Rdio is a new online music service from the folks who brought us Skype, Kazaa, and much less successfully, Joost. The new company launched a private beta today, sending out invite codes to a handful of testers. A wider launch should be on its way, but for now you can sign up at the Rdio homepage to receive an email when the service goes public.
There seem to be a few things setting Rdio apart from other music subscription services such as Rhapsody and Spotify. First, while paying subscribers will be able to stream any of the 50million tracks that Rdio offers from major labels, you’ll also get access to your own music collection, synchronized with iTunes on your local machine.
In other words, you can listen to your own music and listen to it on any PC with a web browser or any mobile device with the Rdio mobile app (including iPhone, and BlackBerry, with an Android app on the way). If you’re using a mobile device, you can also download tracks for offline listening.
Rdio doesn’t actually upload your tracks to the internet though. Instead, it compares your collection with its own music catalog and provides you with access to those tracks. I’m not sure at this point what happens if you have music on your PC that isn’t available through Rdio.
There are also social tools which let you share your listening history with your friends and see what they’re listening to. You can also post updates to Facebook or Twitter.
Rdio will be available for $4.99 per month if you just want to use the web interface. In order to stream music to your phone you’ll need to pony up $9.99 for the Rdio Unlimited service.