Android Quick App: rdio

Android certainly has its share of music streaming applications, and sometimes it can be hard to choose between them all. If you do a lot of radio streaming, either on your computer or on your phone, you know just as much as I do how many options you have. 

But rdio is a little different from the rest. Rdio allows you to choose from any song, artist or album that it has in its database at any time, and it does a fairly good job at it, too. We'll take a quick look at this app after the break!

Once you have downloaded Rdio from the Android Market, you'll first be presented with a log-in and registration screen. The application itself is free, but the service will run you $9.99 a month for unlimited streaming. There is a seven-day trial option however if you prefer the try before you buy route. 

You'll then be brought to the main page where you can choose between what is in "Heavy Rotation" -- essentially what's being most streamed. The main page is very clean and easy to navigate. Searching for artists or albums was very quick and easy, and I didn't find any major artists that weren't available for streaming. 

Once you have selected a song, it'll immediately begin streaming to your pleasure. The now playing screen is simple but informative; displaying the album artwork (if available), and track information. You also have the option of saving any track to your personal collection or playlist for easier access at a later time.

Sound quality was good, and streaming over WiFi was seamless and speedy, with no noticeable hiccups or pauses. You can also stream over 3G, but I did notice that at times certain songs would not load up when connected via the cellular network. 

There is a decent array of options for using rdio as well. One of the more unique options is the ability to sync songs for use in offline mode or where data connectivity is not available. You can also set the sync rate interval, and enable or disable high quality streams over WiFi, 3G or both. 

For those of you who are looking to stream music to your phone -- and can afford the $9.99-a-month price tag (that's $120 a year for you math majors) -- rdio is a option worth considering. Not only does it allow you to choose from any song it has available at any given time, but it also allows for offline playback -- and has a pretty darn good selection of music; which will undoubtedly get better over time. All-in-All, sound quality is excellent over WiFi, and decent over 3G with the occasional failure to load. You can grab the app itself for free in the Android Market.

Chris Kerrigan