Tag Archives: iTunes Radio

Why the iOS 7 Music app is still lacking

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This is just a quick rundown of my thought process in choosing a music app. I’ll post a more detailed comparison of the above apps at a later time.

Coming from Android, the unity in design that iOS 7 represented was one of the reasons  why I was made the switch. Thus I wanted to restrict my usage to the default system apps whenever possible. Still, I found that the Music app was lacking some key features that forced me to explore two alternatives: Spotify and Rdio.

I had used  Spotify and Rdio in past, while I was still on Android, and their ability to provide music on demand was something that I feared the Music app would be sorely lacking in. Both provided music discovery through their respective radio features and, more importantly, music on demand. I had hoped that iTunes Match would help mitigate the lack of music on demand. I had a sizeable library on iTunes and was constantly adding to it through downloads of albums and individual tracks. It was through iTunes Radio that I discovered just what to add to my collection.

This workflow for adding music is cumbersome especially compared to how it would be handled in Spotify or Rdio. In either of the two, you can directly add a discovered song to your collection, ready for offline listening on your device. In the Music app however, iTunes Radio offers no similar feature unless you’re willing to buy the track outright for a dollar.

The design unity that the iOS 7 Music app offered was still enough to get me to overlook the cumbersome process of adding newly discovered music. Spotify and Rdio have yet to offer a redesign for iOS 7 (Rdio looks nice but still uses the old iOS 6 keyboard) and I found the design discrepancies to be jarring. Unfortunately, the Music app was also lacking in terms of performance. Music that would stream instantly on a 3G connection when using Spotify and Rdio would constantly lag when downloading from iCloud. There’s also this nasty bug that I’ve encountered when using iTunes Radio that resets my phone about 3 times out of 10 whenever I start a new station.

Given the cumbersome nature of adding new music as well as the glaring iTunes Radio reset bug, I’ve been driven back into the arms of Spotify and Rdio. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out which of the two will better suit my needs.