Right now, two of the biggest internet radio services out there are iTunes Radio and Pandora Internet Radio. Both are solid contenders, however I believe that Pandora edges iTunes Radio out, and here’s why.
Pandora works on far more devices then iTunes Radio. There’s no two ways about this. You can use Pandora on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and BlackBerry. iTunes Radio only supports Windows, Mac and iOS.
I find that Pandora consistently chooses songs that are more of my taste then iTunes Radio does. For example if I choose Linkin Park, Pandora consistently plays music in the genre; where as iTunes Radio seems to stray off into other genres that really don’t fit Linkin Park’s style of music. Also, for some EDM songs, iTunes Radio seems to throw in songs from mix tapes that end up being of lower quality then the original.
I have to hand this to Pandora yet again. Pandora will at times throw in a more obscure artist that I haven’t heard before that I end up liking. iTunes Radio seems to mostly stick with just the top known artists. This limits exposure to music you may like.
iTunes Radio runs in iTunes, or the Music app on iOS. These apps are quite intuitive and easy to use, however I have a massive issue with iTunes Radio on my Mac. My Apple ID won’t stay authorized to play iTunes Radio content. I’ve tried everything to rectify this to no avail. The only temporary way around this is to log out and back in.
Pandora supports far more platforms. On your PC or Mac, you can use Pandora through a web browser or their Adobe AIR desktop client. On the mobile side of things, Pandora supports iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. All of their clients work perfectly. I haven’t had any issues with Pandora applications ever. The UI is very intuitive and easy to use on any platform.
This is a very close call. Both have solid audio quality, however unless you subscribe to Pandora One, then I have to give the edge to iTunes Radio. With Pandora One however I’d say even with higher end audio equipment it’s a tie.
Overall, I find Pandora to be the superior internet radio service for the reasons listed above. It is the more mature platform as well, so most bugs have been ironed out. If you are looking for the best internet radio, and music discovery service around, look no further then Pandora.
The views expressed in this article do not reflect the views of Pandora Media Inc., or Apple Inc.
This article is strictly my opinions of both platforms.