Music Streaming Cloud Services
Recent news that Apple will be unleashing iTunes Radio has the streaming crowd in a frenzy. Streaming cloud-based radio is fun to use, easy, and provides a great way to listen to tunes. Selecting between cloud-based streaming services is a different matter, however. Since Apple's iTunes Radio is new and Pandora is the gold standard, let's compare both streaming options.
Apple's New iTunes Radio
Apple's iTunes Radio will be free to use, but will include the occasional advertisement. Don't want to deal with ads? You'll have to upgrade to the pro version for $24.99 per year.
Apple is still negotiating with the music industry at large regarding royalties and rates. However, you can expect Apple to come up with something that greatly rivals Pandora.
Apple's iTunes Radio will work with any iOS device, Apple TV, Windows, or Mac OS.
Apple's iTunes Radio will sort songs according to user preferences, popular tunes, and suggested tunes. Apple will also let users sort according to personal preferences. Cloud-based integration with Apple's iTunes is an added bonus, and you can also use iTunes Radio with Siri.
Pandora: The Gold Standard
Pandora has largely cornered the streaming music market mostly because it was the only really good streaming option for a long time – now that Apple has arrived, it will be interesting to see what happens. Here's what Pandora has to offer.
Pandora is also free to use, but also comes with advertisements. Want to get rid of the ads? You can sign up for Pandora's upgrade for $36 per year.
Pandora currently boasts more than 800,000 tracks from more than 800,000 artists. That a lot of tracks. But, Pandora is also fighting with the music industry currently, so that number may decline soon.
Here's where Pandora really shines. You can use Pandora with any iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Mac OS, or Windows device. If you don't have an iOS device, Pandora is the best choice.
Pandora has set algorithms that you'll have to deal with when it comes to sorting and sifting through songs. You can't search for a specific track using Pandora, so keep this in mind.
Music Streaming Cloud Services: In Conclusion
Which cloud-based streaming service is the right one for you? It's too early to tell what Apple will be offering, specifically. However, it's also too early to tell what will happen with Pandora, since the company is in some hot water with the music industry over royalty fees.
My advice is this: wait until Apple's iTunes Radio is further developed, and then decide which service to use. Or, you can use both if you don't mind those pesky commercials. As far as Pandora goes, I'd sit back and wait to see what happens with Pandora's legal issues before signing up for a year-long membership.