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Apple Announces Free iTunes Radio – Internet Radio Tailored to Your Personal Taste

Apple on Monday announced iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and a catalog of music from the iTunes Store, combined with iTunes features. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC or Apple TV, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalized just for you. 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. iTunes Radio also gives you access to exclusive first listen premieres from top selling artists, Siri integration, plus the ability to tag or buy anything you hear with just one click.

“iTunes Radio is an incredible way to listen to personalized radio stations which have been created just for you,” enthuses Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue in a release. “It’s the music you love most and the music youre going to love, and you can easily buy it from the iTunes Store with just one click.”

iTunes Radio offers access to thousands of new songs every week, as well as serving up exclusive music from new and popular artists before you hear them anywhere else. Whether its a single from an up-and-coming band or a pre-release stream of an entire album, iTunes Radio will be playing it, as well as being home to special events including live streams direct from the iTunes Festival in London and other exclusive iTunes Sessions.

Coming this fall, iTunes Radio will offer you an incredibly personalized experience on day one based on your listening history and past purchases from iTunes. In addition, if youre listening to a song you like from iTunes Radio or your music library you will be able to have a station built around those. Its easy to create and customize stations based on whatever you want to hear. Search for artists, songs, or genres, and iTunes Radio will instantly build a station around your choice.

Apple’s Siri can make your listening experience even more fun. Ask Siri Who plays that song? or Play more like this and Siri will comply. Say something like Play Jazz Radio or ask for any of your existing favorite stations and genres. Shape your stations by telling Siri what you like and dont like, or tell Siri to pause, stop or skip. You can also have Siri add songs to your Wish List to download later.

iTunes Radio is ad-supported and free for everyone. iTunes Match users get iTunes Radio ad-free, so instead of hearing the occasional ad on iTunes Radio, iTunes Match makes your listening completely ad-free. With iTunes Match, all your music – even songs you’ve imported from CDs, are stored in iCloud. So iTunes Radio can use information about your entire music collection to make your stations even more personalized. iTunes Match costs $24.99 for a year.

However, not everyone is blown away by the streamed music concept.

Quartz’s Tim Fernholz observes that with iTunes Radio, Apple is trying to adopt a business model it already helped kill, with its commodification of the digital music market having reduced the cost of music to a point where the effective price of a digital track negligible, and that on-demand streaming services will continue to compete with Apple’s iTunes store, and that Apple’s streaming radio service won’t win without on-demand play.

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