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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.

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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.

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Press the Start Listening button to begin using iTunes Radio.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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37 Responses to “iOS 7 How-To: Use Apple’s new (and free) iTunes Radio streaming music service”

  1. Sad to see absolutely no mention from Apple on when this is coming to the UK?

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  2. If you tap “History” at the top of the main iTunes Radio screen, you can also then access your “Wish List” from there.

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  3. David Thomsson says:

    US only?

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  4. Dan Rortvedt says:

    What happens when iTunes Radio doesn’t show up in Music? Is that a bug that I found?

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    • alternapop says:

      iTunes Radio is only available in the US and only on 10.7+. If you meet both of these requirements then you can turn it on via iTunes>Preferences>General if it’s disabled.

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    • At the moment it is US only. But you can still easily get it working in any part of the world. Just get yourself a US based iTunes account. Login to your iDevice running iOS7 with that account and re launch your music app. The iTunes radio will show up.

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  5. Gary May says:

    After upgrading your iPhone or iPad, you may have to restart it at least twice for the Radio icon to show at the bottom of the Music app window. Apple’s forums are pretty active with people saying ‘iTunes Radio isn’t showing in the Music app.” The ‘restart’ fix worked for me.

    And yes, at least initially, iTunes Radio is US-only

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  6. The icon is two beamed eighth notes not a sixteenth. Sixteenth has two bars when beamed together. /pedant

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  7. Andre Moore says:

    ill more than likely pay for it after they update it. I’ve made two radio stations and no matter how many artist i add to the stations i get the same 20 songs over and over. Its even played 2 songs back to back over no matter how many times i tried to skip them.

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  8. Kevin Mongru says:

    with itunes match do you have unlimited skips?

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  9. I have paid iTunes Match, and I’m hearing ads all the time. I don’t have Match active on the device though, so that must be why. Nor am I going to activate Match, because, well it’s Match, and I prefer not to have my music library fracked with. Disappointing that PAYING for Match is NOT enough, but you also have to activate Match on the device. Which is simply never going to happen.

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    • You can turn on iTunes Match and then tell your device you don’t only want to show your local content. You don’t have to see all of your stored content if you don’t want to. I had this issue on my iPhone. I didn’t want to see every piece of music I owned on that device. So it’s just a matter of finding the iTunes Match settings on each device. Hopefully this helps.

      On another note… I’m loving iTunes Radio. Good system…have already made several stations… and as another reviewer said somewhere “it’s frightening how good it is at picking songs for you”. I’m a fan.

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    • Rob Smithson says:

      I’m in the same situation…didn’t want Match on my phone but I guess I will give it a try so I can skip the ads from iRadio.

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  10. Dahc Renrut says:

    To get my ITunes Radio to work, I rebooted twice, then killed the background running Music app by double clicking the home button. After relauncing the Music app, the iRadio popped right for me.

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  11. i couldnt find itunes radio in my iphine5 updated with ios7 .anyone pls help me

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  12. This page explains how to access iTunes Radio outside of the US: http://iosguides.net/itunes-radio-outside-us/

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  13. Bill Coyne says:

    my iradio on my iphone4s update stops after about every 5 songs and I have to go back in a reset the station. Anyway to avoid this????

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  14. sheebla says:

    Any way to play your stations in shuffle mode,like Pandora?

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  15. Chris Bowman says:

    Those are eighth notes in the icon for iTunes … not sixteenth.

    That being said, if you are already paying for iTunes in the Cloud (so that you get iTunes radio add free), it is a really great service. I notice that it is a bit more bandwidth hungry than some of the other music services I’ve tried, but the quality also seems a bit better (that is probably just my subjective opinion, I have nothing to back up a quality difference).

    Considering the huge difference in the quantity of songs available to Apple over the next most popular service, Pandora, I feel like I get a better mix of music. Being a fan of music that is mostly not mainstream (classical and folk), iTunes Radio’s better selection for what I like to listen to, makes it a winner for me.

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  16. All I get is the iCloud stuff. All the songs that iTunes supposedly synched with my iPhone (from my computer) are not showing up in my iPhone music app. Where did they go?

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  17. Your article re using apple iTunes radio very helpful, thank you

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