Apple announces iTunes Radio, coming this Fall

iTunes Radio (three-up, iPhone 5)

Ending months of speculation, Apple here at WWDC talked about its Pandora-like service, dubbed by the press iRadio. The company is actually calling it iTunes Radio and pitches it as a free Internet radio service that features over 200 stations and “an incredible catalog of music” from the iTunes Store. Built right into a redesigned Music app in iOS 7, iTunes Radio streams music for free, in exchange for ads.

The new service also gives you access to “first listen” premieres from top selling artists and other exclusives. Tim Cook called it “the best way to discover new music.” Here’s your fine print…

iTunes Radio features a list of Featured Stations curated by Apple.

Tap a station to immediately start listening to music, live-streamed over a network connection to your device. You can also search for artists, songs, or genres.

If you like a track, tag it with a simple tap. Of course, you can easily buy anything you hear with just one click because Apple also happens to run the iTunes Store, the world’s biggest seller of digital music bar none.

There are genre-based 200 stations to choose from, but you can also start a new station based on the song you’re currently hearing on iTunes Radio or one from your music library.

Tapping the power of its iTunes Genius in the cloud and the vast database of iTunes song metadata, Apple is able to tailor the station to a particular song and your music listening habits.

This personalized experience will also be based on your listening history and past purchases from iTunes. In fact, the more you use iTunes Radio, the more it will cater to your tastes, Apple says.

iTunes Radio evolves based on the music you play and download. The more you use iTunes Radio and iTunes, the more it knows what you like to listen to and the more personalized your experience becomes. 

Of course, iTunes Radio plays nice with Siri so you can just tell her to “Play more music like this,” “Play Jazz Radio”, ask her “Who plays that song?” or have her add songs to your Wish List to download later and so forth.

Apple will be adding “thousands of new songs every week” and hosting special events on iTunes Radio, including live streams direct from the iTunes Festival in London and other exclusive iTunes Sessions.

According to a media release, iTunes Radio is coming this Fall to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC or Apple TV via desktop iTunes and mobile Music apps.

And last, but not the least, if you’re an iTunes Match subscriber ($24.99 a year) – iTunes Radio will be completely ad-free for you.

To learn more, visit the new iTunes Radio web page.