Editors' note: This review has been updated with new features from the latest version of Rdio for iOS released October 3, 2013.
Rdio for iOS is a subscription-based music service offering more than 18 million songs as well as added social components that let you connect with friends to share and discover new music, but it's not cheap. Still, with an updated version of the app for iOS, you may be swayed to sign up, with new streaming radio stations, a redesigned interface, and a cloud-based unified player that syncs your queue with your other devices.
Get started by downloading the free app, then sign up at the Rdio Web site for a 30-day free trial. As part of the Rdio community, you can share music with other members, add friends, and follow their music choices to find new music. You'll also be able to create unlimited playlists and share your playlists. This social component offers great possibilities for music discovery because you'll not only be able to listen to music and playlists from your friends, you also can explore chart toppers, and recent activity from other random users of the service.
The interface has been streamlined with an elegant gray-on-white control scheme that showcases the colors and art from artists' album covers. In the upper left you have a button for sliding out a menu of options to browse music in heavy rotation, recent activity (from other users), music in the top charts, and new releases. You also can view your personal collection (songs you've synced for offline listening), your history, your personal queue of songs to listen to, and your playlists. At the bottom of many of the screens, you also have the option to return to the playlist you're currently listening to.
Even though Rdio streams songs to you initially, what's great about the app is -- with a subscription -- you can sync your favorite songs to your device so you can listen to them even without a live Internet connection. Unsynced songs remain in your collection, but you'll need get back online to listen.