Ending a rumor that’s been around almost as long as the Lochness Monster, Apple finally revealed its music streaming service iTunes Radio at today’s WWDC event.
iTunes Radio (formerly referred to as iRadio) is Apple’s free music streaming service that is being launched along with iOS 7. While many expected iTunes Radio to be its own app, Apple revealed today that the service will be completely integrated into iOS 7’s existing music app.
At the bottom of the the music app, there’s now a new tab called “Radio.” Once selected, users will be shown several featured radio stations curated by Apple that they can choose from. If you’re looking for something different than one of those stations, you can simply search for any song, artist or genre, and iRadio will build a radio station based around that selection.
When listening to a song, users can tell iTunes Radio to “play more songs like this” or “never play this song.” You can even adjust the balance so that a station will play more deep cuts as opposed to well known chart toppers. iTunes Radio will also make it incredibly easy to purchase songs you’re listening to, by letting you view your song history and allowing you to add songs to your wishlist or to purchase them on the spot.
iTunes Radio will also be integrated with Siri, so users can ask questions like “Who sings this?” or “Play more like this.”
As expected, iTunes Radio will include the occasional audio ad that plays in-between songs. Apple revealed, however, that iTunes Match subscribers will enjoy an ad-free version of iTunes Radio as part of their $24.99 a year subscription.
It’s unclear whether or not iTunes Radio will be supported in today’s iOS 7 developer’s build, but expect it to fully launch alongside iOS 7 when it is released later this fall.