Rdio and my changing music habits

A while back I was reminded through Twitter of Rdio. I looked at it a few months ago but at the time was still stuck with my Palm Pre and didn’t want to pay for Flash only streaming. My how things have changed.

I’ve always had a massive music library. It approached some 14,000 songs before I culled it earlier this year. With all that music it’s funny that I never really listened to it all that much. For the most part I had a select group of albums that were played over and over again. The majority of my library was played once or maybe twice a year.

This is the first thing that Rdio has changed. Rdio lets me follow other users and see what they’re adding to their collections, playlists, and writing reviews of. It’s the digital equivalent of my time spent passing CDs back and forth between high school friends.

Rdio also kicks out recommendations based upon the music in my collection. Between these two sources of discovery I’ve found more new albums and artists in a week than I have in the last few months with iTunes.

The killer feature though is the ability to access all this as much as you want everywhere you are. With the web, Mac OS X, and iOS apps Rdio gives me access to all the music I want anywhere I am.

Instapaper is an app that has fundamentally changed the way I read and consume information. Having a single store of articles I want to catch up on that is available through the web, an iOS app, and my Kindle is exhilirating. Rdio does no less than that for my music habits.

If I’m hanging out with friends and someone mentions an album I can play it straight to my speakers immediately. I’m not out any money because the $9.99 a month Rdio charges gives me unlimited access to anything. The cost of browsing around for new music is essentially zero. I pay the same amount for taking a few listens to 100 albums and streaming my 10 favorites as I would for just cycling through my most-loved.

Sure, all this does mean that I’m outsourcing my music library to the cloud. But, it also means I’m not stuck trying to create a backup strategy for all those gigabytes of tracks. Also, if I want to I can purchase albums straight from Rdio for about the same price as iTunes.

Seriously, Rdio is like living in the future. It’s incredible.