iTunes Radio (three-up, iPhone 5)

As expected, Apple introduced a new streaming music service on Monday during its WWDC keynote. It’s built into the Music app in iOS 7, and it plays full songs, at random, based on a genre, album or artist of your choosing. It’s a lot like Pandora.

But it’s better than Pandora. I can’t explain it, but I’ve been using it non stop the past two days and it almost always feels like the DJ is playing my song. Maybe it’s magic. Or maybe it’s my 5+ years of iTunes purchase history. Either way, it rocks.

My only complaint about the service is that, for some reason, there doesn’t seem to be any music with explicit lyrics. Even with rap songs, all I get are edited versions. So I have to ask, Apple, what happened to all of the curse words in iTunes Radio?

I’m not the only one that noticed the music is missing profanity. A quick scan of Twitter shows a slew of complaints regarding the lack of curse words in Radio tracks. And the folks over at Cult of Mac appear to be seeing the same thing on their end.

But it isn’t an ‘everybody’ thing. Some users have reported hearing songs with explicit lyrics, so there are a few theories floating around. Maybe it’s a bug, like we saw last year with iTunes Match. Or maybe the profanity is reserved for Match members.

I looked, and I haven’t found a way to manually enable explicit lyrics like you can in Pandora. And there’s no way to tell a clean version from an explicit version, like you can in Spotify. So it’s either intentional, a bug, or I’m just getting seriously unlucky.

Whatever the reason, I sincerely hope it changes. It’s not just that the cuss words are gone, but sometimes it totally changes the song. You either get completely different lyrics/entire verses, or you get skipping and sound effects in place of the swearing.

Having said all of that, we’re still in the first iOS 7 beta. And the public version of iTunes Radio won’t be available until the fall. So here’s hoping this is just a minor issue and it’ll be fixed by launch time. Because if not, the service is going to be a tough sell.

  • cmmb


    • RyanB

      Ain’t no body got time for that

      • kings121

        Dead giveaway my iOS 6 got big testicles cause we seeing this dude everyday

      • Parth Patel

        Kill flowers

      • Ian

        Got the same. xD

      • Kurt

        That’s my sms tone

      • David Villamizar

        I do like to kill flowers D:

    • Andrius

      ching chong

      • RyanB

        Ain’t no body got time for casual racism either

    • batongxue

      You again. = =!

    • JomanJi

      Why should we kill flowers D:

  • magicmike

    I had songs yesterday with curse words show up on iTunes Radio. If i remember correctly there was even a little “E” on the bottom right showing that it was explicit. Along with this, I also had cursing without that symbol in another song.

    Also, as of right now for me, it says “iTunes Radio Unavailable – Sorry for the inconvenience, but iTunes Radio is not available. Please try again in a little while.” (Maybe they’re trying to fix the problem)

    • Guest

      Call me stupid, but where do I access iTunes Radio? I can’t seem to find it in the native music app in iOS 7

      • JoshuaHulgan

        Bottom left tab.
        Also US only right now

      • Guest

        Also US only right now

      • Guest

        Oh yeah! I’d forgotten that

      • Guest

        Not here for me. . From left to right I have Playlists, Artists, Songs, Albums, More. The more tab brings up the other native options, and the edit button within tab doesn’t show iTunes Radio either.

      • Mohamed Elzarei

        Create a US AppleID and it works.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Good to know! Is that the only restriction or is it restricted based on IP address too like Pandora is?

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        Im in india, but im being able to use the radio

  • iTechMunch

    Radio is not available here in UK

    • Jay

      you guys are missing out ! I upgraded to ios7 and i’ve been on radio non stop

      • iTechMunch

        Yes I am on iOS 7 but there is no radio it is only available for US

      • Tom

        …only available in the US at the moment. It will be rolled out to other countries eventually. It’s like with the App Store. They will keep tying up rights deals in different countries, then roll it out.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        It’s kind of sad if you think about it since I know Apple has something awesome and they know they have something awesome but because of the pathetic record labels not wanting to play ball there’s going to be this big delay where it’s only available in the US and no where else…

  • Ricky

    I wanna ask if ios7 beta 1 expires will my phone immediatly brick or they gave me some time to update OTA directky from the device?

    • RyanB

      I was wondering this too…

    • MrM0N0P0LY

      If it does “brick” you can just boot into DFU mode and load ios 6 or the next beta

    • Joseph A. Ahmad

      During the iOS 5 and iOS 6 betas, there were OTA updates upgrading to beta 2 and on. And they’ll push the next beta weeks before the one you’re on expires.

  • Bruno

    continua a depender de internet nao presta para nada! ate um nokia dos piores , tem um miseravel radio que so é preciso ligar os phones! radio dependente de internet nao é radio merda nenhuma! Apple vai te fuder e leva contigo a tua estupida vontade de enriquecer a custa dos outros obrigando a pagar tudo e mais alguma coisa!

  • joshuatw

    I think it plays explicit lyrics for songs matched using iTunes Match. I’ve noticed the track with profanity have the cloud download icon instead of a purchase button.

  • rosssimpson

    Is there a way to get iRadio in the UK? I really want to try it out!

    • Nir Tal

      try using vpn service it’s work for pandora

  • Kenny Sierra

    I live inn Finland and i have an usa account and it works.

  • steve_shore

    Hmmm. I thought it wasn’t working at all – my iTunes radio plays about 10 seconds of a song and then goes to the next. Must be a bug; I’ll force close and try again. Anyone else experiencing this?

    • Gerardo Castro

      Were you trying to add a new station? It does that to give you a preview of the genre youre adding. You still have to click the plus sign to add the station.

  • David Gitman

    Somehow apple said i need to get it too on my iphone 4
    but i dont see it? help?

  • Gorgonphone

    lol apple says no to curse words

  • Gorgonphone

    i find iRadio to be unnecessary

  • Barnez Hilton

    radio edits = no swearing. what planet do you live on?
    use your itunes music app if you want explicit shit

  • Pitchy

    I can’t imagine not being able to skip tracks. That alone makes Pandora infinitely better in my opinion.

  • fl0manel

    Yeah, this is the reason why i still listen to iHeartRadio. I’m still not sure about iTunes Radio as it is quite buggy at times, even with a good connection. But then again, I can’t complain as this is just a beta.


    I havent updated to ios7 beta i want that element of surprise when its released to the public but i really hope after the beta has been done with apple Add local DAB radio to itunes radio that would be soooo awesome it would stop me from using tunein radio for good and their non stop useless updates COME ON APPLE MAKE THIS HAPPEN PLEASE.

    • SimonReidy

      That would require a specific DAB radio chipset and antenna. Not to mention there is no money or incentive for Apple for to you listen to music over the airwaves, as they want you to click through to buy songs from iTunes.

      • YzMENTALzY

        When i said DAB i meant over internet like tunein

  • Delric Thomas

    I like not having the curse words. Even though I have no explicit music option selected in Pandora, it still plays curse words.

  • Black0ps

    I noticed I was unable to download explicit music in iOS 7. I saw that even though restrictions was turned off in settings, the music was set to allow clean content only. So I enabled restrictions, and I enabled explicit content, then I disabled restrictions and now everything works as it should.

  • James

    Guys… Seriously… This is only beta 2 and you people are whining like you just bought a finished product and got ripped off.

  • Zach Murfin

    If you look at the top of the station page, there’s an ‘i’ with a circle around it.
    Press that and you have an option to enable explicit songs.

  • Aaron Campanella

    You simply have to turn explicit content on. In your station, click the information button at the top. Scroll down and there will be a switch.


  • eloy estrada

    While playing a song, hit the info button up top and then scroll down and you get the choice of allowing explicit lyrics

  • Jacob Schoolman

    You guys are all stupid you go to your station click on it so it plays music click on the i on the top and then one of the settings is allow explicit content. Your welcome.

  • Jaylynn Robinson

    How do you put the cuss word on it?