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I’ve been a long-time subscriber to the music streaming site Rdio.com, because it saves me from buying songs and albums I might only listen to a few times, and provides me with a network of contacts who help me discover new music I might enjoy.

Rdio provides a free limited music streaming service, but for $5 per month you can stream unlimited music via the Rdio web browser or desktop client. For an extra $5 per month, you can have Rdio streaming to your iPhone, over both a Wi-Fi and cellular connection. If that’s not enough, you can also save songs and albums to your iPhone for offline listening. Because of these and other features, we have added the Rdio iPhone app (free) to our Best of iPhone Apps page.

If you don’t know much about your digital music options, check out my beginner’s guide A Beginner's Guide To Digital Music Setup And Playing A Beginner's Guide To Digital Music Setup And Playing If you're a music lover with boxes and shelves of music CDs, or if you have managed to burn or download digital music to your Mac or PC, this beginner's guide to digital music setup... Read More .

Your Personal DJ

You can register and get free unlimited access to Rdio on the iPhone for two weeks. After that it costs $9.99 for a monthly subscription. You can also now listen to Rdio Stations Rdio Rolls Out Free Stations Feature on iOS and Android Rdio Rolls Out Free Stations Feature on iOS and Android Rdio.com has made its own stations feature available for free on its mobile iOS and Android apps in the US, Canada, and Australia. Read More for free on iOS and Android devices, but free access to Stations is limited and you can’t save tracks and albums to your Collections.

Sliding to the right of any open page in the app reveals a menu sidebar of all the sections of the app. Heavy Rotation contains the music your Rdio contacts are listening to the most. Similarly, the Recent Activity section shows songs and albums recently played by other subscribers in your network. These sections, along with Top Charts and New Releases, are useful for discovering new music, or music you haven’t listened to in a while.

Rdio 4

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The biggest downside to the New Releases and Top Charts section is that you can’t filter them for the type of music genres you like to listen to. So if you choose contacts whose music compatibility is close to your own, you’re more likely to discover the type of music you like in the Recent Activity section.

Rdio 5

You can also tap on the avatar of a contact to view his or her recent playing activity, collections, and playlists.

Your Music Collections

One of the benefits of being a Rdio subscriber is the ability to add songs and albums to your personal collection and playlists, just as you do in iTunes. In the app you simply tap and hold on the cover art of an album or the title of a song to bring up the menu for adding items to your collections.

Rdio albums

Add new playlists from within the app and they will show up in your account on all your devices. Unfortunately, neither the mobile or desktop version of Rdio includes smart playlists, so you will have to build them manually. Rdio also doesn’t allow users to rate songs.

When you tap on the menu button at the top-right, you can select how to filter your collection by recently added, artists, or synced songs.

Rdio filter collection

Like the desktop client, the Rdio app also includes a History section which lists all your played songs and albums.

Playlists

Under Playlists you can filter by your personal playlists, synced only playlists, lists that you collaborate on with other subscribers, and lists you subscribe to. The app allows you to add to the lists as you would on the desktop client.

Playlists

The checked albums and songs in a list indicate that they are a part of your collection.

Offline Playing

A significant advantage for some Rdio listeners is the ability to sync songs directly to the iPhone so they can be played offline if need be. Sync a song or album to your iPhone by briefly pressing down on an item until the menu options appear, just as you would to add songs to your collection. You can also remove songs through this same menu.

Rdio sync mobile

You can add as many songs on your iPhone as its memory space has room for. In the History and Collections sections your synced songs and albums will be marked with an orange icon.

Rdio organge icon

Viewing and managing your synced songs is a little tricky. To see them in your collections, tap on the top-right menu icon and select to filter them by Synced Songs, which results in a list of your synced items. Unfortunately they are not presented in a visual grid list.

There doesn’t appear to be a way to batch-remove synced songs from your device, so you will want to keep in mind how many items you are adding to your device if it has limited space.

You can also sync your existing playlists, and then access them by filtering for Synced Only in the playlist section. It would be nice if there were a dedicated section for synced songs.

Rdio sync to playlist

If you choose to sync songs only when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, and not cellular, you can tap and add songs to be synced, and then when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, tap on Sync in the menu section and then tap Check Now for songs that have not yet been synced to your device.

No iOS 7 Update Yet

The Rdio app, which is also optimized for the iPad, has not yet been updated for iOS 7, but in my use of it I find it performs well with no crashes, and is fairly easy to navigate. The downside of using a music streaming site like Rdio is that you lose access to your collected songs when you close your account or if the company closes down.

That said the monthly subscription is much more affordable than buying songs and albums. I listen to more songs in a single month than I would purchase in an entire year.

Download: Rdio for iPhone (Free)

Let us know what you think about the Rdio service and the iPhone app. Are there features you would like to see added?

  1. Henry Jacky
    July 19, 2016 at 8:11 am

    I use Allavsoft to download Rdio for music, I like its batch downloading function

  2. Chris
    November 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Rdio is saying now that I have to PAY to listen to music on my iPhone. Waste of an app then.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 20, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      I think you get only a limited amount of playing time per month. I'm not sure. But there are limitations to the free access. I say if you really like listening to lots of music, the $5 per month is worth it. It's unlamented access.

    • Christina
      November 21, 2013 at 7:31 am

      It was saying that it was $19.99 a month, which shocked me. I updated the app today though, and it's letting me listen to free music again now. So I don't know what happened there, but boy, am I glad I don't have to pay. Coughing up $20 dollars a month is not worth it. I can just go to Youtube on my phone and play free music from there.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 21, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      You know Christina, that was confusing to me as well. I wrote to Rdio and they explained the price this way:

      "I apologize for the confusion in regards to pricing but the Rdio app is $9.99 per month for unlimited web and mobile streaming. As for the $14.99 and other prices listed on the iTunes site, that is when folks purchase the per month price and then add on additional members for the family plan (save 50% per account when signing up multiple members)."

      I didn't get this information until after the article ran. But basically I would just sign up for the subscription through the website and not through iTunes or the app itself. I only pay $9.99 per month.

  3. Becky Hu
    November 20, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I do not know about this very well.

  4. Gosia
    November 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Hey! Thanks for this article. I got convinced to try this and the result is WOW, much better suggestions than Spotify. Great discovery.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Gosia, thanks for your feedback. Glad you find the site useful. I haven't used Spotify, but I'm sure glad that online streaming sites have become popular.

  5. Cassie
    November 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    We at http://www.MrsJanuary.com all use Rdio for music. It's an awesome way to save money!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      Cassie, couldn't agree more about saving money. Thanks for the feedback.

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