I’ve been exploring iTunes Radio lately and there is some clever features and polish. My wife and I have had a Pandora subscription for a while ($48 per year via in-app purchase), but since our $25-per-year iTunes Match subscription also removes ads from iTunes Radio, I wonder if we can save some money.
If you’re interested in iTunes Radio, here’s some of the best stuff I’ve found so far.
You can tune stations for discovery, variety, or just the hits
This is really useful. Sometimes I want mostly hits for, say, background music at a party, versus discovering new music while writing this post at my desk.
If you share a station, the mix updates for your friends as you add music
As you listen to iTunes Radio stations, you can tell iTunes to “play more like this” and “never play this” for the current song. If you share a station and your friends add it to their collection, that station updates for them as you tweak your mix. It’s a radio station that you can customize and run for two friends or thousands of followers.
Tell Siri to “play more like this” or add the current song to your Wish List
I feel like this one should have been kind of obvious, but it took me way too long to discover. Siri understands many of iTunes Radio’s options, including “play more like this”, “add this to my Wish List”, and the skip and pause controls. You can also ask “What song is this?”, which is pretty handy while driving.
Your play history syncs between Mac, iPhone, and iPad
Just like your Wish List, the history of songs you play across all iTunes Radio stations syncs between all your devices. I don’t use this all the time, but it has been handy to double-check that one song from the other day and to add a couple songs to my Wish List. It also organizes played songs according to station name and the device you used to play them. In my screenshot, for example, you see two different stations played on Slartibartfast (my iPhone) and a station played on my Apple TV.