A future version of Apple's iTunes Radio could let you reveal why you liked or disliked a certain song in your playlist.
Published Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an Apple patent application called "Playlist Configuration and Preview," describes some handy ways to customize and manage your playlist of streaming songs.
Most streaming music services let you vote thumb's up or thumb's down on a certain song to gauge your musical tastes. But they don't give you the ability to explain why you voted the way you did.
The service described by Apple would offer you a menu of reasons as to why you liked or disliked a certain tune. Maybe you didn't care for the particular genre. Or maybe you thought the arrangement was too fast or too slow. Providing a reason would help the service more accurately determine what music to offer you in the future.
You could also peek ahead a few tracks in your playlist to see what songs are coming up. You could then switch their order or even remove certain tunes. You could even change certain tags, or metadata, of the songs in your playlist to further define what types and styles of music you prefer.
Finally, you'd be able to compare your playlist with those of other users. But beyond just checking out the tunes of fellow users, you could view the metadata of their selections to help you decide which ones to add to your own playlist.
The patent was filed in December of 2011, so Apple may have envisioned a few of these concepts for the initial release of iTunes Radio. Instead, some of them may just pop up in a future version.