rdio

"The Velvet Underground & Nico" only sold a few thousand, but everyone who bought it formed a band. Brian Eno, unknown interview

Upon hearing about the impending demise of Rdio, this quote came to mind.

I feel that what Brian Eno was trying to say about arguably the most influential bands of al time has something to do with the relevancy of Rdio in the context of modern product and UI design in the music streaming space. Let's rephrase it (the cornier the better, right?):

Rdio was only used by ten people, but everyone who did told all of their friends they were using it.

I felt as if the user experience of this service opened doors for me and others. It has let me see what my friends are listening to and vice-versa. It doesn't make me think when I'm using it. I've found some incredible music that I never would have found otherwise. And I think that's what I'm going to miss the most.

Really - the questions we have to answer, really is... How do we cross the divide now that one of the great wonders of user experience in music is gone? What's next? How is this going to change streaming?

Because my generation - those born in the late 80's and early 90's, live and always will live in a world of the digital and analogue. And I don't think any of the streaming services have really addressed this issue yet.

For me, Rdio intertwined into the evolution of what I like to call my simple minded music taste. And it's inverse to what most older generations have experienced:

  • One day, young and clueless, I started to get a bit bored and decided I would listen to Triple J, which is an Australian state-run broadcaster similar to NPR.
  • Then I started to browse sites like WeAreHunted, Pitchfork, or Stereogum. I would hear an artist or something I liked and try and research them.
  • Or maybe someone would tell me to listen to a genre.
  • And I would usually listen to them on Rdio.
  • Somewhere along here, I decided that I liked wearing skinny jeans.
  • Still even more clueless, I decided to buy a record player and some vinyl.
  • Then I discovered TISM.
  • While I did think about buying The Velvet Underground and Nico, well, really, Loaded is a much more accesessible and less space cadet release and is much easier to listen to.

I've always thought that the way I consumed music and listened to it was quite simplistic in a way - Reading a book and listening to discographies in order of release is a great way to carry an opinion, but doesn't that kind of defeat the point? How does opinionated taste fit into an art that's open to interpretation?

Because at the end of the day, Music is a journey and should be treated as such. I always associate certain albums that I've consumed to the time and place that I consumed them in.

I didn't realise how lucky I was until I tried using Apple Music. I'm still not sure if I'm signed up.

So, on the 24th of December, my Rdio subscription will lapse and take a piece of my heart with it.

Maybe I'll go start a band.