I want to start off by saying that I love Apple’s new iOS 7 and iTunes Radio so much that I have subscribed to their iTunes Match program which gives me iTunes Radio ad free (I hate commercials). But…I’m finding a bit of a learning curve with the new iTunes Radio. Sort of like training cats. Well, maybe not that bad. After all, you CAN train iTunes Radio…but your cat, yeah, good luck with that!
iTunes Radio: What I REALLY like
When I first heard that Apple was bringing iTunes Radio to iOS 7 several months ago, I immediately became excited. I heard all the opinions: from it’s going to be a Pandora killer to no one will use it (and everything in between).
Well, iOS 7 and iTunes Radio is here and, in my opinion, it’s a WINNER! So much of a winner, that I have cancelled my Pandora One subscription.
Here’s what I like about iTunes radio:
The audio quality is unbelievably good. But I would expect nothing less from Apple.
Not only can you create your own custom stations, but as each song plays, you can choose to Play More Like This, Never Play This Song and a feature I really like: Add to iTunes Wish List. This last feature is awesome because when it comes time to purchase music, you already have a list of songs you have already listened to and want to purchase.
When you set up your custom station or if you listen to one of the many pre-programmed stations by Apple, you have three options: Under Tune This Station, you can choose Hits (which, as you might guess, plays just the hits), Variety (hits and new music) and Discovery (plays new music mostly). I prefer the Variety because with this I get the hits and new music (discovery).
Siri is fully integrated with iTunes Radio. This is from Apple’s website (and I verified that this indeed does work): Whether you’re in the car, working out, or just hanging out, you can ask Siri on your iOS device to play what you’re in the mood to hear. For instance, if you’re listening to your favorite Hip Hop track, tell Siri “Play more like this” and you’ll hear similar songs. You can also say things like “What song is this?” to find out the artist. Ask Siri to play any of your favorite genres or stations. Or pause, stop, or skip to the next song. You can even have Siri add songs to your Wish List for you to download later. And, naturally, you can buy the song you are listening to right from within iTunes Radio!
Also from Apple’s website: As the world’s most popular music store, iTunes has access to thousands of new songs every week. And you’ll hear some of that music on iTunes Radio before you hear it anywhere else. Whether it’s an exclusive track from an up-and-coming band or a pre-release of the next big hit, iTunes Radio has you covered.
iTunes Radio: What I Don’t Like
I know every new technology has a learning curve, but when I created a Christian custom station, I seeded it with over fifty (50!) Christian artists I like. And while listening to it for awhile, it played many Christian songs in a row quite nicely with the variety that I requested. But then, it played several (like 3 or 4) secular songs in a row. I’m hoping that this is just a learning curve on iTunes Radio’s part.
The only other compliant that I have with iTunes Radio is the volume. When I am out riding my mountain bike, I listen to Audible books or iTunes Radio. But I found that the volume wasn’t as loud as I would have liked it (at max volume). Yes, I know this is a safety issue…but be that as it may…
All in all, iTunes Radio rocks!
I am very satisfied with iTunes Radio. And I recommend it for anyone who has an iOS 7 device or iTunes. I decided to subscribe to iTunes Match (which gives me iTunes Radio ad free) because I now have my entire music library in the iCloud! Safe and sound.
Have you tried iTunes Radio? If so, what do you think about it?