The inside scoop on Xbox Music, Spotify, Rdio and other subscription music services

What's the Deal with Conor Knighton

Recently, Microsoft introduced Xbox Music which makes managing your music across your tablet, PC phone and TV easy. But Xbox Music is only one of the subscription-based music service out there.  Some others that are already established are  Rdio and Spotify. 

If you're not using subscription music yet, you may be soon. Here's what you need to know:

1)       A subscription-based service features millions of songs that you can play with just one click. 

2)       If you're willing to listen to ads, you can listen to Spotify for free, but for $5, you can get unlimited ad-free music streaming.

3)       Rdio offers the same ad-free deal and, for $10, you can play the songs on your mobile device.

These music subscriptions are sort of like Netflix, where you pay a monthly fee and then get access to a huge library.  Plus, the selection is extensive with millions of songs ranging from newer CDs like Mumford and Son, late 90s hip hop tunes and classic artists, to  karaoke versions of popular songs.

If you're paying for the top level service, you can download the songs to your phone and listen to them even when you're not connected to the internet.

The Microsoft service works great if you use Windows for everything.  If you don’t, then it might be better to skip Xbox Music and focus on Rdio and Spotify.  Both offer the ability to share playlists with friends and to discover new music.

To get Spotify, you have to download an app, but Rdio works through a web browser, which is helpful if you want to listen to music at work and aren't allowed to install programs.

Streaming subscription services are considered the future of the music industry as you can listen to what you want, when you want, and it's easier than stealing.

More on Spotify

More on Rdio

Will you be subscribing?  Let us know in the comment section below.

Got a "What’s the Deal" idea you want Conor Knighton to check out? Email it to


Print this article Back to Top