Price: Free or $9.99
Platforms: Web, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Disclaimer: I have never tried their free service. My entire Rdio experience has been with the unlimited account that costs $9.99 a month.
Rdio is one of the only on-demand streaming music services available in Canada. (It’s available in many other countries as well.) I use it everyday and absolutely love it. The whole service perfectly suits how I listen to music which is constantly finding new music. (I get tired and move on quite easily.) You can curate a collection and choose a song, album, or “Station” to listen to. A “Station” is basically radio based off your collection, taste, a specific song, or songs from the people you follow.
The social aspects of service add a nice layer for finding new music. You can follow friends, strangers, musicians, or journalists and while it is hard to find good people to follow it can be a good way to find new albums. In case you’re not social these features can be ignored.
Finding new music is the weak point of Rdio. I have found quite a few bands I like but it needs to be improved. Things like human curated playlists and better recommendations are both needed. I think Beats does curation right by having knowledgeable humans doing it and not algorithms. That’s not to say there are no built in mechanics for finding music. I can find new music in “Heavy Rotations” which is what the people I follow are listening to. I can use the “Stations” but it can be really hit or miss. Or I can look under “Recommendations” which has been absolutely terrible for me. (It could be because I have a weird taste in music though.)
I have one huge issue with streaming music services in general. They don’t pay artists that much money. This is not cool and needs to be addressed.
Note: Don’t sign up through iTunes. The price is $3 more because to compensate for Apple taking 30% they had to raise the price.