they actually did…)

I will miss Rdio so so much.

What was Rdio? Some interface choices and a lot of code and what I’m sure were a dyspeptic pile of licensing agreements; an organization with internal politics and designers who fiddled in Photoshop for hours and reports with charts that maybe had all their lines pointing in the wrong direction. But to me, it’s a snowy day in a café north of Chicago, mid-afternoon, coffee at my side, as I sit feeling anxious and gallant and languid, and I hunt for something to listen to.

Posted on 2015-11-17
  #rdio     #internet     #the atlantic     #links  







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