Rdio Updated for Windows Phone 8
The popular cross-platform streaming service Rdio has just released an update to their app to make it Windows Phone 8 friendly. Microsoft has done an excellent job with their home grown Xbox Music service but at present it is still not cross platform and that can be a sticking point for many users.
Rdio will allow streaming playback through the web, a range of mobile devices and also though music appliances like Sonos. Read on to check out some of the changes.
Just like Xbox Music you can sign up for a free trial to see if you like the service before subscribing, in the case of Rdio you can get seven days to check it out. Unlike another popular music streaming service we could mention, Rdio has been active in developing its own app and supporting it. As mentioned above, the latest version brings Windows Phone 8 compatibility and here is the list of changes from the release notes from the store.
New in version 3.14:
- Windows Phone 8 compatibility
- Improved online streaming/playback
- Browse Recommendations
- Metro Interface Enhancements
In the absence of anything tangible from the notes we checked out their dev blog but found no mention of Windows Phone 8 or the update that has been released to the Windows Phone Store. Not only that but they are still showing off the Windows Phone 7 version on their front page, crazy times indeed. We have contacted them for some more clarification on what’s changed but in the meantime we dug in and did some investigating of our own.
Lock Screen Artwork - Now Playing - Double Wide Tile
The latest version when first launched will ask you if it can set your lock screen. It doesn’t say what that means but essentially you’ll get the Rdio logo when nothing is happening but will change it to some album artwork when you are listening to music. Also you’ll now get the double wide tile feature that Windows Phone 8 supports. In this case you’ll get the name of the artist and what is playing updated on the tile.
In use everything seems pretty much as we’d expect, you can pin albums to your start screen and streaming seemed pretty solid in testing. I did notice that when streaming music it was not possible to access an album I had pinned to the start screen, it just didn’t seem to like that. Going into the app through the normal icon did give me what I wanted.
So, some nice updates and Rdio seems to have moved decisively to squash some lingering bugs while improving the playback and streaming. We’re glad to see Rdio continuing to push forward with updates for Windows Phone and if you’re looking for a good cross platform option on your device this might be well worth checking out.
We’d like to know what you think of the latest version or if you've noticed anything else that's new in the update, sp be sure to let us know in the comments.
You can download from the Windows Phone Store here or scan the QR code below.
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By Jez Corden
Rdio is a *very* credible option for those wanting "offline playback" for specific files/albums who also don't want to wait for spotify to 1. release a wp8 app and 2. create a html/web player. The only benefits i see for spotify is device-specific off-line sync (i.e. to let kids or SO share an account that is not used often).
Xbox music is such a mess words cannot explain. Embarrassingly bad management/sync even if it wasn't locked to one MS account, what a shame.
total library & sync mess (for those who legally own music and want it sync'd to phone)
turning on "cloud" creates empty playlists and screws up libray info (splitting songs from one album/CD into two album where cloud screwed up the tag info)
xbox music unlimited is $10 per device and not sharable between light-users. disgraceful.
Spotify and Rdio allow idiot-proof access to songs from the cloud and saved to your device at a lower cost than xbox music. Rdio also has free web html player for desktop use w/o installations.
So far so good with a few minor complaints- App seems a little buggy at times; will freeze/crash when trying to select a song from the play queue from time to time, the WP8 app is MUCH slower to load within the app (like when clicking a playlist) than Spotify on Android (despite WP8 being MUCH faster overall than Android), and most annoyingly- songs on playlists "synced to mobile" as a playlist do not appear in my collection unless I click. Each. One. and select "Sync to Mobile"
But overall its a much better experience for a mixed WP8/Mac user than Xbox Music, and certainly comparable to Spotify, though if both were available now for WP8 I'd probably stick with Spotify.