I was a holdout against subscription music for a long time but the time has come (actually probably a year or 3 ago). I accidentally lost my 15,000 song collection and was pleasantly surprised that I could still listen to it with Match (in fact I liked that doing so did not take up any drive space). But I still pretty much ever listen to my iTunes collection, instead just call up (almost) anything on Spotify. Being able to access almost any track for the cost of an album per month beats the heck out of pay-per-track/album.
Will be interesting to see if iRadio (and some of Apple's other things) make it to Windows and Android. That's the only way to become Pandora-et. al. killers.
Pandora as a standalone company is worthless. Whatever profits they make will be taken from them by the record companies. However, as part of another major internet advertising company (Facebook, Google, etc.) Pandora's product is interesting. That opens the door to audio retargeting ads, and other decent ad intelligence. So long as Pandora is an independent company, they will never make a profit, but they will always be an acquisition target, so that is why I don't short their stock.
much worse? iTunes has 10X more functionality than the web-based Google Play interface. For $25/year you get to match 25,000 songs to 256kbps AAC and you get ad-free personal stations. Google play may give you individual tracks and 20,000 songs matched for $90-120 a year. They have their pros and cons, but I don't think either is clearly "worse" than the other. Personally, since I already use iTunes Match, iRadio is a way better choice for me.
yeah, that is nice. It still doesn't make one clearly better. Currently the best iRadio alternative would be to use Google Play for purchased music and Pandora for radio... and that would still be more expensive than iTunes Match. iTunes has more exclusive artists than Google Play and
256kbps AAC is better quality than 320kbps MP3 and requires less bandwidth.
Ever used genius playlists? They leave everything else I have tried in the dust. I'm listing to some random BS off spotify right now, and if there is a link between the song I hit radio on, and this one, damned if I know what it is. I tried making a playlist off a kids song for the toddler the other day, and came back 10 mins later to find her listening to German opera. In not sure who was more confused.
Since it comes for free with iTunes Match, I suppose I will cancel Pandora if this doesn't suck. But I don't have much faith in that... iTunes Match is barely serviceable IMHO, and I'm mainly paying for it as a cloud backup of my music.
On the desktop it is fine. On the iPhone, it's slow to play songs that aren't local yet, and doesn't really work as seamlessly as I want. I know which songs are downloaded and which are not, because they act differently.
Reliability is still the problem for me. On iPhone, I frequently find download speeds ridiculously slow (on WiFi and LTE), and sometimes songs won't load at all. On iTunes on Windows 7, I frequently have auth issues, where it will gray out all or most of my library and require me to locate the files locally in order to play them. For the latter, the only fix I've found is to sign in and out and/or reconnect iTunes Match.
This is a Pandora-like service. You don't get to pick the songs played, just the artist/genre/song that the streaming service's playlist will use as a reference point.
I liked the concept when Pandora was new, but it seems somewhat out dated in a world of Spotify and Rdio which has radio features as a subset of a product that allows more user choice alongside passive discovery. A Pandora clone makes it seem like the record companies' interests were put ahead of the users' by Apple.
Still think the Spotify model is a lot better in terms of sharing and finding new music people are listening too.. Seems like I still have to pay for my individual songs on iTunes, which I think is a dieing breed.
Just tried it on the new iTunes for OSX and it kind of sucks. Great collection of Radio stations but you can't:
1. Save any stations as your favorites.
2. Quality of audio is below par
3. Station frequently looses signal and iTunes has to rebuffer.