Spotify made news earlier today by lowering its barrier to entry, allowing users to stream music to their phone or tablets for free. Yet it isn't the only music-streaming service in town, and competitor Rdio has expanded access to 20 additional countries. This brings the total number of supported territories up to 51, which this handy map illustrates.
Even if you're not paying for Rdio's streaming music service, you can now get your groove on with the mobile app. In an effort to attract more users from Spotify and Pandora, Rdio has made its personalized radio streaming service free in the app. The new feature goes live later today with an app update in Google Play.
Rdio has 10 different station types, including those based on artists, genres, songs, and the hyper-personal "You FM." There's no offline caching, and you can't queue up specific songs, but Rdio does have over 20 million tracks to pull into the radio stations.
Streaming music provider Rdio might be playing second fiddle to Spotify, but it's still a viable option. Rdio even runs its own video content store called Vdio. With a handy little coupon code, you can get a taste of both services, or add some freebies you your existing account.
To get your free stuff, just head over to the Rdio redeem page, and enter the code P4KFEST2013. This should give you 3 free months of Rdio Unlimited ($9.99 per month) and $25 to spend on Vdio instantly.
At the start of this review, I was simultaneously excited and frustrated. Now I'm just plain excited. For a bit of context, I have been bouncing between cloud music services since Lala was still a thing. I had one simple desire: I wanted to pay a monthly fee for unfettered access to a large library of content, but still wanted to be able to bring my own. I know that $10/month is not going to get me every song in existence, but if I can pay for most music, and then supply the rest, I'll be happy.
As if there weren't enough contenders out there for music subscription service, Slacker Radio has updated its business model. You can still get the standard ad-supported radio station features that were always available. However the company has added a Spotify-like buffet option for $10/month. Pony up the dough and you can remove all ads and listen to as many tracks as you want.
The combination is pretty powerful, as one of the biggest complaints over Spotify is its discovery problems.
To call Rdio's latest beta a complete overhaul might be a bit of a misnomer. The feature set is largely the same, even if the design has gotten a facelift. However, seeing as the music streaming wars are heating up, it seems like a perfect time to take a second look at the service that always seems to play second fiddle to the behemoth that is Spotify.
When it comes to streaming subscription services, Spotify has stolen the spotlight in the US, where companies like Rdio have struggled to get the attention and acclaim they used to enjoy back before the Swedish invasion. With Xbox Music looming on the horizon, promising to install 30 million free, ad-supported tracks into every computer running Windows 8, the market has never been more competitive. Which makes Rdio's newly announced overhaul to its Android app all the more timely.
SoundTracking made its jump from iOS onto the Android Market today boasting a new, Android exclusive (for now), feature. As the name indicates, this app allows you to keep track of songs you're listening to and post them to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare for your friends to see and comment on. Included with your post will be a snippet of the song, a photo, and your geo-location.
Sonos is a company well-known in the tech industry for their line of wireless speaker systems, designed to let you sling music around your house without the hassle of complex setup processes or routing wires through ceilings and walls. To mark the launch of their Sonos Controller for Android application, Sonos generously loaned me a full multi-room system consisting of two Sonos S5 speaker units and a wireless ZoneBridge router.
This morning, I noticed an interesting thread in the EVO subsection of the XDA forums that claimed to be able to fix music streaming (which was broken in some apps after the latest OTA), while boosting 3G speeds by .2 to .6 Mbps. As the process is very simple and easily reversible, I gave it a go - but decided that I was going to use SpeedTest to benchmark the changes.