Rdio users might be a little surprised at the new look and features the music streaming sports, but it might have been a long time coming. The service is still lagging behind the two biggest monsters in the online digital music space: Pandora and YouTube. And with YouTube adding subscription services soon, Rdio has a lot of work to do.
One new introduction is a free tier that will allow users to listen to music at no charge, so long as they put up with ads. The layout of the site is also far cleaner, with more white space and less clutter in an attempt for the service to feel more like a newsletter or more like your Facebook feed.
Trying Rdio out here though, the service immediately prompted "You're out of free music. Subscribe now for unlimited music." Funny how this writer hadn't even listened to any kind of music from Rdio for a while.
In all likelihood, ads probably haven't been optimised for non-US users thus US users will probably be the first to benefit from free listening until Rdio manages to figure out how advertising will work in non-US countries.
Other changes worth noting - premium users' synced tracks are now called downloads and users can just mark tracks as favourites without needing whole albums to their collection. You can also 'favourite' stations and artists. Rdio encourages users to curate their own stations and also adds tools to help users find new music worth listening to and worth sharing. While you're 'discovering' your music, your friend's comments will also be filtered in, making it a lot like Facebook.
At the moment, Rdio subscriptions can be had for S$4.90 (Web), S$9.90 (includes apps) and S$17.90 (family subscriptions).