Rdio relaunches with new web UI and revamped desktop apps

Music subscription service Rdio relaunched its web and desktop apps Tuesday at SXSW, taking some of the best parts of iTunes(s aapl), Facebook and Spotify to focus squarely on music discovery. “We basically took Rdio apart and put it back together,” explained the company’s head of product Malthe Sigurdsson during the event.
The new web UI resembles a desktop app like iTunes or Spotify, complete with a playlist bar on the left, a catalog view in the center pane and a social news feed on the right. It also puts a big emphasis on social interaction, making it possible for users to put together collaborative playlists with friends. Users can also compile private playlists that they don’t want to share. Rdio’s desktop apps mimick the web UI, which is available to subscribers starting today. Check out some of the changes in the promo video below:
The announcement comes some three months after Spotify unveiled its own take on the future of music subscriptions with an app platform that is integrated into the Spotify desktop player. Spotify has been the leading force in the growing music subscription market, forcing competitors to adapt and innovate, or be left behind; music subscription pioneer Napster shut down after being sold to Rhapsody last year, and MOG is reportedly in talks to be acquired as well.