Apple confirms iTunes Radio

We pretty much knew the outline of this due to all the leaks, but we didn't know the final name for Apple's new streaming audio service. That's now been confirmed as iTunes Radio.

The service sounds rather like Pandora in the US, with Apple describing its iTunes Radio as a free internet radio service based around your iTunes catalogue and the iTunes Store. When you tune into iTunes Radio, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, along with Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations. So basically, what you buy play and download will form the backbone of what your station plays - and the more it knows, the better it will get.

The stations will also stream exclusive music from new and popular artists before you hear them anywhere else and serve up live streams direct from events likes the iTunes Festival in London.

It also interacts with Siri. Just ask Siri about a track and it will serve up the details and background. We're liking the sound of that one. You can also use Siri to 'shape' your stations and to pause, stop and skip.

Now, the less-than-good bit. First up, the service is free, but as expected, is ad-supported. However, if you are signed up to iTunes Match, you can go ad-free. The info from iTunes Match will be used to tweak your stations too. So a better listening experience in theory.

It's also unlikely to be anywhere near the UK on day one. The US gets the love first, with other countries at some unspecified date in the future. Those pesky rights issues we suspect - and we would guess 2014 is more like it for the UK.

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