Apple Inc. (AAPL) iTunes Radio Has Pandora In Its Crosshairs

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rolled out iOS 7 today, and along with the new operating system comes iTunes Radio. The company may be a latecomer to the streaming music game, but already some are saying that it’s better than the service provided by industry leader Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P).

Apple Inc. (AAPL) iTunes Radio Has Pandora In Its Crosshairs

The good and the bad about Apple’s iTunes Radio

CNET editors reviewed Apple’s new service, and one of the best things they like about it is the Featured Stations. They note that Pandora does not have this feature, which makes it easier for users to discover new songs—both hits and lesser-known ones. They also said that with about 27 million tracks, the iTunes Radio library is much larger than Pandora’s library, which only has about 1 million tracks. They also said that it’s very easy to buy music from directly inside the service.

They note just two things they view as negatives for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iTunes Radio. They said it doesn’t offer any non-music choices like news, talk radio or sports. Also the service does not provide users with access to live radio streams from the Internet.

The basics of using Apple’s iTunes Radio

The editors note that it’s “almost a no-brainer” for iOS users who are already using the music app that’s built into their devices to use iTunes Radio. They said even some who are using another app to play music might want to think about switching.

The Featured Stations use a special algorithm to provide listeners with a blend of music they are more likely to enjoy based on previous selections. They have found that the selections offered by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) cover everything from simple stations from basic genres to other mixes which focus on styles of just a few artists.

iTunes Radio is also integrated with Siri, so users can speak commands to their iOS device for control of the service easily, even while driving. They can ask for a specific song or have Siri pause, play, or even skip a track. Like competitors, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) allows users no more than six song skips per hour, per station.