3 reasons why Spotify lost my business, and Rdio won it. July 1st
I love Spotify. It provided the music at our wedding party and kept me company on the many, torturous commutes between Colchester and London.
Paying £9.99 every month for access to almost every music track I could want has revolutionised the way I listen to music more that the iTunes Music Store ever did.
Despite this, I find that Spotify has some flaws which have become extremely grating:
- It has the worst mobile app ever. There’s no discussion necessary about this. It’s abysmal. I could write 10 entire posts about it, from the pointless ‘beamed notes’ that appear next to EVERY playlist taking up valuable UI space, the inability to reorganise playlists, the fact the app has to ‘load’ every time it launches…
- The ‘playlists’ concept is broken. Some people may have hours to meticulously sort their music into mood-balanced playlists. I don’t. I want to be able to find an artist or album quickly, and play it. With Spotify on mobile, I can’t. I have to create a playlist — which is then place in a long, unsearchable list.
- Synced music doesn’t stay synched. If I’ve spent time (and data) waiting for music to download to my phone, it should stay there. Spotify takes an opposite view, randomly deleting gigabytes of music, perhaps just because it feels like it.
As a desktop app, Spotify works beautifully. It needs a consistent, reliable connection to the internet and lots of screen real estate where you can search for everything and organise playlists. When I’m on mobile, I just don’t have these things.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative. Rdio.
A similar system to Spotify, Rdio is priced exactly the same as Spotify and has a better selection of music (for my tastes). Ultimately it wins for these three reasons:
- It automatically syncs my music. Wherever I’m listening I can mark an album as ‘sync to mobile’ and it’ll download it to my iPhone and iPad. Simple.
- I can browse music. I don’t have to search for everything. Rdio allows you to add music to your ‘Collection’ – and automatically organises it by Album or Artist so I can find it in a context that makes sense to me. I can create playlists if I want to too, but crucially I don’t have to search for everything.
- I can choose to only see music I’ve downloaded. I can easily access the music I’ve chosen to always have with me.
Best of all, you can try Rdio for free for 7 days. Do it, you’ll love it.
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