I have been singing the praises of Rdio so long you’d think I work there. I share their playlists, I make people join, I listen to it all day long (with our paid family subscription). I often talk about how much I prefer the Rdio interface to Spotify, particularly in terms of a discovery service that gives me data about what my friends are listening to – and shapes my music accordingly.
But lately there have been some major changes to the way albums and playlists appear in the desktop, and frankly, I am ticked off. I know I am 44 years old and have aging eyes, but the way that tech companies are catering to young hipsters (hello, iOS7) is irritating. IF anyone is doing usability testing, they are doing it with like-minded peers – and that sucks.
I have the Rdio desktop app up all day long, on my second screen. All day I watch what the people I follow listen to and check them out. The area that shows them is so small now I can’t even see THEIR full names, much less the name of the song they are listening to. I am all for clean white space, but I frankly cannot fathom what the new Rdio layouts do for anyone. I have to scroll around in frames to see anything – making me feel like I have returned to web tables.
Here is what it looks like now. I have kept the people I follow clear (because it’s public) to demonstrate some points below, but blurred out what they are listening to for their privacy.
Now. I did a quick re-design in Photoshop this afternoon. It’s sloppy, but SERIOUSLY.
Here are the things I suggest, knowing this will go nowhere, with the main purpose of just airing my grievances.
1. Move the Title of the Album and Artist back to the top.
2. Bring back the ability to download album art (magnifying glass).
3. Make the album art much smaller.
4. Move the Collection, Play, More buttons on the album and have them match how they are used elsewhere in Rdio.
5. Move Plays back to the top and make them larger. Bring back Playlist counts. This info is hugely beneficial.
6. Enlarge song list and remove some of the space between Song Title and Playtime.
7. Make the “Friends Have Listened” bubbles match the way they work elsewhere in Rdio and move them under the album art.
8. Shrink the review area and move it under album art.
9. Enlarge the Friend Bar on the right. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. Currently “David Pennington,” “Hopeless Records” and “Heather Armstrong” are cut off – names that are not very long at all. I cannot see name of the people I am following, much less the songs they are listening to. This is a HUGE part of social radio streaming and it should be a highlight of this interface.
10. Switch the order of song display in Friend Bar to “Song, Artist” to match everywhere else in Rdio. I get confused by this constantly, especially when I can’t read the whole thing.
11. Make the Repeat and Shuffle buttons more distinct, perhaps black and white circle backgrounds that toggle on and off.
12. Make everything in the bottom Playbar larger. Everything.
13: Bonus request: Give us the ability to organize our playlists into folders.