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The Death Of Rdio (Or Why You Have To let It Go)

Rdio is shutting down because Pandora bought them. All signs are pointing toward the site being dissolved and the technology going to the ad loving Pandora. Rdio fans must begin a long and common process: mourning the loss of their libraries and having to start over elsewhere.

As a soon-to-be-former Rdio user, this sucks. I’ve been on the site for years, amassing a collection of thousands of albums and a handful of finely tuned playlists. I’m on the site every day, combing and combing and combing my music selection into something representative of my taste. What a great idea that was until the day came (Yesterday.) for it all to go away.

This is not uncommon, this feeling of loss at the hands of technology: it happens all the time. Remember ten or fifteen years ago when you had to back up hard drives and get everything migrated from one machine to another? Remember when you would forget to save things and, after a hard crash of your computer, you lost hundreds of thousands of units of information, from photos to music to documents, and you were really mad for a few days and then you realized that you weren’t even looking at 90% of that shit anyway? Remember that? Back then you had to relinquished the save, letting it all evaporate into a techno cloud. It happens all the time and is what with Rdio (or whenever you put all your information in the hands of someone else).

So what! Such is life. Things go away. Boo hoo, wah wah. As mp3s were rising and iTunes was becoming a part of everyone’s life, I was staunchly sticking to CDs because I wanted to be able to physically have my shit, so it would never get lost. I was too shellshocked by Microsoft’s office suit to believe that a computer would always be there for me, to have all of my things saved for me. I never trusted it. Eventually, I transitioned to mp3s, an easy come, easy go music format. Now that everything is always up in the air in a cloud, the loss ratio is very slim—but it still happens. Aging with technology, you learn how to let shit go. You don’t own anything online because you do not own the Internet. You are always prepared to lose it all.

Thankfully, my Last.fm is a good log of all the music I will have to re-catalogue on whatever new music platform I switch to. When that’s gone? My old hulking iMac at home will heavy breathe as I look at a history of music. When that dies? I will have a handful of CDs and various drives of shit. If those all go away? Oh well. It happens. You can’t take it with you.

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