iTunes Radio/ i wish they’d called it iRadio cos it’s easier to type


Yay! We really like this one.


iTunes radio is the Pandora-like radio streaming app we’ve all been anticipating from Apple, except it’s not standalone, it’s stuck inside iTunes. Which is actually a lot better, because it makes it easier for you to intertwine your own music and what you stream.


iTunes Radio provides a bunch of featured radio stations like ‘Summer songs’, around 200 genre based stations, as well as whatever songs/stations that are trending on twitter, and stations that your friends are listening to ( using Airdrop).


You can create your own station ( and share it with friends) based on genre, song name or artist. You can also start a station from a song in your own iTunes library.


When listening to a station, you can tell iTunes Radio to ‘play more like this’, ‘never play this song again’, or to add the song to your wish list. Like Pandora and Spotify, the app will learn from these actions and will intuitively play songs and artists more and more to your liking, whilst at the same time letting you discover new music.


You can look over your entire history on the app, as well as your wish list, giving you a super easy way to buy the songs you like from the store, straight into your itunes.


iTunes Radio is free, but it is supported by ads. If you are an iTunes Match subscriber than you get it free, with no ads.


Now, people have been freaking out a little bit since iTunes Radio was announced yesterday, saying RIP Pandora ( and Spotify and iHeart Radio etc) and other such way-ahead-of-yourselves-stuff, which we think is a little hasty. We love Pandora.


But here’s the thing. A yearly Ad-free subscription to Pandora is $36. A yearly subscription to iTunes Match, and hence ad-free iTunes Radio is $24.99. Some people will care about that $11 a year if the service and experience is comparable.We just don’t know that it is yet.


On the other hand, if you are like a lot of people and can just put up with ads, even if it’s the same damn one over and over and over again, then we can’t compare iTunes radio with any other radio streaming service yet, because the only hint to how many ads you’ll get is the word ‘occasional’.


One thing that Apple has over the other services is a whole other system built into some of the devices iTunes Radio will be used on. Siri wil be integrated into the service so that you can ask her to change the song, skip a song, ask who it’s by, ask her to play more songs like it, etc.


Apple promises first releases of new tracks and has apparently made deals with Universal, Warner and Sony in an effort to get access to a huge range of artists and songs. We can’t wait to try it, but until then, and maybe after, we still love you Pandora!


iTunes Radio is built into iTunes and will be available in the Fall with iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks across all devices, Apple TV and  iTunes on PC.



Image courtesy of Apple.