iTunes Genius 1

I finally got around to downloading the latest version of iTunes and with it came their new Genius playlist feature. Here’s how it works:

You pick a song in your library you like, hit the Genius button, and it generates a playlist from your library of 25 complimentary songs. I was skeptical, but tried it out. It first parses through your whole library and uploads that data to a central server somewhere (let’s call it Mother Brain) and cross references with thousands of other people’s libraries and musical tastes. So can Genius generate the awesomest mixtape ever from just one song? Will John Cusack and Jack Black use this feature as evidence of an impending apocalypse in High Fidelity 2?

Maybe. Here’s how it did when I selected Neighborhood #2 (Laika) by Arcade Fire…

  1. Neighborhood #2 (Laika) by Arcade Fire

  2. Five Years – David Bowie
  3. Slow Hands – Interpol
  4. Last Goodbye – Jeff Buckley
  5. Lua – Bright Eyes
  6. The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  7. El Scorcho – Weezer
  8. We Are Nowhere and It’s Now – Bright Eyes
  9. Grace – Jeff Buckley
  10. Lover’s Spit – Broken Social Scene
  11. Caring is Creepy – The Shins
  12. Molly’s Chambers – Kings of Leon
  13. 12:51 – The Strokes
  14. Business Time – Flight of the Conchords
  15. Lazy Eye – Silversun Pickups
  16. I Summon You – Spoon
  17. My Moon My Man – Feist
  18. Vampire / Forest Fire – Arcade Fire
  19. Fake Palindromes – Andrew Bird
  20. Do You Realize? – The Flaming Lips
  21. Evil – Interpol
  22. Wolf Like Me – TV on the Radio
  23. Y Control – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  24. Woman King – Iron & Wine
  25. In the Backseat – Arcade Fire

Not bad, but a little heavy on Bright Eyes. Let’s try another song: Coffee & TV – Blur

  1. Coffee & TV – Blur

  2. Every You Every Me – Placebo
  3. Alright – Supergrass
  4. Supersonic – Oasis
  5. The Charming Man – The Smiths
  6. Summer Babe – Pavement
  7. The Dark of the Matinee – Franz Ferdinand
  8. Lucky – Radiohead
  9. Monkey Gone to Heaven – Pixies
  10. Slow Hands – Interpol
  11. The New Pollution – Beck
  12. Here Comes Your Man – Pixes
  13. El Scorcho – Weezer
  14. She’s So High (Live) – Blur
  15. The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  16. Out of Time – Blur
  17. The W.A.N.D (The Will Always Negates Defeat) – The Flaming Lips
  18. No Cars Go – Arcade Fire
  19. Mistaken for Stranges – The National
  20. For Tomorrow – Blur
  21. You and Me Song – The Wannadies
  22. Tropicalia – Beck
  23. We Used to Vacation – Cold War Kids
  24. One Big Holiday – My Morning Jacket
  25. Molly’s Chambers – Kings of Leon.

The way I’ve been using it is to create the playlist and not look at what was selected, preferring to treat it like a robot radio station while I listen to it on my commute. What’s cool about it is that it will dig down and find stuff that you probably forgot about and never got a chance to rate (if you rate your songs at all).

One comment on “iTunes Genius

  1. Adanac Oct 4, 2008 3:51 pm

    Thanks for mentioning iTunes Genius Ben. I had not used it until I saw your post. I got some very interesting playlists. Now the commute to work will have interesting music combinations to listen to.

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