A few weeks ago this columnist attended a holiday gift preview, and was introduced to RDIO. At the time, I thought it was just another online music service, nice, but not that impressive.
Then I tried it.
I started searching for songs that I’d long forgotten, but wished I could hear again. Many of them were on old record albums and those albums were damaged, or lost. I wanted to hear the songs again; even better when it was without the hassle of dealing with a turntable, and without all the skips, pops and gaps that old records inevitably, offer.
One of the songs I really wanted to hear again was “Big Ted” by the Incredible String Band. Formed in 1965, the group disbanded in 1974. The “band” was primarily Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, along with Malcom Le Maistre, and Clive Palmer. Their sound has been described as: “haunting Celtic folk melodies augmented by a variety of Middle Eastern and Asian instruments. “
To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t that I was such a big fan of the Incredible String Band, but an old boyfriend had introduced me to one particular song: “Big Ted.” It is a reminiscence about Ted, a “great old pig” who was slaughtered when the farmer said he needed money (bread). Ted was getting old. The farmer sent him to the butcher and then he was: “gone like snow on the water.”
It doesn’t sound very happy, but actually, it was a very funny song.
None of the other music services had Big Ted, but Radio, did. Hearing Big Ted again was truly a trip down memory lane. Encouraged, I amused myself trying to find all the esoteric, wierd, and fun songs that I remember from the past but that I’d never hear again. Sure enough, Rdio had (most) of them. A fun benefit to RDIO is that you can broadcast what you’re listening to on social media. And, you can follow friends on RDIO, check out their playlists, start your own, and learn about new music you might not otherwise have known existed.
RDIO allows you to listen to millions of songs ad-free wherever you are – on the web and on your phone, even offline. I immediately installed Rdio on my Samsung Galaxay S3 phone. It’s pretty amazing. The user interface is so easy. Just press the + button on any album and add to your collection (and make playlists).
You can try RDIO for free, for a while, but like “Big Ted,” RDIO will be “gone like snow on the water” unless you subscribe. That, isn’t exactly free (but it isn’t a fortune, either). Check out the RDIO website for prices and options.
You can get other services that allow you to listen to music, and download what you want (for a fee) but I have never found one quite as extensive and versatile as RDIO. They have over 600,000 songs, and growing! It’s a “little luxury” that you can enjoy and share, every day!
A subscription would make a great gift for a child going back to school, or for anyone who loves listening to music. The holidays are coming, RDIO is an easy choice!