Apple has just unveiled iTunes Radio during a press event in Cupertino, where the company has officially confirmed the radio service will debut as part of the iOS 7 software update slated to roll out on 18 September.
When iOS 7 launches to the public in a little over a week, included within will be iTunes Radio. It is Apple's way of taking on others in the online radio space, such as Spotify, Last.fm and Pandora.
iTunes Radio is built straight into the music app and has a focus on streaming radio stations. Users are able to create stations themselves, based on songs, artists, albums or specific genres. Featured stations are also curated by Apple, and the more you listen, the more iTunes Radio will learn your tastes.
iTunes Radio is ad-supported and free to everyone. Users will get an audio ad once every 15 minutes and one video ad every hour to use the radio service. The video will be shown to users when they are likely to be looking at the screen. But iTunes Match subscribers paying the $24.99 (£16) annual fee won't have to sit through ads or be limited to the number of skips.
Apple has extended iTunes Radio across all of its platforms. It will be available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and Apple TV.
For iPhone users, iTunes Radio integrates with Siri so you can ask, “Who plays that song?” or “Play more like this” and Siri will do just that. The redesigned iOS 7 Siri can also listen to what you like and don’t like. You can tell Siri to pause, stop or skip. You can also have Siri add songs to your Wish List to download later.
Beyond the ability to curate your own stations, Apple says it will offer users exclusive new music from popular artists "before you hear them anywhere else". Live streams will also be available direct from the iTunes Festival in London and other exclusive iTunes Sessions.
Pocket-lint is live from Apple's 2013 iPhone event. Stick to our Apple hub for the latest, where we'll bring you a hands-on of the new devices very soon.
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