So after the long-wait, iTunes Radio was finally launched on September 18, 2013. While it is late to the party, it provides a nice iOS-tool to discover new music.
The first thing I like about iTunes Radio is the Featured Stations. Featured Stations offers many genres, ranging from simpler stations themed around popular genres to more nuanced mixes that combine the styles of a number of great artists. I chose iTunes Top 100-Alternative for a whole afternoon and was really enjoying it. With more than 27 millions tracks in its library, iTunes Radio sure has lots of things for you to discover! I also love the album art accompanied by basic playback controls laid out quite neatly. It's easy to navigate when you're driving. You can also call on Siri to ask her do things for you, like pause, skip, or play a track.
You can also personalize the stations to fit your taste. From the home screen of iTunes Radio, it's just a few clicks to create your own stations, based on one or more artists, songs, genres. One interesting note about the customizable station function is that it's actually learning to cater to your taste. While listening, you can tap Play More Like This or Never Play This Song to let it know your opinion so that it can tailor to your taste better. iTunes Radio is also linked to your iTunes account. So the more you listen and purchase, the better it gets to know what you like and do not like, thereby becomes more efficient at creating featured stations that cater to your taste.
Quick & Easy To Purchase
Many times I buy a song after discovering it on mainstream radio while driving. The problem is sometimes I like the song very much but don't get or remember its name when I got home. It then takes some time to remember the lyrics, search for the name of the track and then make a purchase. Now iTunes Radio makes it a lot easier and more convenient for me to purchase a track I discover. Just a tap on the price button in the Now Playing section will quickly take you to the iTunes Music store to make the purchase for the song you're listening to.
Minimal Intrusive Experience
Another sweet thing about iTunes Radio is that you can skip 6 times per hour, per station. I found this is substantial compared to other available online radio programs. It's nice to be able to do this, isn't it? Especially when you're trying to find new music.
I've been playing iTunes Radio long hours many times. Surprisingly, I've been introduced to ads only a few times. And absolutely only audio ads, no pop-ups or full-screen interstitials at all! If you want absolutely zero ads to disturb your music discovery journey, you can upgrade to an ad-free experience with iTunes Match. $25 is quite reasonable of a price!
In general, things on iTunes Radio are designed to work quite as a whole harmonious ecosystem that allows you to discover new music freely and conveniently. Some of the advantages I listed here can be found on other radio softwares. As an owner of a few OS and iOS devices, I find it fits into what I currently have more than other programs do. So, make your choice!