With iOS 7, Apple has debuted iTunes Radio, its answer to streaming music services like Rdio, Spotify, and Pandora. It is a free service with some occasional ads. So far the ads have been about advertising cars and iTunes Festival. If you do not want any ads, you can pay twenty-five dollars a year for iTunes Match…
To get into iTunes Radio, open up the Music App, which got a makeover and is now salmon-colored with a white sixteenth note in the middle of it, as opposed to it being orange with a brown sixteenth note in iOS 5 and iOS 6.
When you open up music, select Radio down at the bottom in the left hand side. When it is selected, it will turn a salmon color.
Press the Start Listening button to begin using iTunes Radio.
Up at the top, Apple put what they consider to be the Featured Stations. You can swipe right to left to see them all. These stations will change every few days. However, these Featured Stations are not to my liking so I am going to create my own station by tapping on the + button.
Upon adding a new station, you have two different options.
1. Be Specific. In the search field at the top, I can enter in an Artist, Genre, or Song. I’m in the mood for Pink Floyd, so I will type that in. While I type it in, iTunes comes up with suggestions before I finish typing. I can tap on Pink Floyd radio and it quickly adds the Pink Floyd Radio Station, plays the music and shows you what is playing.
2. Genre Suggestions. You can always use the predefined iTunes genres to create a new station. First choose a first level genre. Then there is a subcategory of even more specific classifications related to that genre. If you tap on it, it will give you snippet previews of the station. If you like what you hear, press the plus button in the salmon circle. It adds the station you were previewing quickly, plays the music and shows you what is playing.
By listening to the radio stations you created, you are able to fine tune it based off of your likes and dislikes. You can customize the station for exactly your tastes. In iTunes Radio if you press the Black Star button, you have the options to Play More Like This, Never Play This Song, and Add to iTunes Wish List. If you tell iTunes to Play More Like This, the star turns salmon.
You do not have to be in iTunes Radio to rate the songs, because you can rate the songs where ever you are on your phone using Control Center. In Control Center tap on the star to see the rating tools. If you tap on the star and decide not to do one of those options, you do have to press the salmon Cancel button before you can actually swipe down and close Control Center.
In iTunes Radio, if you press the salmon “i” (stands for info) button above the album cover, you get even more control of the station. You can control the station to play more Hits, Variety or Discovery by adjusting the slider. You are also able to allow explicit tracks and make stations based off the currently playing song or its artist.
When you are playing the music, and want to AirPlay the music to external speakers, you do have to use Control Center to AirPlay. If you press on AirPlay, it will show you any Bluetooth speakers or AirPlay speakers that you have available.
If you have noticed, iTunes is now making it really easy for you to spend your money by having the price listed in the upper right hand corner, with the two tap confirmation to buy the song. When you are looking at the info page, pressing the salmon horizontal lines brings you to the entire album in which the song you are listening to is from.
Earlier I mentioned you can add the song to your iTunes Wish List by pressing on the star button. To actually see what is in your iTunes Wish List, you have to go into the iTunes app. In iTunes if you press the turquoise horizontal lines in the upper right hand corner it will bring you there.
Here you are able to view your Wish List, everything you listened to in iTunes Radio and any Previews of songs you were listening to in the iTunes Store that you were thinking of maybe buying.
There are a lot of Siri commands that can be used with iTunes Radio. For example, launching Siri and saying “I like this song,” or “Play more songs like this one,” will allow the system to remember your taste in music.
Granted, when you do use iTunes Radio with Siri, the music pauses and then once Siri confirms what you like or dislike, the music will then resume.