Rdio Wants to Stream Stronger, Launches 'Artists for Quality' Initiative with Grateful Dead's Bob Weir

Looks like Neil Young isn't the only veteran rocker with quality on his mind; The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir has teamed with Rdio on a program the company is calling "Artists for Quality." In a blog post, the company has dubbed the initiative a mission "to ignite and lead discussions on inequity in streaming audio quality, and to commit to both artists and music fans to establish the highest standard of streaming quality in the digital music space."

As a first step, Rdio will be delivering its catalog in a higher, 320kbps, bitrate encoded in the "roomier" AAC format -- where available. In areas with poor bandwidth, the company will work to optimize its streaming reliability and quaity, when possible.


Bob Weir appeared on CNBC, viewable below, to introduce the initiative "It's tiring to listen to digital music," Weir said. "When I was a kid... we'd put on a couple records and listen to them all the way through." Weir continued: "One by one, people are going to go 'Oh, I never heard that.'"

The move by Rdio is part of a larger trend of companies pushing "high-quality" audio. Beats Music made it a priority from day one, Samsung is reportedly pursuing high-quality hardware, Neil Young's recent Kickstarter was the third-most successful in history, while the iTunes Music Store is rumored to be close to selling 24-bit downloads for a number of years, as well.