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Rdio to "heat things up" with 6 months free streaming

Online music service Rdio has announced that it is now offering up to six months of free music streaming in nearly all the countries where the service is currently available.

New users can sign up and activate free music streaming at and gain instant access to Rdio's library of over 18 million songs. Free music streaming launched in the US back in October 2011, but is now available here in the UK, as well as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. It is not yet available in Germany or Brazil, however.

The move is intended to "attract international users and to heat things up competitively as we expect this will drive a lot more users," an Rdio spokesman said.

Depending on how many songs are streamed, users can have up to six months of free, streaming music. A meter at the top of a user's profile page lets them see how much free music they have left to access. Users can upgrade at any time to one of Rdio's subscription plans for unlimited streaming and access to its mobile apps.

Free streaming is available through the Web or Rdio's desktop application. Rdio allows for listeners to pick and choose which songs they want to listen to, create playlists, see and hear playlists from some of their favourite artists, and discover new music by following friends and people with similar music tastes. Users can also share their soundtracks through Facebook or Twitter.

In mid-2012, Rdio got a major revamp that was intended to provide a more visually appealing interface that's easier to navigate. In November, Rdio rolled out an update for its iOS and Android apps.