Rdio vs. Spotify

Some many know me as a hardcore Rdio fan. I love the UI, appreciate their story, and have mostly been satisfied with the service.

Last year, Andy Baio wrote two articles comparing Rdio to Spotify. In both instances he concludes Rdio comes out slightly on top — their catalog is just a little bit better.

But, I’ve never been able to get the Blue Scholars or St. Germain on Rdio so I always questioned how the catalogs really compared. Yesterday, after scrapping my first hackathon project at 7:30 pm, I decided to use the Echonest API to answer my question once and for all. Which is better, Rdio or Spotify?

As it turns out, Spotify. By a landslide. Of the 92,343 songs I had time to pull down, 74,703 are available on Spotify and 56,988 are available on Rdio. Furthermore, Spotify had 21,370 songs that weren’t available on Rdio, whereas Rdio only had 3,655 songs that weren’t available on Spotify.

Plus Spotify has the Blue Scholars and St. Germain. Time to make a switch.

Cleaning…

Cleaning… In iOS5, the cache directory used by many applications, including Instapaper, to store downloaded data now gets periodically deleted by the operating system. Today I learned Rdio is affected by this same fatal bug; even though I had 10GB or more free on my iPhone, my downloaded music was nuked sometime in the last 24 hours (and Instapaper articles too).

Yet my podcasts in iTunes persist and I have a suspicious feeling this policy doesn’t apply to applications developed by Apple. Streaming isn’t going to work for the amount of time I’m out of country this year. Epic fail.

Little big details: Rdio

Listening state persists independent of whether you’re using the web app or desktop app. Taking an action in one immediate affects the state of the other. It’s user experience details like this that have kept me perma-awestruck about Rdio since Friday, and why I’m tempted to throw iTunes completely out the window.