Apple’s iTunes Radio offers an Explicit Tracks filter so you can choose between listening to uncensored songs or profanity-free versions based on your taste and who you’re listening with. According to a report from AppleInsider, however, that filter may not be working as well as advertised. After getting a tip from one reader, the site found more than a few issues with Apple’s music streaming service.
One track, “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars, reportedly plays as a profanity-filled uncensored version even when the explicit filter is turned on. AppleInsider found the same issue on several other songs, meaning you probably shouldn’t blast iTunes Radio in public just to be safe. The problem apparently goes both ways, with censored versions of other songs still playing even when the “explicit” filter is off.
The issue could be a real problem for Apple, which clearly positions itself as a family-friendly company, and could potentially send customers into the arms of competing music-streaming services. Pandora, which still leads iTunes Radio in listeners, has never been accused of inappropriately playing uncensored tracks. Apple can probably easily roll-out an update, though it would require a patch to iOS since iTunes Radio is inside of the music player. Rumors suggest iTunes Radio may exist on its own in iOS 8, however, which means it will be easier to push updates to the standalone app. Apple has so far not commented on the report.