It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to the radio, but I still remember the lack of selection, the same 10 songs played over and over again, and never being the told the title of the song or who sang it. With iTunes Radio, that’s all in the past; it makes it easy to find new favorite artists and styles of music.
There are some stations provided for you, but the real power is in making your own. You can select from 30 genres and many more sub-genres such as Modern Rock, Trance, K-Pop, etc. Or you can enter in an artist, genre, or song and listen to songs that are similar to what you already like. I tried Opeth and discovered a bunch of great artists I may not have found otherwise. You can even change whether the station is in hits, variety, or discovery mode. I can only assume that discovery plays the lower-rated songs, hits plays the higher-rated songs, and variety is a bit of both.
What I especially like is that the controls and all of the information I need to know are on one screen. I can skip the song if I don’t like it, pause it, and adjust the volume without having to press the button on the side of the iPad. If a song plays that I really like, I can play more like it or add it to my iTunes Wish List. On the other hand, if it’s something I really hate, I can make sure iTunes Radio never plays that song again. Buying the song is a simple matter of two clicks, but buying the album isn’t as obvious, and the icon you tap to bring up the iTunes Store doesn’t look like it would do that. What I would like to see is a buy album button near the buy song button.
My only criticism is that it’s very white and there’s no option of changing the appearance, but all of Apple’s apps suffer from that, as Kirk Hiner pointed out.
Overall, iTunes Radio is great, and it’s going to be something I’ll be using a lot to listen to old favorites and to find new artists to add to my collection.