It’s an exciting time to be a music lover. If for no other reason than it being so easy to discover new music. Between the various streaming services, blogs, bandcamp, soundcloud, and dare I say it, iTunes … the options are endless. That said, I personally hate iTunes and think it feels old and stodgy. If I didn’t have to open it to sync my iPhone, I would never open it. So naturally I’m not a huge fan of the new Rdio redesign unveiled recently; the site looks like a shittier version of iTunes! (disclaimer: I haven’t check out the iPad, iPhone or Android apps yet)
Streaming music is a whole new way of accessing music. Why would Rdio, a company that wants to pioneer the future of music rest its entire rebrand and UI design on an old and hopefully soon to be obsolete music tool. Yes, I said it; obso-fuckin-lete. I think Rdio even used the same hex color values as iTunes. Come on? Really? Anyway, I hope, and honestly feel that iTunes as we know it will go away and it’ll be buried in our memories next to Tower Records, Virgin Megastore, Coconuts, Camelot Music and Sam Goody. It may not be tomorrow, but it will happen. Until then I’ll keep checking out new services with an open mind.
The one thing I really like about the Rdio redesign is the company’s decision to treat the entire Rdio experience within the context of a “web app”. There isn’t any need to download a desktop client, and the website doesn’t feel like a website from web 1.0 or even web 2.0. It feels like a whole new online music site / experience. If Rdio had more balls and actually tried to create it’s own look and feel, I would probably spend more time on this newly redesigned site.
While I’m on this little rant, I think Bandcamp is under utilizing their amazing content. There’s so much great music on Bandcamp but unless you get a link sent to you directly, it’s very difficult to find new stuff on your own. Sure you can use the “staffpicks” or “selling right now” but why not let listeners search by genre? Or build functionality in so listeners can find artists similar to “so and so”? I guess they’ve built a service that is meant for bands, not listeners. In my humble opinion, they’d be do a greater service to the bands if they had a more engaging experience overall for listeners to discover the music they host. They have a wonderful untapped library of content. Hopefully they smarten up and utilize it better. Until then, I’ll stick to our inbox, Spotify, Hype Machine and Soundcloud for finding new music.
Check out the new Rdio for yourself and give us your thoughts.