HWM (Singapore) - - TEST -

Rdio is pri­mar­ily a web stream­ing ser­vice. At a pass­ing glance, Rdio is quite sim­i­lar to Spo­tify and Deezer, ex­cept for a heav­ier em­pha­sis on so­cial dis­cov­ery. Vis­it­ing Rdio’s home­page will re­veal a col­lec­tion of al­bum cov­ers. This is the Heavy Ro­ta­tion fea­ture, which also ap­pears as a selectable op­tion in the left pane.

Heavy Ro­ta­tion of­fers mu­sic that Rdio users have been lis­ten­ing to, as well as your own lis­ten­ing his­tory. You can choose to play in­di­vid­ual songs, al­bums or ev­ery­thing within Heavy Ro­ta­tion. But as with all stream­ing ser­vices, some songs may be un­avail­able due to li­cens­ing is­sues. For ex­am­ple, Yeezus by Kanye West is un­avail­able for stream­ing in Sin­ga­pore.

You can also search for your fa­vorite artists and bands via the search bar, though its func­tion­al­ity is quite lim­ited; you can’t search by genre or year for ex­am­ple. The good news about Rdio is that even if you have a free ac­count, you won’t have to sit through ads. And while most mu­sic stream­ing ser­vices man­age your fa­vorite tracks through playlists, Rdio ac­tu­ally goes a step fur­ther and lets you es­tab­lish your own li­brary sim­i­lar to iTunes. You can add tracks or even whole al­bums to your col­lec­tion, and sort by artist, al­bum, re­cently added or play count.

Rdio also has this fea­ture called Col­lec­tion Match­ing, which can scan through your iTunes or Win­dows Me­dia Player li­brary for matches in Rdio’s mu­sic cloud; each match will be au­to­mat­i­cally added to your col­lec­tion.

There are three sub­scrip­tion tiers with Rdio: Web ac­cess costs US$4.90 a month, but has no mo­bile sup­port. The Un­lim­ited plan costs US$9.90 a month and with that you get un­lim­ited web and mo­bile stream­ing, as well as Rdio on your Roku. Lastly, there’s a con­fig­urable Un­lim­ited Fam­ily plan which of­fers ad­di­tional bun­dle dis­counts based on the num­ber of users (from 2 to 5) you sign up for.

You can of course just lis­ten to songs free (with­out ads to boot) via the web, there’s no in­di­ca­tion if Rdio has im­posed a limit on free lis­ten­ing like it did in the past, but songs are streamed at 192kbps tops. Rdio has stated that it’s in the midst of con­vert­ing its en­tire cat­a­log to 320kbps.

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