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Rdio

This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on September 20th, 2011.

While I’ve used iTunes for the longest time, and it works pretty much as my media center; I have to come to terms with the fact that it isn’t as great as it could be. It’s heavy, slow, glitchy and at times I find it very annoying.

Ditching iTunes is especially enticing when you now have all these new options available: apps that go from streaming free music, to playing you a personalised radio with music that suit your musical tastes. iTunes is still my main music app, but it’s being quickly overtaken by some of these other options.

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Most of my solo work time passes with music in the background. Sometimes I’m playing music from my iTunes library, and sometimes I’m streaming music from online radio stations or subscription services. Controlling it all can be a pain. Whether I’m writing a review for AppStorm or balancing Excel spreadsheets at work, I normally have to switch back to the music program to pause a song if someone walks in. If a song comes on that I’m not in the mood to listen to, then it’s even worse since I have to swap to the player to skip and then back to my work. Even this brief interruption can take me out of flow and require time to pick up where I left off.

Skip Tunes is a simple menubar app that offers a solution. It runs in your menu bar to let you control the your music from the menu bar or with keyboard shortcuts. How well does it work? (more…)

In the past few months, I’ve enjoyed using the popular music streaming service Rdio to listen to my favorite tunes on my Mac, in the car with my iPhone, and in coffee shops with my iPad. As I never wished to create a Facebook account just so I could use Spotify, Rdio seemed to be a great solution and it also included a much more decent user interface throughout all the apps – the designers worked hard to make sure the experience didn’t fall short in this area.

Last week, however, someone seems to have stumbled in a hole, for the service announced on it’s blog that they were refining the look of their web and Mac apps to be lighter, apparently both on the eyes and bandwidth. Sadly, it’s far from pleasing to my eyes. In fact, I’ve found it to be worse than Spotify. Please allow me to explain… (more…)

Online streaming, subscription based music delivery services are making an attempt to become the golden ticket solution for music lovers everywhere. Having access to a gigantic library of music is well worth the subscription fee for a lot of people and as the music libraries of these services grow they continue to gather steam.

The two big competitors in this field right now are Rdio and Spotify. Rdio released a major interface update recently that is a big step forward to separate itself from Spotify (only paid subscribers get a sneak peek). The interface changed substantially for the better with new features added and others more prominently placed. Not only is the update quite beautiful, it makes discovering new music an even more social experience. Let’s take a spin through the new Rdio.

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So you want to control iTunes from your menu bar? It’s a simple enough task, but which app is right for you? Are there any free options? Can you also control other apps like Spotify and Rdio?

There are a million of these apps on the market but we’ll save the research and present five of the best options around for controlling your music from the menu bar.

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I love Spotify. In my opinion it’s just about the best thing to happen to radio in my lifetime. I use it more than Pandora, more than Last.fm, even more than Grooveshark.

So what happens when this loyal Spotify user finally agrees to cross over and take a look at Rdio? Read on to find out.

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Once upon a time, physical media sales ruled the music landscape. Wal-Mart thoroughly enjoyed its reign as the largest seller of CDs on the planet. Then iTunes came along and took online music distribution from a niche to the most popular way for people to buy music.

Now a new breed of businesses are beginning to fill the landscape. Instead of offering single songs or albums, they give customers the freedom to listen to any combination of songs or albums they want, either completely free or with a low monthly fee. Are these services merely enjoying rapid but short-lived growth or do they represent the future of how we consume music?

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I have to admit it: I’m a American Top 40 junkie. I spend too munch money on songs that get overplayed on the radio and eventually get ignored in my library. The $1.29 charges start to add up, and soon I’m spending $20/month on music.

I figured that there has to be a better system that doesn’t require me to waste that much on music each month. That’s when I ran across Rdio and their new application for the Mac.

So far, I’ve been really impressed. Read on to find out how it works!

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