iTunes Radio is looking to change the way we consume online radio, and before you think this is all Apple fanboy talk, there are a few new iTunes Radio features here that add new dimensions that we haven’t had with Pandora Radio or Spotify. Creating an iTunes Radio station is easy, and tweaking them gives customization that most streaming music services don’t offer for radio stations. The latest iOS version is Apple iOS 7, and when you do your iOS update, you’ll be able to use iTunes Radio and an enhanced Siri. The Siri app is famous for prompting exclamations like “Why, Siri, Why” but the Siri app has gone through a lot of upgrades and rewards us with smoother performance.
Take the video walk-through that Richard Greenfield of BTIG Research does here (watch below), which shows the new iTunes Radio features and Siri as offered through iOS 7. iTunes Radio on the iPhone and iPad is found in the new Music app, and Kyle created a station centered around an artist, Elton John, by listening to one of his songs through the iTunes Radio app. He walks us through the one click to buy, or one click to create an artist radio station, which then adds the artists radio station to stations list. The clean layout is inline with Apple’s new flat look for iOS 7 and typical of Apple’s clean and simple design standard.
Siri is super-easy to use, and this is what offsets iTunes Radio from Pandora Radio. All Greenfield had say to the Siri app was "play Led Zeppelin radio," and the station was created and automagically saved to his stations list. This will change the course of online radio ... Pandora Radio does not have an automated voice feature and with iTunes Radio being used in cars via iPhone and iPad, or on the go for other hands-free situations makes is a lot easier to change things up on the fly. iTunes Radio and Siri will also have dashboard tie-in options in iOS 7.
Another new feature with iTunes Radio is the how you tweak your online radio station once you've created it, by adding artists and genres to your dedicated station. Customizing is another of the iTunes Radio features that’s not available on most other platforms right now, with Slacker Radio being an exception.
The instream ads did interrupt the listening experience, both visually and with audio, but the pain was over in about 10 seconds, making it a quick necessary pain to support the free online radio experience. The conversion to buying experience is fairly seamless too, allowing you to buy the song by seeing it in the full album playlist, in case you want any other songs from that album.
So how much impact do you think Sir will have for online radio? Will we see voice recognition from Pandora Radio, or will they try to offset iTunes Radio features with other standalone features of their own? Do you use Siri now? Will you use Siri with iTunes Radio? Are you now, or have you ever been experienced? Let me know.