Moving from Rdio
November 24th, 2015
Sadly, it was announced that Rdio has kicked the bucket.
Being proactive, I thought I’d jump ship early. As it turns out, I’m pretty serious about “my music”. It’s something I think about and listen to everyday. So what happens when I have to move “my music”? Well, first we have to decide where to jump ship to.
Spotify Versus Google Play Music
These were the only two real choices for me, being a Canadian and based on my needs. After a cursory search on other services, these were the only two that offered a decent amount of my favourites with at least some community features (more on that later). Deezer is my third option and my fall-back if I get too annoyed with Spotify (more on that later too).
I think I have a fairly specific case here, but it’s worth mentioning. I saved all my music on Rdio to my “favourites”. It’s not technically a playlist, therefore I couldn’t use a service like Soundiiz to transfer my playlists between services. I managed to grab a Google Chrome extension that would convert my Rdio favourites to an .csv file. Unfortunately there’s no importing tools on these two services, so I started out manually.
I started with Google Play Music, trying out the service (3 month free trial) and I got through half of them (nearly 600 songs by hundreds of different artists). It was an okay experience. Everything worked well enough. Although there was little to no music discoverability and no native last.fm support to help in that regard. There is a Chrome extension for that though. There was zero community features and ultimately felt isolated in comparison to Rdio. I couldn’t even favourite or follow artists directly to keep up to date. The service was only missing a few tracks out of my imported favourites, but I only did about half, so I can’t comment fully on the selection.
I decided to stop while I was ahead and at least try out Spotify (1 month free trial). It’s been getting a bad rap with some controversies with artist royalties, but I thought I could stomach it. I tried to go with a slightly more automated approach this time. Unfortunately everything out there that would convert my .csv file wouldn’t tell me what was added and what wasn’t, like Ivy. Not only that, but it ended up grabbing songs from wrong albums and such. Annoying, but nothing that could really be done about that. Different services have different libraries.
In the end, Spotify was only missing 18 tracks out of 573. I did manage to find a couple alternates for some tracks (on different albums/versions). Just to give you an idea on what it was missing compared to Rdio, here it is:
- I Remember You – Chixdiggit! – Pink Razors
- Kill The Poor – Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
- California Uber Alles – Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
- Holiday In Cambodia – Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
- I’m On Standby – Grandaddy – Sumday
- Stray Dog And The Chocolate Shake – Grandaddy – Sumday
- All Of Your Love – Hellogoodbye – Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! And More!
- I Saw It On Your Keyboard – Hellogoodbye – Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! And More!
- Cassette Deck, Road Trip, Grand Canyon – Justin Sane – Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Justice
- Exit – No Use For A Name – ¡Leche Con Carne!
- Trust – Prince – Batman
- True – Propagandhi – Where Quantity Is Job No.1
- Kid Charlemagne – Steely Dan – A Decade Of Steely Dan (Remastered)
- Five Lessons Learned – Swingin’ Utters – Five Lessons Learned
- A Promise To Distinction – Swingin’ Utters – Five Lessons Learned
- I Almost Do – Taylor Swift – Red
- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift – Red
- You & Me – Various Artists – All Trap Music 2
And yes, I’m sure Spotify also in turn offers a lot more that wasn’t on Rdio, but in some of the cases you see there, like Dead Kennedys and Taylor Swift (no judging), have all but declared war against Spotify – so they will likely never make an appearance. You can see my full “Favourites” playlist on Spotify here.
Luckily, you can also Google the specific albums with “Spotify” on the end, and still add the songs from their database into your songs, perhaps just in case they are ever added in the future.
The phone app is also pretty good, and works great from what I have tested so far.
The web player is pretty buggy. I’m not sure how the actual desktop app fairs, but I refuse to use a native application for something that can and should be done in a browser. Here’s just a few of the issues:
- When ever you search for something that has a single result, you can’t click the “+” to add it to your songs list. Right clicking it and adding it that way will do nothing.
- It has completely frozen up twice on me (had to go in Chrome’s Task Manager to force close it).
- Dragging too many songs from one place to another will lock up that functionality, silently until you refresh. Maybe some type of hidden limit?
Just posting about this as it’s been pretty annoying to deal with, at least just setting everything up.
What I Miss So Far
Comments and community. I loved going into an album and seeing what people had to say about it, even if it was a dissenting opinion. If I agreed with somebody, I’d often check out their musical tastes and see if we connected or if they could introduce me to some new similar music, or sometimes completely different music – it’s interesting to see what people liked if they liked another thing. It’s not always similar, which is cool to know about as well.
Seeing what my friends have been listening to, what they commented on, what kind of playlists they were making. There’s very little of that on Spotify – it’s not really set-up for it. Maybe one day, but until then, at least there’s the Spotify Community – a group of message boards for playlist sharing, ideas, and the like.
Having a queue that is saved. Remembering what was played if I close the browser or navigate away. Was this so innovative that Rdio was the only one to do it?
I may do an update at some point in case I jump to another ship.