iTunes Radio has its good and bad points, but one thing is really annoying. If you have an iTunes Match subscription, you get ad-free iTunes Radio playback, but only if iTunes Match is activated on your device. I have two Macs, one of which has my “your music library is too large for iTunes Match” library, and another, my laptop, runs iTunes Match. On my iPhone, I sync my music – because I can’t put what I want on iTunes Match – but I have an iPod touch where I have iTunes Match turned on.
Since I pay for iTunes Match, I don’t get ads on the iPod touch or the MacBook Pro; but I do get them on my Mac mini and my iPhone. This is ludicrous: Apple knows my account has iTunes Match, even if I haven’t opted to turn it on.
I can imagine that there are people who might be willing to pay the $25 a year to get ad-free iTunes Radio, but don’t want to be bothered with iTunes Match. This is one of those little stupid things that Apple should fix. There’s no logical reason why the fact of having iTunes Match turned on should determine ads on iTunes Radio.
Update: As I mention below, in response to a reader comment, I’ve been listening on my iPhone for a while today, and haven’t heard a single ad. Perhaps they’ve turned off ads on iOS devices for people with iTunes Match accounts, which is exactly what I’d love to see. Now, if that’s the case, why are there still ads when listening through iTunes? I turned on iTunes Radio on my Mac, and got an ad after two tracks.