Apple has just launched iTunes Radio in Australia, and hey, we’re the second place in the world to get the radio replacement service, which is a neat fact to know about. We’re even ahead of the UK and our friends a hop, skip, and a jump away in New Zealand.
It’s also free to listen to across your devices, putting it squarely in the territory of Pandora. Like that service, which is also a radio replacement service, you might hear the odd ad every so often.
But none of these are fun facts beyond what you can read on Apple’s webpage, so here are five you might not know about iTunes Radio, both good and bad.
One of the first things Apple has done with the service launching in Australia is customise the content for people of Australia.
That’s not to say there isn’t American content here, but rather that there is an editorial team coming up with new stations and things to list in the featured section.
It’s similar to the way Apple displays apps for you to download on its App Store, where a team tracks what the best apps are and makes little features for you to read about graphic apps or the best games.
For iTunes Radio, that means you’ll find guest hosts with stations featuring their voices like a radio personality, special stations that have to do with seasonal days (like Valentine’s Day), and other things the team thinks will be loved by listeners. It’s not just an automated system based on what you want to listen to, and your likes or dislikes, but you can certainly work from that, if you like.
Just remember, some of the stations have been provided by a team of people who love music and headphones just as much as you do.
A catalogue to remember
Easily one of the better features of the service is the library, which is matched to the Apple iTunes library you can buy music from.
One could argue that the reason for this is so that you spend money on tracks that you hear on the iTunes Radio service, and that’s probably the case, but there’s something else you need to know, and that has to do with library differences.
Over at Spotify, Pandora, Rara, Rdio, Sony Music Unlimited, Samsung Music Hub, Nokia MixRadio, Guevara, and any other music service running in Australia that we’ve missed (we don’t think we have, though), the libraries are, from what we understand, very very close.
In these libraries, you’ll find around 20 million songs, which is a lot of music.
Apple, however, has a bigger library, weighing in at 37 million songs.
It’s possible that Apple has the edge because it also sells the songs, the same listing that it sells across its iTunes network, while the others have a different type of license, and therefore a different type of catalogue.