How Rdio Killed iTunes for Me, Too

If there's one thing I absolutely loathe about tech journalism, it's the use of the word "killer". The Samsung Galaxy S4 is an iPhone 5 killer. Writers love to use "killer" as linkbait-y, sensationalistic proclamations to drive page views, because they want to sound important and are probably bored with Apple raking in the majority of the smartphone profit share. The fact of the matter is, the Galaxy S4 won't kill the iPhone, just like the iPhone won't kill the S4. We live in a free market; there's plenty of room for both products to co-exist.

But there is one instance where using "killer" is appropriate, at least for me. I have no problems echoing Shawn Blanc's sentiment that Rdio has killed iTunes. After years of relying on iTunes for purchasing and listening to music, I have quit cold turkey. In its place, I've come to fully embrace Rdio, and I love it.

Ding-dong, iTunes is dead.

I'd long been a fan of the idea of owning my music. It was comforting knowing that I paid $9.99 for an album, and I owned it. It lived in my iTunes library. But as time went on, I became increasingly frustrated with iTunes's idiosyncrasies. Album art would be wrong or I'd get tracks in triplicate. The Music app on my iOS devices would be missing album art or wouldn't display songs in the correct order. I just grew tired of having to manage my library so meticulously in order to get things to be how I wanted. There had to be a better way, I thought.

There was. After reading positive reviews from Federico Viticci and Shawn, I decided to sign up for Rdio. I first went for the free trail to see if I'd like the subscription-based model, and I quickly fell in love. I love the "all you can eat" approach to subscription services: pay a flat fee every month (I eventually went for the $10 unlimited plan), and you can listen to whatever you want. My Rdio library is roughly equivalent to what I had stored locally on my iPhone, plus a few additions. Adding music to my collection is a cinch, and I couldn't be happier thus far. The iOS apps are gorgeous (and flat, design-wise), and have replaced the stock Music app in my Dock. If there's one negative aspect of using Rdio, it's that, because you're streaming content, you can blow through your monthly allotment of data in a hurry. I like to listen to music while walking or on the bus, and I can foresee myself hitting the proverbial wall in terms of data. As such, I try to be mindful of how much music I listen to on the go. Another drawback is Rdio doesn't have music by every artist out there — for instance, I have Metallica's Death Magnetic in iTunes, but Rdio doesn't have any of the band's albums in their catalog.

Overall, these inconveniences are minor and easy to deal with. I've been using Rdio for about a month now, and it's a winner. I'm sold on the subscription model, and don't foresee myself going back to iTunes for my musical needs. I highly recommend Rdio to anyone looking for an alternative to iTunes.