Perhaps because it's Apple, the bar just gets set unrealistically high.
Not that anyone (that we've seen) is outright panning the new iTunes Radio service, one day after what was the most anticipated launch in Internet radio history. It just seems that some folks are, well, underwhelmed.
Billboard's Alex Pham "grades" the service as "a middling student with great unfulfilled potential." The spirit of this (and other reviews) is that iTunes Radio does the basics well, but where's the Apple excitement and pizazz? Pandora's been doing Internet radio well for 10 years.
He found the interface to be great, station creation simple and intuitive. But the genres seems unoriginal, and the Siri interface isn't really "ready for prime time." Read more in Billboard here.
Gizmodo's Mario Aguilar agreed the service was competent, and even "beautiful and dead simple to use." In fact, he found it "better than Pandora —- if only because there is less repetition. For its very limited functionality, iTunes Radio is very good at what it does."
But again, there's that "very limited functionality." Apple used to revolutionize. But those days may be over.
"iTunes Radio is just a decade-old product baked into a media player that hasn't added a noticeable feature since iTunes Match in 2011," Aguilar wrote. The service is "just another path to the iTunes Store... The only significant difference between iTunes Radio and the rest of an increasingly crowded field is that every song that's playing comes with Buy link."
Read more in Gizmodo here.
What are your experiences with iTunes Radio? Is it worth the hype? How does it stack up to Pandora, or Slacker, or iHeartRadio, or any of the other hundreds of competitors (such as the winners of our RAIN Internet Radio Awards)? We'd love to get your input. Please share your comments below.