With an on-demand catalog of over 8 million songs, it’s hard not to love Rdio. But given the new rules soon to be enforced in Apple’s ecosystem, it seems as if the company may be in for some stormy times ahead. But with a fresh $17.5 million in the bank, they’re plowing forward anyway. Today brings a new version of their iPhone app.
This latest version, 1.0, is very slick. Using what they call the “springboard” dashboard, you can easily access different parts of the service. Essentially, this is the homescreen design that Facebook and other popular apps use (which itself mimics the iPhone homescreen) to give users a quick overview of what they can do. Notably, the new design gives users “one-touch” access to new releases, top charts and recommended albums.
It all looks and works great. But the key to Rdio has always been the content. Started by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, they’ve been able to do what much-hyped Spotify hasn’t: get to the U.S. And they’ve made it here with all the major record labels on board. But the model, of course, is different. Rdio is all about paid monthly subscriptions. The only thing free about the service (and the app) are 30-second previews of songs.
And that’s why the new Apple rules are potentially crippling to the service. Rdio currently charges $9.99 a month for unlimited mobile access to their music library (again, about 8 million songs). But if Apple were to take 30 percent of that $9.99 each month, Rdio would likely have to raise their rates, or pull out of the App Store. Neither is an attractive option — especially since the company just spent all this time working on the new app.
Below, find they key new aspects of the app. You can find it in the App Store here, it’s a free download and includes with a free 7-day trial of the unlimited service.
- A more efficient home screen – We’ve eliminated the tabs along the bottom of our app and organized all your favorite features into a customizable home screen. Just like the iOS we’re all familiar with, you can tap and hold icons on the springboard to rearrange them. We’ve also smartly integrated the search bar at the top of the dashboard for quicker access to our catalogue.
- New releases, top charts and recommended music – Never be in the dark about what’s new and buzzing in the world of music. The new Rdio app has easy access to New Releases, Top Charts, and Recommended albums so you can always stay up to date on new music and easily re-discover old favorites. Drill down to learn about new music from this week, last week, or 2 weeks ago. Check out top albums, songs and playlists, or browse a visual collection of albumrecommendations based upon the music you’ve previously played.
- A persistent player at the bottom of the screen – Rdio rethought the player when we designed a way to make it move with you no matter where you browsed within our website. Now we’re bringing that same experience to our mobile app so you can always see at a glance what’s playing and access player controls with a tap of the finger no matter where you are within theapp.
- Deeper search – More than just artists, albums and songs, our fast search now also provides results for playlists and people.
- More syncing options – Syncing songs to your phone over the air for offline playback is undeniably cool but can be costly if you exceed the limits of your data plan. The new Rdio app gives you the option of syncing over Wi-Fi or 3G, Wi-Fi only, or never.
- Synced songs and playlist views – There’s a new way to filter your Collection and Playlist so that you can easily see what you have synced to your device without going into offline mode.