We've been lucky enough to get our hands on leaked screenshots from one version of Rdio, the forthcoming music app from Skype, KaZaA and Joost creators Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. Zennstrom and Friis were the original financiers behind peer-to-peer file sharing site KaZaA, but Rdio won't be following a free-for-all sharing model. Instead, Rdio will be a subscription music site similar to Spotify.

What will the men behind some of the most successful software of the online era do when it comes to music? Check out what we've discovered so far.

Currently being tested by a very small number of people, Rdio is an on-demand streaming service where users pay per month for unlimited music and connect to share playlists and music reviews. The company plans on creating an additional revenue stream via 99 cent song downloads and $10 album downloads.

These screenshots look cool at first glance, hopefully more retro than ugly. It will be interesting to see how the iPhone app looks and how it interacts with the touchscreen.


According to Rdio's Get Satisfaction page the service will offer a desktop client, a Blackberry application, an iPhone app and a web interface. The company's Blackberry application (that's what's pictured here) is already available to beta testers. Users can control their community dashboard, listen to playlists, find other music in heavy rotation and stream collections.

According to the company's blog, the application offers mobile playlist caching like Spotify's iPhone app and MOG's upcoming service. Rdio's iPhone and Android apps will offer the same functionality where users can continue listening even when they don't have access to a wireless network.

On Saturday, TechCrunch wrote an article about the company's engineering team. Given Rdio's ties to Imeem, Songbird and KaZaA, the team is more than equipped to build a decent streaming music site with a download client. Its success will probably depend on how it differentiates from other subscription products like Rhapsody and Spotify Premium.

The company has already closed deals with Warner Music and smaller labels like The Orchard; however, deals with EMI, Sony and Universal have yet to solidify. In order for Rdio to stand a fighting chance against others with catalogues of more than 6 million tracks, the company will have to negotiate licensing deals with all four major labels. Its rumored that Spotify is hoping to accomplish the same feat before launching its US service.

Rdio hopes to launch in 2010 but will presumably go live shortly after securing licensing deals. We're excited to see that happen.