With the release of iTunes 126.96.36.199 Apple has introduced its Genius feature. The idea is that you can select a song, turn on the Genius sidebar, and based on several criteria, iTunes will generate a playlist from your library that is “genius.” I’ve heard a lot of good things so far, but wanted to test-drive the feature myself. The following is a review of the service. I will attach the Genius playlist at the end.
From the Apple iTunes site:
The new Genius feature in iTunes 8 creates the perfect playlist. Just select a song, click the Genius button, and iTunes generates a playlist of songs from your library that go great with it.
I like the sound of this, but are we looking at a Pandora clone?
Starting up genius is a bit daunting. If you have a large library, expect a decent wait. *2 hours later* Yep. I’ve finally got Genius up and running. First segue down…not bad at all.
Very simple. To get things started, go to your library, highlight the song you want a playlist created from and push the “Genius Button.” You can determine how many songs you want displayed: 25, 50, 75, or 100.
The sidebar of genius is also easy to understand. It displays “genius recommendations” based on your playlist. From looking at the list, it’s showing a decent line-up of similar artists; nothing too obscure.
FIRST GOOD TRANSITION: Failure - “Magnified” to Amusement Parks on Fire - “Back to Flash”
FIRST BAD TRANSITION: The Dissociatives - “Parais Circa 2007″ to The Dillinger Escape Plan - “The Perfect Design”
FIRST AWKWARD TRANSITION: Nine Inch Nails - “Corona Radiate” to And You Will Know Us… “Worlds Apart”
GENIUS: GOOD OR BAD?
Overall, genius definitely improves the iTunes experience. The simple interface allows for quick access, though, if you have a large library you can expect your first Genius run to take awhile. Focusing on the feature’s purpose, The Perfect Playlist, I’m not 100% sold. While a lot of the songs were similar, it doesn’t seem to “nail it.” However, for something in its first version, Genius is impressive. If you have a bit of freetime, download the latest iTunes and play around with this exciting new feature.
RATING: GOOD (8/10)
* Denotes song that started playlist.
1. Failure - Magnified *
2. Amusement Parks on Fire - Back to Flash
3. Cave In - Atraxia
4. The Dissociatives - Paris Circa 2007
5. The Dillinger Escape Plan - The Perfect Design
6. My Bloody Valentie - Loomer
7. Deftones - Pins and Needles
8. Opeth - Closure
9. Deftones - Feiticeira (Live)
10. Nine Inch Nails - Corona Radiata
11. And You Will Knows Us By The Trail of Dead - Worlds Apart
12. Beck - Lazy Flies
13. Failure - Let it Drip
14. Cave In - Dark Driving
15. Jesu - Silver (Original Beats)
16. Silverchair - One Way Mule
17. Metric - The List
18. Explosions in the Sky - Magic Hours
19. The Mars Volta - Concertina
20. Ken Andrews - In Your Way
21. Isis - Backlit
22. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Jesus Christ Pose (Soundgarden Cover)
23. Failure - Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode Cover)
24. Cave In - Tension in the Ranks
25. The Dissociatives - Sleep Well Tonight
There you have it. Apple iTunes Genius. I think this thing has a promising future, let’s see where they take it.