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Rdio music service iPhone app updated, gives better offline controls

The social music discovery service Rdio has gotten an iPhone facelift; the company's app has a bunch of new features in version 1.0 (released today), including a key improvement for users who sync their music from Rdio down to their phones for offline access.

Much like Apple's Ping social layer for iTunes, Rdio gives music recommendations and listings based on what your friends like to listen to -- but it also gives you direct access to the music, letting you play it on the company's website or on your mobile device.

Beyond the UI improvements in the new build (including a handy springboard for quick access to all the sections, and a persistent player at the bottom of the screen), the app now lets you select whether or not to sync music offline when on 3G connectivity, or only on Wi-Fi. Pulling down multimegabytes of music tracks could easily crush a low-end data plan, so this will be a big help to some users.

The Rdio service was launched by two Skype founders (Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis) and is currently available only in the US and Canada. After a seven-day free trial period, the web-only service (which won't let you play music offline using the app) is $4.99 monthly; the premium mobile-enabled service is $9.99 a month.

Full press release behind the button.

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Rdio Unveils Its Completely Redesigned iPhone App
To Provide a More Intuitive and Best-in-Category Music Experience

Rdio for iPhone 1.0 Now Available for Download

SAN FRANCISCO, February 17, 2011 – Rdio, the unlimited, on-demand social music service from the founders of Skype, today announced that a completely redesigned Rdio app for iPhone is now available for download from the iTunes App Store and as an automatic update for existing users. The new app includes all of its previous features organized on an all-new "springboard" dashboard along with several new features like one-touch access to new releases, top charts and recommended albums as well as numerous enhancements including deeper search and a new persistent player that stays put no matter where you browse within the app.

"We were uncompromising in our approach to improving Rdio across all platforms and focused on creating a world-class music experience optimized for iPhone without losing any of the core social and music innovations that you have come to expect from the Rdio website," said Malthe Sigurdsson, VP of Product Design at Rdio. "We're extremely passionate about design and music at Rdio and we believe it shows in our web service and this newly updated iPhone app."

The all-new mobile app includes several new features and enhancements, including:

A more efficient home screen – We've eliminated the tabs along the bottom of our app and organized all your favorite features into a customizable home screen. Just like the iOS we're all familiar with, you can tap and hold icons on the springboard to rearrange them. We've also smartly integrated the search bar at the top of the dashboard for quicker access to our catalogue.

New releases, top charts and recommended music – Never be in the dark about what's new and buzzing in the world of music. The new Rdio app has easy access to New Releases, Top Charts, and Recommended albums so you can always stay up to date on new music and easily re-discover old favorites. Drill down to learn about new music from this week, last week, or 2 weeks ago. Check out top albums, songs and playlists, or browse a visual collection of album recommendations based upon the music you've previously played.

A persistent player at the bottom of the screen – Rdio rethought the player when we designed a way to make it move with you no matter where you browsed within our website. Now we're bringing that same experience to our mobile app so you can always see at a glance what's playing and access player controls with a tap of the finger no matter where you are within the app.

Deeper search – More than just artists, albums and songs, our fast search now also provides results for playlists and people.

More syncing options – Syncing songs to your phone over the air for offline playback is undeniably cool but can be costly if you exceed the limits of your data plan. The new Rdio app gives you the option of syncing over Wi-Fi or 3G, Wi-Fi only, or never.

Synced songs and playlist views – There's a new way to filter your Collection and Playlist so that you can easily see what you have synced to your device without going into offline mode.

Rdio is an unlimited, on-demand social music service that lets subscribers listen to music on the web, in your home and on your mobile phone, even offline. Rdio's key differentiator is its unique social design that emulates the way music has always been shared-from person to person. Rdio subscribers build and share their online music collections from a catalogue of over 8 million songs, and can see the listening activity, collections and playlists of other Rdio users including friends and influencers. Subscribers can also see what's in heavy rotation in their network and the Rdio community, top charts and newly released albums.Rdio has relationships with all four major labels (EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group) and thousands of indie labels.

Pricing
Rdio for iPhone 1.0 is a free download from the iTunes App Store. After a 7-day free trial, Rdio Unlimited (web, desktop, mobile, Sonos) is $9.99 and Rdio Web is $4.99.

About Rdio
Rdio is an unlimited, on-demand social music service that brings music alive by letting subscribers listen to as many songs as they want, anytime, anywhere, and discover and share new music with friends. Rdio was founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the founders of Skype and is funded by Atomico, as well as Janus Friis through his investment entities, Mangrove Capital Partners and Skype.

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