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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Here's Why I Use Pandora, And Not iTunes Radio, With My AppRadio [Opinion]

iTunes Radio has been available for use for exactly 35 days today. At Apple's media event yesterday, CEO Tim Cook announced that nearly 20 million users had used the service and played over 1 billion songs within the first month. Although it sounds staggering, it really isn't as popular as Pandora yet.

According to a post on Billboard, Pandora is still favored by music listeners over iTunes Radio, 5-to-1. Read the entire post by clicking here.

One of the reasons why Pandora still takes the cake, especially for AppRadio users, is its seamless integration with car stereos. Pandora has an independent AppRadio interface which works without any issues right from the day the AppRadio was launched.

Don't get me wrong, I really like iTunes Radio. Especially because it is embedded within the music player on my iPhone as a separate tab. Going between streaming music and playing the tracks already on your iPhone only takes a couple of clicks.

The sound quality of the tracks on iTunes Radio is quite good too. Compared to tracks downloaded from iTunes, I've had to increase the volume on my AppRadio when using iTunes Radio though. Still, this isn't a deal breaker.

The biggest issue (and a deal breaker for me) with Apple's music streaming service is the lack of an independent AppRadio interface. Actually, even the iPod interface doesn't work with the AppRadio since Apple released their proprietary lightning connector. The iPod icon on the AppRadio is greyed out when connecting an iPhone 5.

Since there is no independent AppRadio interface, you can't use the steering wheel controls to skip tracks you don't like. Only the volume controls work.

And lastly, even though Apple says iTunes Radio is ad-free for iTunes Match subscribers you actually have to have iTunes Match enabled even after subscribing to enjoy an ad-free experience. I have a Match subscription but I also like to have my music physically present on my phone for offline use. Hence I haven't enabled iTunes Match. Although the ads are short and relevant, they can get a little annoying.

In keeping with this topic, this week's poll question aims to find out which streaming service you use with your AppRadio. Let us know by voting in the left sidebar of the website.

Image source: Apple

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