After months of speculation, Apple finally debuted iTunes Radio at WWDC 2013 on Monday. Although most predicted the app to be called iRadio, Apple's new Spotify-like streaming radio service will come built into the iTunes app for iOS 7, and most of the functionality is consistent with previous rumors and predictions.
iTunes Radio will show songs trending on Twitter and recommend popular stations. If you find a station or song you like, iTunes Radio makes it easy to share it with friends. Like Pandora, users can skip tracks and start new stations based on individual songs or artists.
With one tap, users can also modify any station by having it play more songs similar to the current track, or to never play songs like it again. There is also a “wish list” function to make it easier to purchase the song in the iTunes store. Users can also see a history of the songs they listen to on iTunes Radio and purchase any of these tracks right from the app.
Apple finalized a deal with Sony Music Friday, which led most to believe that Apple would reveal a streaming music service at WWDC. Apple already had deals with the other two major music labels, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, and an agreement with Sony was the final piece necessary.
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While iTunes Radio will give users a bit more control over their stations than Pandora, it will be much more limited than on-demand services like Spotify or the recently revealed Google Play All Access. In all, the reveal of iTunes Radio was a bit underwhelming, and Apple said little about what distinguishes iTunes Radio from similar apps.
iTunes Radio will come built into iOS 7 for all Apple mobile devices, and will also come to desktop and laptop computers running OS X Mavericks. iTunes Radio will only be available in the U.S. at first, but will come to other countries later. It will be a free service with advertisements, and will run ad-free for iTunes Match subscribers.
Are you excited to try out iTunes Radio? Or do you wish it was coming with a few more features? Let us know in the comments section.