Google+ Badge

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Initial thoughts on iRadio - not overly impressed

I have a Mac at work that I use for both iOS and Android development. I installed the latest iTunes to go along with the latest Xcode and it popped up a reminder about iRadio so I figured I would give it a shot. I have used Pandora in the past and have ripped a good number of my personal CD collection to various formats to listen to on my PC / phone / etc.

As an old school hair metal band lover, which greatly explains my tin ear, I chose Kiss as a radio station. It played the first song from them then played the exact same song again and tried to play it again. I finally got it to skip forward to a new song. So far this has been a one time glitch.

I have used iTunes to listen to a shuffled version of ripped collection at work. It appears iRadio has the same issue that iTunes does which is terrible shuffle logic. Same song can appear twice in a row or with only a few songs between it. You may hear a couple of songs off the same album in a row. Ugly.

I use MediaMonkey on my PC at home and don't have this issue with shuffling. It appears to remember what it played and what album it came off of giving me what I consider a proper shuffle. Apple just does not appear to care as this has been an issue with them forever. They went random song selection without other context around it.

So far every song but one I have heard I also have in my music collection. Which is good in one way, I like them, but bad in that I am not getting exposed to anything else. When I used Pandora it found bands I was unaware of - Iced Earth being one of them - and I bought CDs from that band. I find Pandora's discovery system to be superior. This may be catalog related, I don't know what Apple has to choose from and I am well aware new hair metal is hard to come by.

I was happy to see you are allowed to pick explicit lyrics. I really want to hear the original version of the song, not a censored version. So far only one song has played with obvious explicit lyrics from the land of Ted Nugent.

Ads are short and don't appear too often but I have only heard 4 different ones. I have been told about Neil Diamond and the Nissan Versa way too many times already.

iRadio played "She's only 17" from Winger and had no clue what it was. No album art, no song title or artist. It just showed "Kiss Radio". Heck of a way to sell songs. It has done it twice with that song, there were only two songs in between the plays, stupid shuffle logic.

It got stuck trying to stream a song. I had to hit next song and it played an ad then the next song. So far most of the time I skip forward it decides it is time to play an ad before giving me a new song selection.

You can't go backwards. If you really liked a song and wanted to hear it again you are screwed. You can pause, play and skip. Can't even rewind the song you are on. This is a not an optimal user experience to me.

Underwhelmed at this point. Sound quality is good. No skips or stutters while the music is playing. The internet connection I am on is speedy so that is to be expected. Some glitches but none of them are total show stoppers, just annoyances. Apple has some work to do here.