iTunes Radio vs. Pandora?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by MagicThief83, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Just curious, what are your thoughts/initial impressions on iTunes Radio? (Decided to make this thread while waiting for my phone to update, as it's taking forever!) Any avid Pandora users considering switching over permanently? I've been listening to iTunes Radio for over an hour now (Trance) and while I think the music selection is ok, I actually find the Pandora selection more in tune (pun intended) with what I like. That said, I like the interface of iTunes Radio and how it allows you to fine tune the selection of music played by hits versus discovering newer songs. I also like how any song it plays is immediately available for purchase in iTunes and the transition between listening and purchasing music is seamless. Unlike iTunes Radio, Pandora has many songs I enjoy listening to, however, deciding to purchase some of them ultimately led me to a dead link in iTunes where that particular song wasn't available. With that said, I find the limited skips kind of annoying, as there are several pandora apps that allow unlimited skipping of songs, thereby, not being forced to listen to a song you extremely dislike. It's a close call really, but I think I'll stick with iTunes Radio for awhile until I get a better idea of what it truly has to offer.
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    Mckinney, TX
    #2
    I have been using Pandora for several years now. I never paid for the upgraded Pandora though. I'm an iTunes Match subscriber so I'm pleased to know that I won't have to listen to the annoying Pandora ads that half of them aren't even in English. I think it will take some time to fine tune my stations, but then again I had to fine tune them on Pandora as well. I've been listening to iTunes Radio since this morning and I like it so far. I will probably use iTunes Radio over Pandora from now on.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    HengenJL

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #3
    I have been paying for Pandora One for a few years now and have a lot of my stations fine tuned. I have been using iTunes Radio since Beta 2 on my iPad mini. Slowly but surely I am beginning to fine tune my iTunes Radio stations. I still have more stations in Pandora as I haven't used iTunes Radio enough to swivel my stations. I think its going to be a matter of time and testing to see how I like iTunes Radio.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    chrf097

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    #4
    I completely switched to iTunes Radio from Pandora.

    So far with iTunes Radio I've gotten A LOT more variety in songs. For instance, on the Electronic Radio on Pandora, I was listening to the same artists and the same songs often. With iTunes Radio I'm constantly hearing something new. Plus iTR has sliders that let you adjust the level of popular music vs. newly rising music.

    Also, the ads. Most ads don't bother me, but Pandora's ads were extremely obnoxious. 60 second video ads that would drop the quality of my music requiring me to relaunch the app, giant full screen ads that would pop up when I switch to the app, making me always accidentally tap them, they were really obnoxious and annoying ads. On iTunes Radio, the ads are always just "You're listening to iTunes Radio" or "Check out this artist's new album" or "Download the iTunes Festival app" or "Give a friend an iTunes gift card!". It's like disney channel ads. They're all high quality, they're only 5-10 seconds each, and they're not annoying or obnoxious either.

    Unless Pandora cuts back on their crazy ads, I'll stick to iTunes Radio and Rdio radio.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Anyone here find iTunes Radio repeating a lot of the same songs?
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    kfergiez

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #6
    I've noticed the sound quality of itunes radio is far superior to pandora.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    bigred7078

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #7
    I downloaded the GM so I have been using it for a few days now. At first I was getting a lot of repeats, and even repeats of songs I selected to never play again, but, that hasn't happened in a few days. It may need a day or two of customization from you before it starts to really shine.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    I agree, the sound quality is superb! The repeats are what's getting to me lol
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    #9
    I didn't use Pandora, but I actually cancelled my Spotify membership. iTunes Radio is awesome, and I can use those $10 a month to actually buy the songs if I want them.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    jtfolden

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, Ohio
    #10
    I'm using iTunes Radio on my Mac but on my phone I think I must stick with Pandora for now. The Pandora app has added a sleep timer which I use to I go to sleep. iTunes Radio doesn't seem to have this feature. Also, the station I listen to the most (built around the artist Matt Alber) just seems much better on Pandora out of the box. iTunes Radio is all over the place.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Time Less

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #11
    ios itunes has a sleep timer too, it's in the clock app.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    jtfolden

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, Ohio
    #12
    ...and that works with iTunes Radio?
     
  13. SBacklin, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    I noticed that on three separate occasions, I heard the same song after creating a new radio station and listening to it. For example, I heard Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' on one created radio station, then after creating another, I heard the same song in the newly created station.

    To clarify, I heard the same song in the scenario listed above within half and hour to an hour time span. It's happened maybe 5 times now so far.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Time Less

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #14
    yup, set your timer and "when timer ends" select "stop playing" instead of a tone. it's at the bottom. that option has been there for while now.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #15
    It interesting that the sound quality of Pandora went down right before this release. Forums suggested deleting Pandora and reinstalling it. It helped a little but it still sounds airy.:(
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    jtfolden

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, Ohio
    #16
    ohhhhh... ;-) I never saw the "stop playing" option way down at the end before. If I can get my stations tuned how I like them then I'll try that. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #17
    Agreed with several points on this thread.

    I'm a longtime Pandora user and a big fan. But iTunes Radio offers startlingly better sound quality and a significantly greater selection for the offbeat genres I like.

    There are still ads, and I don't like the user interface in iTunes on my Mac. But where it counts I'd score it a definite win.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    jtfolden

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, Ohio
    #18
    Ok, I'm seeing repeated songs now too... even after I set the station to "Variety"...
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    ErikGrim

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #19
    Pandora uses an algorithm, iTunes radio actually use real people ("genre experts") to create the selection. I suspect repeats will be less of an issue over time.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    You can also click the star and select never play this again

    ----------

    I'm not too fond of the UI either, but it isn't a deal breaker for me.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    nheilweil

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #21
    I'm an iTunes Match subscriber and I'm limited to 6 skips per hour for each station. Wasn't it supposed to be ad-free (which mine is) and also unlimited skips?
     
  22. macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #22
    I'm outside of the US enough that I gave up on pandora even though I used to like it, iTunes Radio works in other countries, so that is an important enough feature that I won't bother with pandora anymore even when I am somewhere that Pandora works.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    rockosmodurnlif

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #23
    My test station was a station based on "2/1" by Brian Eno from Ambient 1.

    The Pandora station constantly played Native American flute music.

    The iTunes Radio station surprised me with constant & engaging ambient tracks.

    I think this is due to track availability. iTunes Radio for me.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Location:
    Redlands, CA
    #24
    I've noticed much more repeats on iTunes Radio vs Pandora. It would usually take 6+ hrs for me to get a repeat on Pandora staying on a single station, iR on the other hand can start repeating within an hour. I had a song play 3 times last night after a few hours and another song twice in the same span.

    That being said, I'm loving the sound quality of iR over Pandora and much better results generated on my stations. Though I may have messed up Pandora over time by thumbs upping stuff from other stations that bled over.

    All in all I much prefer iTunes Radio at the moment and hope that the amount of song repeats is resolved over time.
     
  25. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #25
    When I started Beatles Radio on a couple separate occasions, it started with Hard Day's Night and a couple songs later played Jet by Wings. Like the exact same order. I also remember the iTunes Top 100 station playing some song I didn't like pretty quickly again, although I don't remember which one.

    I didn't use Pandora much. But I'm liking iTunes Radio a little bit. I mean if you're sick of listening to what you own, you can get something a little different with a much better selection than terrestrial radio.

    What might entice more iTunes Match subscribers would be an increase in skip limits. Or create some new tier or service for unlimited skips or go for broke with a Spotify-like service.
     

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