If you subscribe to Rdio and use iOS, keep your eye out for two new features designed to turn what the industry calls “lean forward” music (where you’re choosing songs intentionally) to “lean back” music (where something else chooses the songs for you).
Rdio’s latest iOS app adds Song Stations, which builds streaming radio stations around any song on Rdio, so if you have a favorite jam, you can now turn it into hours or days of fresh music along the same lines (this feature and the Autoplay feature use data from The Echo Nest, which publishes Evolver.fm). The app also allows you to look four tracks ahead of where you are listening at any time, unlike standard DMCA-compliant web radio services, and doesn’t limit skips — and you can proceed to turn any of those songs into radio stations too.
Here’s how this looks with “On Sight,” the first song off Kayne West’s new album Yeezus. Once you’ve selected a song you’ll see the option to Start Song Station:
Tapping that takes you to the playlist. In this case Nelly provides our first song:
Along the same lines, Rdio for iOS now never runs out of music. This new AutoPlay feature just starts playing music whenever your playlist ends. You might not even notice when the change happens, because AutoPlay keeps playing whatever sort of music was in your playlist.
All in all, both features take the best thing about Rdio or its competitors — the ability to play any song or playlist whenever you want — and used it to form the basis of a “lean back” experience that lets you keep driving, running, working, gardening, lying on the beach, or whatever you get up to this summer without going through the trouble of deciding what to listen to next.