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Rdio, please don’t die!

Rdio LogoAccording to Techcrunch, Rdio is laying off people – allegedly up to 35 people or 25% of the work force –  “to improve its cost structure and ensure a scalable business model for the long-term”, as TC quotes a Rdio spokesperson.

In other words: Rdio’s investors are getting cold feet thinking about the burn rate. Which is quite understandable in a way.

Seeing that Spotify and Deezer seem to be putting a lot of investments in improving their service (see my recent posts on Deezer and Spotify) I have my doubts that now is a good point to start cutting investments – least of all in engineering, where reportedly “significant cuts” have been made.

Also, if the number of (paying) users are falling behind expectations, cutting your marketing budget isn’t going to help either.

On a more personal note, I really really don’t want Rdio to day, as I’ve just decided to move over from Spotify. In my opinion, the app is superior in many ways, as I’ve discussed recently.

So Rdio: PLEASE DON’T DIE!

22
Nov 2013
POSTED BY Sebastian
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Deezer introduces “Personal Music Feed” and “Deezer Editors”

Deezer just introduced the “Personal Music Feed” as well as “Deezer Editors”. Here’s a quick wrap up on what it’s all about, and how it compares to Spotify.

The feed can be found as “Hear This” within Deezer. Looks pretty good – and quite similar to Spotify Discovery, released back in May.

In the FAQ Deezer gives a few more details on how the newsfeed is generated:

“There are several types of recommendations:
– choices based on your listening habits
– selections from the Deezer Editors around the world
– new music from artists you love
– Deezer Sessions, Deezer Apps. and partnerships
– suggestions from your friends”
(source)

With the Personal Music Feed, Deezer tries to give their users a richer experience of music discovery. The big challenge Deezer tries to solve of course is to help their user find new music, without having to actively search for it.

(more…)

22
Nov 2013
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Just ran into Spotify 3,333 track limit. Not happy.

Spotify_exclamation

About 90% of the time I use Spotify on my mobile. However recently I just so happen to travel a lot in regions with a bad network. ‘No problem’ I thought, ‘Luckily there are Offline Playlists in Spotify’.

This worked quite well for a while, however I quickly ran out of space on my phone. Since I’m on iPhone I didn’t just get a new 64GB sdcard for 20 quid, no! I bought an iPod just as Steve Jobs would have wanted me to.

Anyway, so I decided to get all my playlists – and I have quite a few ones – offline. After a while however, syncing stopped and all I got was red exclamation marks next to my songs, indicating that they could not be saved offline.

After a bit of  research I quickly found in the Spotify FAQ:

You can sync a maximum of 3,333 songs per device and stay offline for up to 30 days. (source)

Well this sucks balls. Some might point out that those 3,333 songs are about a week’s worth of music, but that’s not the point: If you are a music junkie and want to carry around your entire music collection (which you could on an iPod) than those 3,333 songs (or about 250 albums at an average of 13 songs per album) are just not enough.

Why on earth would they impose such a limit in the first place? Well, as one of the forum admins suggests:

The limit is down to the licensing agreements Spotify has with the record labels. (source).

Funny thing is that Rdio or Deezer do not have such limitations. Even if Spotify was the first in the game and go a worse deal then their followers, now would be a good time to re-negotiate some of the contract’s parameters.

 

12
Nov 2013
POSTED BY Sebastian
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Y U NO HAVE COLLECTIONS, SPOTIFY?

One thing I still miss on Spotify is a convenient way build your music collection. I may be old fashioned, but what I basically want is to have a collection of “my albums” in one place so I can browse through my music and decide what I want to listen to.

Since there’s no way to do that in Spotify right now, I currently build my collection using playlists and playlist folders: I basically create a collection for every album, then put all those album into a folder called “Collection”. Since there’s no way to sort playlists alphabetically, I have to do that myself – manually. So while it kind of gets the job done, it is quite inconvenient and cumbersome – and takes ages. Here’s what it looks like:

DIYcollection

Looks quite alright and is reasonably convenient – once it’s set up. Also, there’s no way to do this within the iPhone app at all, so when I’m travelling I have to wait with my organizing until I log into my Windows app on my laptop.

I really wish Spotify would start offering a solution similar to Rdio. Rdio has done a great job allowing for this use case:

RdioColl

Really super slick and it works great!

Back in December 2012 Spotify announced they were going to introduce collections as well. As of now, however, they sadly still haven’t found their way into Spotify.

However, it seems like they’re working on it: Try entering “spotify:app:collection” into the Spotify search bar (thanks to the Spotify forum for the tip). You’ll see an early draft of the Spotify collection:

SpotifyCollection

Alas, it’s not quite a music collection a I would imagine it, as it only contains albums “Recently Added” and “Most Played”. Still, it is a start, and hopefully Spotify will continue improving on it.

 

04
Nov 2013
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