One of the biggest features in iOS 7 is the introduction of iTunes Radio, Apple's own personal take on streaming radio. Modeled slightly after Pandora, iTunes Radio enables users to create their own personalized music stations based on their existing tastes. On top of that, iTunes Radio also comes with a number of pre-set and featured stations encompassing a whole range of genres.
Like Pandora, you can indicate which songs you like and dislike, and over time, the musical selections chosen by iTunes Radio will more closely mirror your musical proclivities as the software "learns" your tastes.
Now one of the great things about services like Pandora and iTunes Radio is that it provides a gateway for folks to discover great new music. While Pandora relies upon what it likes to call the "music genome project" to select which songs a user hears next, Apple is reportedly employing the talents of music experts to ensure an enjoyable listening experience.
As part of Apple's effort to keep the hit songs on iTunes Radio a flowin', CNET reports that the company is working closely with record labels in order to gain access to their "heat seekers" lists.
Apple has asked all the major music labels for their "heat seekers" lists. Those are the lists the labels keep of artists and songs they're betting are on the verge of breaking -- even though the data might not yet point to success.
What's more, Apple is also interested in hiring music programmers with expertise in a number of different musical genres.
At the same time, Apple has been staffing up and is looking to hire a range radio music programmers. These are people with deep knowledge in genres such [as] Latin, metal and alternative music who will be responsible for selecting and promoting songs out of the thousands of new releases each month. Apple has also been trying to poach people from the labels themselves.
While it's unclear if the music experts employed by Apple will be working exclusively on Apple's pre-set and featured stations, it's seems apparent that Apple isn't solely relying upon its own algorithms in deciding which songs should spring up on iTunes Radio.
This of course isn't entirely new territory for Apple. The company already employs music aficionados to keep an eye on what's hot to ensure that the splash page for the iTunes Music Store remains relevant, intriguing, and helpful.