Apple Music Radio – Unable to start station error message

By Peter Chubb - Jun 30, 2015

Today saw the release of iOS 8.4, which has two new services, Apple Music, Beats 1 and Apple Music Radio. We have already discussed the first three, and so we are now interested in the latter. This is because there is a great deal of confusion and anger because there seems to be a lack of information. We already know that Beats 1 is a 24-hour radio station, but as for Apple Music Radio, there seems to be an error message.

The Apple Music Radio error message says Unable to start station and only comes up when you try to play one of the featured stations, such as Charting Now, Sound System or Pop Hits. The rest of the error message says, There was a problem starting the station – try again later.

Beats 1 error message

What we do find strange is that we have not found anyone discussing this issue, but it is clear there is an issue, as we have been in contact with a few friends, who also have been getting that same error message.

Looking over the terms and conditions, it does not say you need to be a full Apple Music subscriber to access these stations, just that if you do subscribe then you have unlimited track skips. It does sound as though non-subscrobers can have access to these radio stations, so why is it not working – unless they are only live in the US at the moment and not the UK?

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Also See: Spotify Vs Apple Music after student discount

  • SubzeroSC

    Releasing a music streaming software that cannot start a simple radio station is not what I was expecting from Apple.

  • lorenzobenoglio

    Anyone getting this error only or mostly when trying to start a station from an artist or a song? I agree with whoever said Apple can do good hardware but are always RUBBISH at software and online services.

    No way I’m leaving Spotify if they don’t fix everything before trial ends..for now Spotify is ages ahead in terms of quality and completeness of the service.

    • Tris

      Mine cannot start a station from song or artist. Getting “Unknown Title” error.
      But default radio like “Rock” can be played.

      • lorenzobenoglio

        Yep there are two problems: radios sometimes cannot be started from iTunes but work ok on iOS, and anyway if from lesser known artists they don’t work or go on only for few tracks. Definitely missing completely a working algo like Spotify or Pandora.

  • They all appear to work if I use a US iTunes account, but not if I use my own New Zealand account. They’re not greyed out or hidden, they just don’t work.

  • rana samman

    I live in Beirut but the radio doesn’t work why?i can’t pay coz I don’t have money and I want free please and could please fix the radio it says unable to start radio station please try again? Fix it now please.

  • Pantoffel

    I was highly annoyed with this issue, and then I saw the Apple Music Membership Plan, then I got even more annoyed. If you sign up for Apple Music then only do you get access to the other stations, if you don’t then you can only listen to Beats 1 (honestly that station is rubbish and the DJ’s suck)

  • Trist

    I can play the radio but I can’t start the radio from a track. Keep getting Unknown title and nothing happen.

  • Smilermew

    Changed my location to US in Apple ID and rebooted my iPad…….can now get all radio stations with having to pay.

  • Paul

    My Canadian account won’t play the apple radio stations but my American account will play the stations. I believe if you want this service you either gotta use the 30 day subscription or drop the $9 a month for it. As far as countries go where this is free regardless, well apparently there’s only two…the USA and Australia. That would explain why i can listen to the radio with my American account.

  • NowAbleToStartStations! :)

    Just got off the phone with Apple support! IT WORKS NOW! 🙂
    All I had to do was log out of the Apple Music App and log back in. Works great now, have all the radio stations now! Try it and see if it works for you guys! Hope so! 🙂

  • UnableToStartStation!

    i am here in usa and can not get the radio stations. been trying since yesterday! so frustrating!

  • shan

    so it seems if your a US customer you can get the free limited itunes radio but outside of the US it will only work if you pay for Apple Music

  • hahahaha

    switch to US apple id account and you get the Radio working….

  • Shan

    so is this a US only feature as if i change my Apple ID account to the US Apple Store the stations work as they should. Can anyone confirm if this works for them and they are in the UK?

  • shubham chahal

    Guys i m from india. I was also facing the same problem but when i changed my country to U.S in my apple id, it started working flawlessly. No error. After changing my location/country to U.S, all radio are working properly. May this information help you.

  • Pradeep Aynani

    Same issue here in India…very frustrating..They are not giving me the “Free Trial” without registering my card. I
    am unable to play stations (All of them) with the same error. I don’t
    understand why Apple leaves some or the other thing in one or another

  • Carlos Romero

    I’m from Mexico and I have same issue. Apple Music service clearly states that free subscribers CAN listen to radio stations, but can’t skip songs. Probably server issues or something?

    • David Clark

      May be it is server issue as this kind of problem mostly related to server or IP address. Here i would recommend you to use a VPN that will change your IP address or server so you will not face this issue again. Here you can find a list of VPN for USA region that will help you out. Source: Vpnranks

  • whatever95

    Same problem here. It doesn’t work in iTunes on OS X either.

  • UnableToStartStation!

    Same error message here in Las Vegas. My friend is standing right next to me and our settings are identical and his is working fine. Frustrating! No ideas what it could be yet?

  • Jake

    I’m in Tennessee and whenever I try to get a new station now it will say unable to start station and it’s pissing me off. The whole new set up is dumb. Idk how to get my saved stations to pop up.

  • asteri0n

    Same error message in UK. Apple make truly amazing hardware, but their web-based services truly are consistently abysmal. Whether it’s streaming a Keynote or iCloud access…
    Apple needs to sack a large number of the relevant team to, as Napoleon said, encourage the others.

  • Ian Val Felicilda

    Same problem here in Philippines

  • Paul

    Same issue here in Canada…very frustrating.

  • San Cha

    I’m getting the same error in India. They are not giving me the “Free Trial” without registering my card. I am unable to play stations (All of them) with the same error. I don’t understand why Apple leaves some or the other thing in one or another country. This is totally dumb. Fixes?

  • Graham Banzer

    this error is pissing me off – especially since i cannot even get the 3 month trial because Apple are trying to do a money check on my card (which is empty at the moment) even for something that is supposed to be free for 3 months.

  • Em

    I’m also getting it from the beats radio. Ugh, it was the only thing I was looking forward to in Apple music

    • Graham Banzer

      what error are you getting with Beats 1? 403? this means your country from where you are connecting (via Wifi or Cellular connection) is not supported. For example, I live in Liechtenstein and have a Liechtenstein home broadband connection, but as is normal here, a Switzerland cell network connection. I cannot connect on wifi without using a VPN but I can use Beats 1 over cellular connection.

      • Em

        no, i’m getting the “unable to start station” error. I listen to the radio, then i stop it for a while and when i try to start it again, i get this

        • Graham Banzer

          no idea about that tbh. I am just unable to play any station other than Beats1 and I can only play Beats1 despite the fact that licencing agreements in my location are all one with the agreements of Switzerland, which is in fact a supported country. Every single company which makes services like this overlook Liechtenstein, and honestly it is appalling – it shows nothing but bad research skills.

  • Helal Sedek

    Same problem in California too.

  • N

    Same thing in Canada. I would guess it’s live though as there are ” Best of Canada” stations

    • Alexander Sundiev


  • moda_na_mac

    Have this problem in Russia too.