Rdio drops web paywall, offers free music

Faced with growing competition from the likes of Spotify—and the impending launch of iCloud—cloud-music provider Rdio on Thursday partially dropped its paywall and began offering its web service for free.

The green meter at the top of the page indicates how much free music you have left.

Previously, Rdio had charged listeners $5 a month for web access, and $10 a month if they wanted to also listen on an array of devices, including through its iOS app. On Thursday, however, the company announced on its blog that it is making most of its features free, including ad-free song-streaming.

But the free service isn’t unlimited: A meter at the top of the Rdio’s web page lets you know roughly how much free music you have left during the course of a month. The company did not specify precisely how much free music it would offer during the course of a month. And Rdio’s iPhone app on Thursday morning was still requiring users to sign up for a free seven-day trial of Rdio Unlimited—the $10-a-month plan—or else be restricted to 30-second previews of songs.

You’ll have to give up some information in order to get the free music: Rdio requires you register with either an email or Facebook account before you start listening.

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