Rdio or Spotify?

Don’t worry, this won’t be one of those “I-KNOW-EVERYTHING-SO-YOU-SHOULD-LISTEN-TO-ME-POSTS.” I created this post to spark conversation and then hopefully it will help you decide: Rdio or Spotify? For those that don’t know, they are both a streaming music service available on computers and mobile devices.

I’ve broken down my thoughts into a list. I’ve addressed 4 issues that I find important and then listed my “winner” and how the other platform handles it. Like I stated before, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • Price [Rdio]: The obvious choice should be Spotify (since you can listen to anything you want for free if you download their desktop app, WITH annoying commercials). Although- I read that their new TOS said that after 6 months, you’ll be reduced to 10hrs/month of listening before you need to upgrade. I choose Rdio for this one. Rdio offers a few options when it comes to choosing your monthly plan and allows anyone to sign up for free for a 7-day trial. Essentially, the reason I chose Rdio is because it offers an unlimited family plan so instead of interrupting Adam’s streaming anytime I log into his account, I can have my own and we can pay $17.99 instead of $9.99 separately. Obviously, if you aren’t paying for two people…you could also choose from multiple plans on either platform that would be cheaper than $9.99/mo.
  • Music Selection [Spotify]: When it comes to the library of music, Spotify takes this one. Spotify has about 15 millions songs (Rdio has about 10 million) and allows you to sync all your existing music through iTunes. Rdio also does this but streams the music that you already own even if you have a better version on your computer.
  • Mobile App [Rdio]: When it comes to accessing either on my iPhone, Rdio wins hands down. It’s SO easy to navigate and their iPad app is even better. I love using Rdio on my iPad while I’m cooking. I felt that the Spotify iPhone app was less intuitive and I just don’t prefer it.
  • Desktop Listening [Rdio]: When it comes to listening to music on my computer, I choose Rdio. Rdio doesn’t make me download a desktop app and allows me to listen through my browser. At work, I’m not allowed to download apps and so that’s a bummer.
Those are 4 issues that I find most important. Obviously, there are many other factors including:
  • Rdio can connect with a Roku (which we own) while Spotify cannot.
  • Spotify links to your Last.fm account
  • Spotify allows you to create an advanced search (perhaps you want to view all versions of one song)
  • Rdio allows you to sign up with your email address & doesn’t make you sign up through Facebook like Spotify does
  • Creating playlists is easier in Spotify (dragging like iTunes) vs a drop down option next to each song on Rdio
  • You can listen to user-selected songs while offline through both Rdio and Spotify
What are your thoughts? Have you already decided which service you prefer? What are your favorite and least favorite features on either Rdio or Spotify? I hope to create a great resource for those that are still deciding!

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Comments (13)

  • Great post Ali! I think overall, the comparison is like Pepsi vs Coke. I’ve used both, and really enjoy both, I think looks wise Rdio takes the cake. I’ve been using Spotify for the last little while, as I’m finding more selection of the songs that I personally like, Spotify also links through Facebook so I’m able to see what my friends are listening to as well.

    Again Great post!!

    Thanks for the info!

    • It’s definitely like Pepsi vs Coke. Obviously, with the family plan it makes us possible to save $2/month but that’s nothing to write home about ;)

      I’ve never searched for something on Rdio and not found it. Obviously, that’s a reflection of my music preference because Spotify has about 5 million more songs than Rdio does.

  • Rdio lets you connect to last.fm as well. It’s also super easy to create playlists, though I’ve never created one on Spotify since I’m super loyal to Rdio. I think what sells me on Rdio is that I can sync songs to my iPhone and listen to them while driving long distances or commuting. I do hear the community feel for Spotify is greater than Rdio, but that may be just because Spotify has a longer unlimited free period.

    • Amanda- I definitely agree with you about the Spotify community vs the Rdio one. But, perhaps in 6 months…a lot of those people will be disappointed when they realize they need to upgrade after 10 hours of listening. Who knows. Some people will just NEVER pay for something like this, which is totally fine.

      Also, I also really love that you can sync up songs and listen without WiFi or 3G. It’s great on roadtrips!

    • Agreed Amanda.

      Syncing songs to my iPhone is killer. I never buy songs anymore unless I’m super dedicated to the band.

  • Pandora, all day. Nuff said.

    • I love Pandora for radio but sometimes I want to listen to my own playlists.

    • Pandora is sweet, Rdio lets you listen to radio stations based on artists, playlists, popular songs or your friends latest activity. It’s a bit more specific than Pandora, which is awesome and yet still a reason I use Pandora.

  • I am an avid RDIO fan and will probably stay that way.
    Partially for the family plan which I think is a great deal.

    But mainly because you can listen to it in browser and do not have to have an app for it.
    As well, I love the social side of RDIO, and I think the UI is way better looking then spotify.

    So I am happy paying for RDIO

    • I agree, Kyle. I have no problem paying for the service. I’ve been added to Adam’s plan now for about a week and it’s great!

  • Mr. Goob

    I am currently using both Rdio and Spotify, and have also used Rhapsody, Napster and Mog, in addition to Last.fm and Slacker. In my opinion – there are only two things that Spotify does better than Rdio – 1) You can mix your local library with their cloud library. So – you can create playlists of your stuff that they don’t have, and their stuff that you don’t have. You can listen to these mixed playlists on your computer, or if you manually sync them (in which the files are physically copied to your device) to a mobile device such as an iPhone. 2) Spotify is faster, because it uses P2P technology. When I say faster – a song will start playing on Spotify in less than a second, vs 2 -3 seconds on Rdio. Other than that – Rdio beats Spotify in everything else. User interface on both the web and mobile app, social integration, etc. etc.

    • Hi Mr. Goob (I hope that’s your real name because it’s awesome):
      Loved your insight on Rdio vs Spotify. I have also noticed that slight 2-3 second lag when on Rdio but I really love the interface. Thanks again :)

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