LAST UPDATED: June 13th, 2023
Thanks to technology behemoth Apple, a new Internet radio station is available. Apple’s latest creation is Beats 1, which brings nonstop music to your computer or portable electronic device. With Beats 1 you can stream a wide variety of music and listen to it where you want, when you want to your heart’s content.
Beats 1 comes with an attractive, low monthly price and the ability to put multiple people on one account. That way, you and your family members or friends can enjoy on-demand music as you please.
Apple Music's Beats 1 is the new baby of iTunes and Beats Music combined.
There is a lot to like about Beats 1, whether you are new to Internet, streaming music or have used it extensively for a number of years. Either way, you will be pleased with the quality and delivery of this convenient medium. Here are some specific aspects of Beats 1 that are sure to please:
- No annoying commercials. Those who have been frequent listeners to competitor Pandora are well aware that free-version users have to deal with those pesky commercials ever few songs. It's as if you're listening on your car radio. One of the supposed advantages to on-demand, Internet radio is the ability to bypass such interruptions. Beats 1 won't hinder your listening with these lapses, so you can enjoy song after song, even if you are a member of the less-expensive plan.
- Song selection. Beats 1 will give you access to more than 30 million songs. Yes, that's 30 million, and the songs come in varying genres that you're certain to find to your liking. There is no shortage of toe-tapping, get-up-and-dance tunes with Beats 1.
- Whether you're at home, in the car, on the go, or anywhere for that matter, you can access Beats 1. As long as you have a portable device, you are hooked up. Beats 1 will work on a PC or Mac, as well as your Android iOS or watchOS.
- The sound quality is crystal-clear and beautiful to the ears. At 265 kbps, the speed is what you want, as fast as you want.
- Old-school feel. Listening to Beats 1 in a lot of ways is like listening to a good old-fashioned terrestrial radio, and there's something appealing about that to a lot of people. Of course, this has its limitations, but hearing something live in its entirety is what radio is all about.
- Quality support. With Apple, you know you are getting a sound product-perfect, no, but top of the line, for sure. Customer support is top-notch; you can get answers to just about any questions you have on the Apple Music website, which in and of itself, is fantastically designed and easy to navigate.
Not everyone loves Apple products or the company in general. And not everyone is enamored with Internet radio. Beats 1, just like any competitor, has limitations and things that people are going to find irritating or lacking. Below are some elements of Beats 1 that could be considered as shortcomings.
- At $9.99 and $14.99 a month for the single and family plans, respectively, the cost might not seem like anything to complain about. After all, this is scarcely less than 50 cents a day. However, when considered competitors such as Pandora (or the traditional radio station for that matter) allow you to listen for free, this monthly cost represents an obvious disadvantage.
- Listening limitations. While some people find it appealing to have the old school radio feel (as described above), other will find it annoying. For example, you can't move ahead or skip songs. Also, you have no control over what song comes next. Of course, you can select a genre, but this still leaves you with a slew of possibilities, many of which you might have no interest in.
- Use of a DJ. Those listening to Internet radio want to hear music and are likely listening to avoid the nonsensical banter and talk that DJs bring. Well, at Beats 1, you get that. Song are preceded by the regular DJ chitchat you find on the radio. The DJs. Might talk about the weather, current events or whatever else you'd find on the radio in between song. You'll find yourself saying, "Get to the song already!"
- A lot of people aren't going to like this, but Beats 1 will cut out any obscene lyrics from the songs that come on. Of course, some listeners will applaud this feature, but the fact there is no option to override it will draw ire from people who want to hear the song in its pure, recorded form.
- Lacking variety of genres. The following genres will play on Beats 1: Soundsystem, the Mixtape, On the Floor, Pop Hits, All-City, Americana, Blues, Chili, Classic Alternative. Some of these titles don't explain what the type of music really is, but clearly, some popular music types-namely classic rock and country-don't seem to be present.
The Bottom Line
As opposed to iTunes, which allows you to download a list of selected songs to your device to play when and where you'd like (with the ability to start and stop a given song at your whim), Beats 1 is Internet radio, which streams to your device and plays constantly. Listeners of both media have their preferences, and each has their pros and cons. If you are an Internet radio fan, you'll understand what Beats 1 is trying to do, and you'll love it.
Any time of day you like, you'll find a multitude of tunes coming out of your computer or handheld device to cheer you up, pump you, soothe you, or do whatever it is you're looking for you music to do.
Beats 1 is in its infancy, and there are sure to be its detractors. But if you're OK to pay a handful of bucks every month and listen to DJs, you're going to almost certainly love Beats 1.
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