iTunes Radio

Monday's tip about iTunes Match talked all about how iTunes Match enhances your music library. Another awesome benefit of an iTunes Match subscription is ad-free iTunes Radio.

This Pandora-style app is built right into your iOS device (and iTunes!) and has a very similar feature set. It's great even without an iTunes Match subscription. 

Launch the Music and tap the Radio button. You'll be shown sample stations as well as any that you have created. You'll also see a large pink "+" button to create a new station. To start tap "New Station". You can pick a station from the list of genres or you can search for an artist, album, or song to "seed" your list. If you searched for a seed, select it from the list and your station will begin to play.

Once your station is playing you'll see a few new buttons.

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  • Price (top right): Allows you to purchase the song from the iTunes Music Store
  • Inspector, shown as circled "i" (top center): Here you can start new stations from this artist or song. This screen also has one of my favorite iTunes Radio features: Tune This Station. You can choose whether you want the station to play you the Hits, a Variety of songs, or if you want to Discover new music. iTunes Radio uses your library to help it make decisions once you've made a selection with the slide. Also on this screen you can allow explicit lyrics, or share your station via the normal sharing methods.
  • Star (bottom left): Star this song if you want to hear more songs like the current one playing, or never play it again on this station, if it doesn't fit or you don't like it. Lastly, you can add it to your iTunes Wish List to remember to purchase later.
  • Skip Song (bottom right): Skips the song currently playing, but won't block the song from playing again in the future. As with Pandora, you can only skip 6 songs in an hour.

We love iTunes Radio in our house - we use it for parties or just background music while working. It's new to iOS 7 and included on all iOS devices.