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Listen to Pharrell's Beats 1 exclusive track 'Freedom' — the live version, at least

Listen to Pharrell's Beats 1 exclusive track 'Freedom' — the live version, at least

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A big part of just-launched Apple Music's just-just launched Beats 1 radio is world premiere tracks from major acts. One of the big ones today is Pharrell Williams' "Freedom," which Zane Lowe has played twice in just over 90 minutes of being on the air. It's not quite as catchy as "Happy," but it definitely sticks with you.

Maybe that addiction has to do with how ephemeral the moment is. There is no other way to listen to the "Freedom" studio track right now — no option to save or buy it from the Apple Music app from the Beats 1 radio app (the only options are "Start Station" and "Share Station..."). Even if I wanted to give Apple and Pharrell money for "Freedom" right now, I couldn't. Nor can I even bookmark it so I can remember to buy / stream it later. (Update: It's now available to purchase as a $1.29 track or a $1.99 video. The video seems to be part of the Apple Music subscription package, while the audio track isn't. There are some UI oddities — when Vic Mensa's "U Mad" played live, for example, there was no option to save to purchase, despite being available on both Apple Music and the iTunes store.)

apple music UI disconnect

Left: the only options when "Freedom" plays on Beats 1 (for the third time). Middle: The search results from Apple Music — the music video shows up, but the playlist of tracks doesn't seem to have "Freedom" listed (yet). Right: The results when you back out of Apple Music, hop into the iTunes store, and search for it anew.

Beats 1 Radio maintains a strangely steadfast adherence to the old ways we'd listen, almost to a fault. So for now, I'll be enjoying the song's live performance from Glastonbury care of BBC's official YouTube track. And so can you, on demand and whenever you want.

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