Rdio, founded by Skype co-creator Janus Friis, offers on-demand music listening a la Spotify, along with artist stations and playlists. The service was subscription-only until striking a deal with Cumulus Radio last fall to provide ads for a free service.
Rdio is the second on-demand music service to hit Chromecast, after Google’s own Play Music, although a Beats Music app is expected. Rdio only offers free on-demand listening via its website. Mobile devices can play artist-based stations only with a free account. Mobile on-demand requires a $9.99 a month “unlimited” subscription. However Chromecast listening is available on all iOS and Android devices, alongside the Chrome browser.
Firing up the Rdio app on my Chromecast from either my laptop, iPhone or iPad went off without a hitch, working pretty much like every other Chromecast app. The sound quality was fine, and it was easy to control playback. The commercials are no more intrusive than those on Spotify or Pandora, though Rdio’s own adds are a touch less annoying at the moment. Using the Rdio web interface it’s nice to have an on-demand option for Chromecast for when I want to check out some new artists or albums that I haven’t yet purchased.
Having Rdio on Chromecast will definitely encourage me to use this service more often, perhaps supplanting Spotify for when I’m in the living room.