I was in high school when iTunes was first released. I stayed up until 2 am carefully crafting my first playlist from ripped CDs. Tracks were added based on how they fit the mood of the playlist. The last note of each track had to flow into the first note of the next. The finishing touch was a pseudo-poetic title like "as we lay dying". The next school day I shared my freshly burned playlist with friends. I was overjoyed to find they too had been up all night creating playlists. Sharing with friends was how I found new music. Actually, sharing music was how I made friends. Many joy filled memories from high school are tied to sharing playlists.
“Rdio is bringing the joy back. They have captured that intrinsic characteristic of music which is community.”
While iTunes is a fantastic tool, and still the primary way I acquire music, it does not connect with that joy anymore. For want of a better word, it's become closed. Music wants to be shared. It wants to be social and part of a community. Apple tried with Ping, but they got it backwards. It focused too much on the artist.
Rdio, in my humble opinion, has made a brilliant move. Their new interface puts greater focus on the human side. They've made it simpler to share and discover music with your friends. Rdio is bringing the joy back. They have captured that intrinsic characteristic of music which is community. For me that is the key to Rdio fitting into my life. It replaces Pandora and Pitchfork, not iTunes. I still intend to buy music to support the artist. $5 a month is a bargain for getting the joy of sharing and discovering music back as far as I'm concerned.