BY TYLER COLLINS // OCT. 28, 2013 //
When it comes to your choice of a radio streaming service, you have more than a couple of good interfaces to select from.
These options include free versions and premium ones. However, almost all premium accounts will charge you a monthly or annual fee. This blog will focus on the differences between Spotify and the newly released iTunes Radio service, which came along with Apple’s new iOS7 system, released in September. If you are indecisive or are having trouble choosing between Spotify and iTunes Radio, this may help clarify some of the important details between the two.
The interfaces used for Spotify and iTunes Radio are very similar. As a listener, you can stream music free of charge from your computer, phone or tablet as long as you are connected to the Internet. The downsides to the free services are the occasional advertisements you have to listen to.
Spotify offers two solutions to stop the nagging advertisements that stand between you and your music. Spotify’s upgrade—called the “Unlimited” account—can be purchased for $4.99 a month. The account includes no advertisements and access to millions of tracks. But wait, there’s more! If you are looking for an even better music streaming solution, Spotify’s second-tier upgrade is called “Premium.” This account enables users to access key features, such as unlimited streaming and offline playlists—meaning you don’t need to be connected to the Internet—in addition to no advertisements.
Apple’s iTunes Radio is the new kid on the block. The free music streaming service is available to all with an iTunes account. One of the major Apple-only features is the ability to purchase a song while listening to it. If you recently bought an iPhone 5s, you literally can buy a song using only a quick scan of your fingerprint—via “Touch ID”—a new feature that enables the user to unlock his/her iPhone or, in this case, obtain music with a personal touch.
Another unique feature offered by iTunes Radio is the ability to use Siri, the built-in voice-command application for many of Apple’s newer products, to make a song request. This feature may be more along the lines of a device-specific component, however, it works to bolster the compatibility of the service with the products it streams from.
According to Apple, iTunes Radio provides more than “250 DJ–curated and genre-focused stations” to choose from. The service is easy to use in that you can choose existing stations based on a specific artist, song or genre, as well as customize and create your own stations to your liking. You have the ability to edit or add songs on the go from your mobile device or tablet, as well as sync all of your music selections to each of your devices.
With “iTunes Match,” available for $24.99 a year, you can store all of your music using iCloud. This includes songs imported from CD’s. The Match account also allows users to enjoy advertisement-free music and the ability to stream from your entire library wherever you are.
Of course, there are a number of other streaming services out there. Google Play Music All Access is among the biggest and newest in the market. But ultimately, the choice comes down to which service you trust or envision being more user-friendly for your music-streaming enjoyment.