With the launch of iTunes Radio, you can now listen to music taken from the millions of tracks available on the iTunes Store. I’ve written about iTunes Radio here, I’ve discussed how it sometimes doesn’t work as expected, I’ve looked at its weaknesses with classical music, and I’ve shown how you can change the name of an iTunes Radio station. I’ve told how you can control iTunes Radio with Siri on an iOS device, and I’ve looked at shared iTunes Radio stations.
But what I haven’t done is point out the limitations of iTunes Radio. You can listen to a lot of different music, but there are some things you cannot do.
- You can skip tracks you don’t want to hear, but you can only skip six tracks on a given station in one hour. If the iTunes Radio station is serving up too much dreck, change stations, or create a new one. Choosing Never Play This Song counts as a skip.
- You can’t replay a song. You can’t go back to the History of the iTunes Radio station and replay a song; it’s designed to drive you to the iTunes Store to buy music, not to give you all the music you want to listen to when you want to listen.
- You can’t fast-forward or rewind a song. That would let you a) skip a song without pressing the next button, or b) replay a song by scrubbing back to the beginning.
- You can’t listen for more than two hours. After two hours, your iTunes Radio station will go dark. You can start it up again, but it’ll stop on its own if you leave it running.
- You can’t avoid ads if you have an iTunes Match subscription, but the device you’re listening on doesn’t have iTunes Match turned on. If you have an iTunes Match subscription, but sync music to your iPhone, you’ll hear ads on that device. Likewise if you have an iTunes Match subscription but one of your computers has more than 25,000 non-purchased tracks, and can’t use iTunes Match.
iTunes Radio is great, but it’s good to know what its limitations are.