Today, Rdio is releasing a brand new application for Android phones chock-full of fresh features, which is awesome. Mainly because it gives me an excuse to write up a related rant I would have published at some point anyway.
But let’s get the new Android app part out of the way first:
“The new app offers intuitive navigation with one-click access to features previously available on Rdio for Android, along with several new enhancements and key features including collection, playlists, new releases, top charts, recommendations, and support for Android Ice Cream Sandwich’s new remote control client.
Now Android users not only have easy access to Rdio’s catalog of more than 12 million songs, they can also take advantage of Rdio’s rich social features and extensive music discovery options.”
Great. Swell. Cool. If you’re an Android phone user. Which I’m not, at least not anymore.
A few months ago I started using Nokia’s Lumia 800 as my primary smartphone. One of the apps I really need on any platform happens to be Rdio, which I gladly pay for every month. There has been an official WP7 Rdio app since November 2010, so no problem. At least, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Instead, it’s a major source of daily frustration. You see, the Rdio app for Windows Phone has one fatal flaw: it doesn’t actually play music. It also doesn’t go out to buy my groceries for me, nor does it clip my toe nails, but the point is that I have a right to be flabbergasted by its lack of music playing ability. You know, because I pay the company for being able to play music on my phone.
Not for crashing apps. Not for playlists, albums and songs that never load. Not for ‘black screens of death’ while I’m discovering new music. Not for half-assed offline syncing features.
Browsing the company’s help forums, it seems I’m not the only one who’s frustrated by the extremely poor quality of Rdio’s Windows Phone app (with some people even taking to canceling their subscriptions as a result of their justifiable dissatisfaction).
For months, Rdio employees have been promising complainers that the issues will be resolved on those very forums, but so far these promises have not been kept. I mean, they’re still asking users to restart their devices to see if that fixes the problem. Well, it doesn’t.
Rdio folks, please just look at those ratings and user reviews on WP Marketplace, and be ashamed.
Look, I get it. I’m in the minority as a Windows Phone user, and there’s no critical mass in sight yet. You have every right to focus your development efforts on apps for iOS and Android, given that most of your users likely use devices that run those operating systems. It’s a sensible thing to do.
The thing is, I’m a paying customer. I fork over $9.99 a month to access my Rdio account on the Web, my Sonos system and my phone. That phone happens to be a Windows Phone device, which you built an app for, which you’re actively advertising on your website. Yet, it’s helplessly broken.
The Spotify app for Windows Phone, meanwhile, works perfectly.
There’s absolutely no reason for me to put up with this, and I’m close to canceling my subscription over this. Not really because your Windows Phone app has issues, which is understandable, but because you’ve demonstrated clearly that you do not care about repairing them and giving your paying customers any reasonable indication of how to fix it themselves, or when a problem-fixing update will finally make its way to the Marketplace.
My view is this: either you develop an app for a mobile platform and proudly commit to enhancing and supporting it over time, and fixing problems that may arise within a reasonable timeframe, or you stay away from that platform entirely. I don’t know or care if Nokia or Microsoft paid you to build the app, but you should hang your heads in shame for offering it to users in its current state.
Rant over, for now. But hey, at least the new Android app apparently rocks, right?
Rdio is the ground-breaking digital music service that is reinventing the way people discover, listen to, and share music. With on-demand access to over 12 million songs, Rdio connects people with music and makes it easy to search for and instantly play any song, album, artist or playlist without ever hearing a single ad. Discover what friends, people with similar tastes, recording artists and more are listening to in real-time and share across Twitter and Facebook. Build a digital...