iWant: Ad-Free Radio Even if iTunes Match is Off

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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.




8 replies
  1. Medon Loupis (@Sadsibelius) says:

    I’ve had an interesting experience with this. I have iTunes Match turned on, on both my Macs, but not on my iPhone. When iTunes Radio started here in Australia in February, it was playing ads when I used it on my iPhone. Then, about a month ago, the ads stopped. I use iTunes radio a lot on my iPhone (especially when driving) — no ads even though iTunes Match is definitely turned off. I’d be interested to know whether this is anyone else’s experience.

    Reply
    • Kirk McElhearn says:

      Hmmm, I’ve been listening for a while on my iPhone today, and I haven’t heard ads. On my Mac, I heard one after two tracks. So perhaps they’ve changed it for iPhones (and iOS devices). Interesting…

      Reply
  2. Mark says:

    What about being told that “You’re listening to iTunes Radio”? As an iTunes Match subscriber, I want to avoid all interruptions, but I still get that. Sometimes twice in a row.

    Also, iTunes Radio seems to select tracks already in my library more frequently than could be coincidental.

    Reply
    • Kirk McElhearn says:

      I haven’t heard that at all today with my iPhone playing it for the past three hours or so.

      Reply
  3. Joel says:

    Starting with iOS 7.1, iTunes Match doesn’t need to actually be turned on. You just need an active subscription.

    Reply

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