September 17, 2013
Free music streaming services remain surprisingly rare on mobile devices. The same can’t be said on Macs and PCs, where Rdio, Spotify, and many others have long offered free streaming. For much of the summer, I have been largely unimpressed with Apple’s iTunes Radio service, at least on a Mac. The interface has been poor, the features extremely limited, and the content lacking, especially when compared to iTunes Radio on iOS 7. Thankfully, things have steadily changed for the better. The most recent iTunes update for developers has really improved the new service. The look of iTunes Radio, for example, is much more robust as the screenshot above shows. Additionally, it is now easier to search for songs previously played on iTunes Radio. To do so, you simply click to the right of the iTunes Player. Finally, content available for streaming has been expanded. Just this week, for example, The Beatles’ catalog was finally added to iTunes Radio. Apple still has a way to go, however. For one, I really wish there was a separate iTunes Radio application for Mac and PC. For another, despite the many improvements, the iTunes Radio interface remains surprisingly basic compared to other services. Nonetheless, I’m convinced that Apple has a winner on its hands with iTunes Radio. As such, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the service, both on iOS and for iTunes. As a reminder, iOS 7 launches worldwide beginning tomorrow, Sept. 18. OS X Mavericks is likely to launch in October. See also: Rdio Fights Back, Plans On Launching Free Music Service To Counter iTunes Radio, and Apple Showcases iTunes Radio.