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Rdio Recruits Star Designer Wilson Miner (Apple.com, EveryBlock)

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I wasn’t kidding around when I wrote that Rdio, the latest online music venture backed by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis – the original founders of Kazaa, Skype and Joost – was assembling a killer team by hiring away top talent from some of the most promising startups in the digital music space while still in stealth mode.

The latest name to surface on LinkedIn is that of Wilson Miner, a designer, web developer and entrepreneur from San Francisco.

Miner was formerly interactive designer at Apple, where he worked on the first comprehensive redesign of Apple.com in more than 10 years. He went on to co-found and head design for EveryBlock, the hyperlocal news startup that was acquired by MSNBC for an undisclosed amount in August 2009, a mere two years after its inception.

Miner was also one of four people that helped create the original version of Django, an open source web application framework written in Python.

At Rdio, Miner will be working with Malthe Sigurdsson (former lead designer and creative director for Skype) on the design of the online music service, which will conceivably be available both as a desktop, web and mobile application. ReadWriteWeb recently got its hands on some screenshots, although I’m told the actual product will look distinctly different from these early design mock-ups.

I’m left wondering how much capital has already been invested in Rdio pre-launch, considering that the startup has quite some top talent from all over the world working for them (some for about a year and a half already) while its first public beta has yet to ship.

And of course I’m curious about the fate of the company: will Rdio prove to be another Skype (lots of hype, solid product, disruptive, successful and a moneymaker) or another Joost (lots of hype, full stop)?

(Photo cc Flickr / yaili)

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