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Tuesday March 20, 2012 7:10 pm

Hands-on with New Rdio redesign: More social, much faster


New Rdio

Last week at a press event in Austin at SXSW, Rdio gave us a look at its brand new, completely overhauled music experience. We got a look at the new Rdio, and we walked away impressed by the beauty of what the streaming music company is attempting to pull off. There are a lot of changes, and we think that most people will think they're all good.

New Rdio isn't just a visual makeover though. Wilson Miner, head of design for Rdio said, "We want back to ground zero and rethought the whole user experience from the groud up to put the focus 100% on music and people." That people part is a big deal, because social integration is a big part of the new Rdio. When you log in, you've got a constant bar on the right-hand side that shows your online contacts and what they're listening to. There's also another tab that gives recommendations of who to follow (oh, and you should definitely follow the Gear Live Rdio profile!) Wanna share a track or album with a contact? The old way still works, but now you can just drag and drop content onto contacts as well. Very fluid.


While we're talking about drag-and-drop goodness, let's go over playlist management. Your playlists are in the left-hand bar, at the bottom. You can add as many as you'd like, and again, you can drag-and-drop content into these playlists as well. This includes full albums, something you simply couldn't do before when creating playlists (you had to do it track-by-track.) You can also create private playlists and then share them with a specific group of friends.

On that social tip, there's more of that goodness baked in. When you are looking at an album, you can hover over them to see which of your friends has listened to it. In fact, now that I know that when my friends go into their Heavy Rotation list and see a bunch of children's albums in there and that now they'll be able to see that those are associated with me (hey, I have an 8-year-old!) I think I'll have to rethink letting my family mess with my Rdio account! Another cool feature lets you listen along with your friends to whatever they're listening to, in real-time.

The new Rdio is available for all users to try out right now, and you can flip back and forth between New Rdio and the old version. Just log in, click on your name at the top right, and click on "Try New Rdio". Let us know what you think.

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