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Apple’s venture into the music streaming field has been a very long time coming and today it finally introduced iTunes Radio at its WWDC 2013 keynote.
But with the softwaren’t set to introduce in the US up until fall and the rest of the world soon after, will it be too little too late for the tech giant to take on the currently bedded in similarity Spotify, Pandora and Rdio?
We take a look at exactly what Apple’s iTunes Radio streaming service has going for it:
iRadio by any other name
Happily, Apple turned down the name ‘iRadio’ that’d actually been bandied about by the web for numerous months before the WWDC unveil.
There were a lot of reasons Apple should’ve shunned the name iRadio. For starters, it’s ugly and inelegant and those are two qualities Apple doesn’t go for.
Secondly, multiple trademarks currently exist on the name iRadio – there’s a music service in Ireland, for example, and an old four-star Wi-Fi radio bearing the name.
Thirdly, the word ‘radio’ smacks of old tech – and with Apple supposedly getting rid of skeumorphism in its iOS 7 update, we thought it could do away with such out-dated premises in its music streaming service – undoubtedly a swing and a miss on that one.
Finally, iRadio is a name that the media collectively created for simplicity of referring to whatever it’s Apple has up its sleeve – and we know from the ‘brand-new iPad’ ordeal that Apple won’t be led by the media when it concerns naming conventions.
There’s a complimentary, iAd-funded version
Just as a marketing trade mag reported, Apple is planning to use its iAds platform to deliver targeted audio ads to non-premium iTunes iRadio users.
All iTunes individuals will have the ability to gain access to iTunes iRadio free of cost however if you wish to ditch the advertisements, then you’ll need to register for iTunes Match.
You can buy music
Of course, Apple’s streaming product ties in with iTunes, giving users a barrier-free way to buy tracks they’ve actually streamed. The ‘purchase’ button prevails on all songs played through iTunes Radio.
One patent points to the possibility that you’ll even have the ability to fill up credit and buy cached tunes without even having a web connectivity – no official word on that from Apple yet, though.
The iRadio launch date is later this year …
Although Apple to revealed the service to devs at WWDC 2013, it will not introduce to consumers up until ‘fall’ which is when we will likewise see iOS 7 hit our iPhones.
…but only in the US
But that fall launch date (or fall, if you prefer) just applies to those in the US – the remainder of the world is still awaiting a vague launch date which will follow the American launch.
What did we see in our technological crystal ball ahead of the iTunes Radio reveal? Look into the rumors below:
Music labels are on board
This is all speculation, obviously, but numerous separate sources have actually claimed that the huge three record labels – Sony, Universal and Detector – have actually all signed on to Apple’s upcoming streaming service.
After literally years of negotiations (depending upon who you think), Universal was supposedly the first to break, with Detector not far behind. Sony was a more challenging nut to fracture, nevertheless – possibly mindful of its own streaming aspirations – but got on board at the eleventh hour.
Details of the deals are practically non-existent at this point, although a the aging processing rumor suggests that Apple is planning to pay more to rights holders than its major United States rival Pandora.
It’s kind of delayed
Apple is lagging well behind the competition in the music streaming arena. It’s been 5 years given that Spotify took streaming primary(ahem)stream and although Apple’s handled to retire Ping and bust out iTunes Match in that time, it has not really made it into streaming.
That’s regardless of reports of the service circling for a minimum of a year – the reasons for the hold up are apparently down to rights owners attempting to hardball for a better offer, as opposed to any technological problems. But worth remembering that this is all speculation and you can’t think everything you check out.
Meanwhile, arch-nemesis Google has handled to get in on the action – something that’ll have the people over at Cupertino truly het up.
Genius is iRadio’s not-so-secret secret weapon
Genius, which runs in the background of your iTunes account exercising what you enjoy so it can provide appropriate recommendations, is exactly what might set iRadio apart from Spotify and Pandora, which depend much more greatly on social integration and third-party apps to assist you discover brand-new music to stream and (ideally, eventually) buy.
For a roundup of the most significant WWDC 2013 keynote highlights, have a look at the video below: