iOS 7 brought with it the introduction of iTunes Radio. This left me hoping I could cancel a few of my streaming subscriptions and replace them with it . My initial impressions of iTunes Radio for iOS left me skeptical to say the least. Since then I've looped back around and given it a second chance. While it's far from perfect, I have come to find that it's a great companion to my daily driver, which is Rdio. Here's why:
All of us have different music habits. Some of us choose to buy music while others are 100% committed to a streaming service of some kind. Over the years I've taken a look at many different streaming services, done trials, bought subscriptions, cancelled subscriptions, and come full circle again. At the end of the day, I've come to the realization that not one of them completely fits my needs.
What I do know is that I feel I've finally found a happy compromise and iTunes Radio is partially responsible for that. After giving it a second chance, I have found that iTunes Radio typically provides more suggestions and random artists that I do like than what other services provide. This leaves me listening to iTunes Radio throughout the day and adding the songs I really like to my Wish List. Since I'm not a buying music kind of person (I quickly get tired of it and never listen to it again), I'd rather pay a subscription fee to Rdio. I can then add all those tracks I discovered with iTunes Radio to my Rdio collection. Then when I don't want random and prefer listening to a certain kind of music or specific artist, I can do so with Rdio. When I get bored of a certain song, I can delete it and repeat the process at no extra cost to me aside from an all you can eat subscription fee.
I currently pay around $18/month for Rdio as there are two of us in the house that have unlimited subscriptions. This means we can stream all we want without ads and download as many songs as our iPhones or iPads will hold as long as we have an active subscription to the service. Both of us also subscribe to iTunes Match since we both have extensive music libraries that preceded the convenience of streaming services. With that subscription, we've both got unlimited access to iTunes Radio without ads at no extra cost.
Prior to iTunes Radio I also subscribed to di.fm and Songza. Since giving iTunes Radio a second chance, I've cancelled both of those premium subscriptions. I still use both but I can deal with ads for as little as I'm using them nowadays. I still think iTunes Radio is sorely lacking when it comes to electronic music but I can simply listen to the ad supported version of di.fm when I'm in the mood for that. And just like I do with iTunes Radio, I jump into Rdio and add the tracks I really like to my collection.
In our household, this setup works for us. iTunes Radio has saved me a few bucks a month on premium streaming subscriptions and while I gave up a little, I'm happy overall with the compromise.
How do you listen to music on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC?
While this is my current setup, I'm interested to hear what you guys are using too. Has iTunes Radio changed anything for you? Why or why not? Do the genres you listen to impact the services you use?
Let me know in the comments!
- iTunes Radio for iOS review
- iTunes Radio for OS X and Windows review
- Best streaming music apps for iPhone