A Step-By-Step Guide of How to Change Your iTunes Radio Settings

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Introduction to Using iTunes Radio in iTunes

Using iTunes Radio, step 1
iTunes Radio's Initial Screen.

Since its introduction, iTunes has been a music jukebox that plays music you've downloaded to your hard drive. With the introduction of iCloud, iTunes gained the ability to stream music from iTunes via your Cloud account. But that was still music you'd already purchased and/or uploaded via iTunes Match.

Now with iTunes Radio, you can create Pandora-style radio stations within iTunes that you can customize to your preferences. With it, you can create great mixes and discover new music related to the music you already love. And, best of all, it's very easy to use. Here's how.

To begin, make sure you're running the latest version of iTunes. Then, use the drop-down menu in the top left to go to Music. In the row of buttons near the top of the window, click Radio. This is the main view of iTunes Radio. Here, you'll see a row of Apple-created suggested stations along the top. Click one to listen to it.

Below that, in the My Stations section, you'll see suggested stations based on your existing music library. This is also the section where you can create new stations. You'll learn how to do that in the next step.

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Create New Station

Using iTunes Radio, step 2
Creating a new station in iTunes Radio.

You can use Apple's pre-built stations, but iTunes Radio is most fun and useful when you create your own stations. To create a new station, follow these steps:

  1. Click the + button next to My Stations.
  2. In the window that pops up, type in the name of the artist or song you want to use as the basis of your new station. The other items in the station will be related to the artist or song you choose here.
  3. In the results, double click the artist or song you want to use. The station will be created.
  4. The new station is saved automatically in the My Stations section.

There's also another way to create a new station. If you're viewing your music library, hover over a song until the arrow button appears next to the song. Click it and select New Station from Artist or New Station from Song to create a new iTunes Radio station.

Once the station has been created:

  • To Rename a station, click on the name of the station and type in a new name.
  • To Delete a station, hold down the Control button on the keyboard and click on the station (you can also right click on it). Click the Delete Station pop up.

To learn how to use and improve your new station, continue to the next step.

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Rate Songs and Improve Station

Using iTunes Radio, step 3
Using and Improving Your iTunes Radio Station.

Once you create a station, it begins playing automatically. Each song that's played is related to the last, as well as the song or artist used to create the station, and it's intended to be something you'll like. Of course, that's not always the case, though; so the more you rate songs, the more the station will match your tastes.

In the top bar of iTunes, there are two things you need to know how to use with iTunes Radio:

  1. Star button: To rate songs or add them to your wishlist to buy later, click the star button. In the menu that appears, you can select:
    • Play More Like This: Click this to tell iTunes Radio that you like this song and want to hear it and others like it more
    • Never Play This Song: Hate the song iTunes Radio played? Choose this option and the song will be removed from this (and only this) station for good.
    • Add to iTunes Wish List: Like this song and want to buy it later? Choose this option and the song will be added to your iTunes Wish List where you can listen to it again and buy it. See Step 6 of this article for more on the iTunes Wish List.
  2. Buy song: To buy a song right away, click the price next to the song name in the window at the top of iTunes.
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Add Songs or Artists to Station

Using iTunes Radio, step 4
Adding music to your station.

Asking iTunes Radio to play a song more, or telling it to never play a song again, isn't the only way to improve your stations. You can also add additional artists or songs to your stations to make them more diverse and exciting (or block your least favorites).

To do that, click on the station you want to update. Don't click on the play button, but rather anywhere else on the station. A new area will open up underneath the station icon.

Choose what you want the station to do: play hits by the artists in it, help you discover new music, or play a variety of both hits and new music. Move the slider back and forth to help tune the station to your preferences.

To add a new artist or song to the station, in the Play more like this section click Add an artist or song... and type in the musician or song you want to add. When you find the thing you want, double click it. You'll see the artist or song added below the first choice you made when creating the station.

To prevent iTunes Radio from playing a song or artist ever when you listen to this station, find the Never play this section towards the bottom and click the Add an artist or song... To remove a song from either list, hover your mouse over it and click the X that appears next to it.

On the right side of the window is the History section. This shows recent songs played in this station. You can listen to a 90-second preview of a song by clicking it. Buy a song by hovering your mouse over that song and then clicking the price button.

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Choose Settings

Using iTunes Radio, step 5
iTunes Radio content settings.

On the main iTunes Radio screen, there's a button labeled Settings. When you click that, you can choose two important settings from the drop-down menu for your use of iTunes Radio.

Allow Explicit Content: If you want to be able to hear swear words and other explicit content in your iTunes Radio music, check this box.

Limit Ad Tracking: To reduce the amount of tracking done on your use of iTunes Radio by advertisers, check this box.

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iTunes Wish List

Using iTunes Radio, step 6
Using your iTunes Wishlist.

Remember back in Step 3 where we talked about adding songs you like to your iTunes Wish List to buy later? This is the step where we return to your iTunes Wish List to buy those songs.

To access your iTunes Wish List, go to the iTunes Store by clicking that button in iTunes. When the iTunes Store loads, look for the Quick Links section and click the My Wish List link.

You'll then see all the songs you've saved to your Wish List. Listen to a 90-second preview of the songs by clicking the button at the left. Buy the song by clicking the price. Remove the song from your Wish List by clicking the X at the right.