CNET: Apple’s iTunes 8 ‘Genius’ feature a fun way of rediscovering music

“For us, the most interesting part of iTunes 8 is the Genius feature. Not because it’s essentially a new way of selling you stuff from the iTunes Store. But because if you have a massive library of music, it seems to be a fun way of rediscovering music you already have, even if it is pretty similar to what Last.fm has been doing for ages,” Crave at CNET reports.

Genius “adds automation, and allows you to create these custom playlists on the new iPods. And in our tests it appeared to work fairly well — you select a track you like, click the Genius button, and you’re given a playlist of songs similar to your source track,”Crave at CNET reports.

Genius is “very impressive. But Genius isn’t idiot-proof, and we did manage to break it…”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Chuckles the Microsoft CEO” for the heads up.]

23 Comments

  1. I have found that the Genius playlists are a great place to start, but not perfect. After I delete about 10-30% of the songs, I have a really great playlist. I hope iTunes keeps track of what you remove/skip so that the feature becomes better over time.

  2. I’m actually surprised, too. On the first day out with a Genius playlist, I haven’t skipped one song on my trek to work today. Pretty slick work, Apple. Now, if you can just make AT&T;not force a data plan or have a PAYG data feature, you’d make many more potential iPhone 3G users happy. Not everyone uses or needs a $30 data plan, but everyone I know loves the iPhone.

  3. I too think the playlists are fairly accurate and they can only get better over time, but I don’t really need them or want to use them.

    What I found really, really, useful was the Pandora like way it can find things in the iTunes store that are similar to something you already own. I discovered several artists I hadn’t known about that were very similar to my favourites in a matter of minutes.

    What’s really, really sad and stupid though is that this feature is not available on the mobile iTunes store and the iPhone/iPod. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they left this feature out of the mobile store. It’s guaranteed to increase their sales. It makes no sense that you can’t really use this feature, which to me is the most useful aspect of Genius, when you aren’t sitting at home.

  4. @ I’m guessing,

    No, it’s not limited to just offerings from iTMS. Select a song and hit the little Genius button on the bottom right hand side of the application frame and a Genius playlist is created and that’s it. If you like it, save it. But it’s pretty cool – it’s made some nice little compilations for me already from my 30.4 days worth of music.

  5. Have been wanting features like this for years, Last Fm is a great way to discover new music though of course when its limited to your own library it is a little limited by comparison. The only logic for some form of subscription service (or at least something that can mimic this aspect) is that it would remove that limitation but of course at a cost.

    That said I have estimated I would probably have doubled my buying from iTunes had a facility like Last fm existed within it so maybe it could be made to work somehow. Of course if you could stream for free then who would buy the new music they found. Unfortunately before I could exploit it on my home computer I have noticed that Last fm has replaced the iTunes link with one for Amazon. So who knows maybe more is to come in this respect from iTunes.

  6. @ I’m Guessing

    I noticed that too. The Genius recommendations fail spectacularly when the track/artist in question is not offered in the iTunes store. This is going to be a real problem in that people actually don’t only listen to music from the country they live in. It assumes that people in the USA won’t have European music tracks and vice versa.

    Yet another case where the music cartels and the crumbling old business models are preventing things from moving forward.

    This works for video as well. I live in Canada, but if it were available, I would buy literally hundreds of TV shows and movies from the UK. Merely by clinging to the outmoded country based distribution model, the media giants are throwing away huge amounts of money from people who would rather buy than steal these shows.

  7. Genius doesn’t work that well for music classified as “World Music”

    I’m listening to Chinese Pop of the 80s and 90s. All I got was islamic and jewish music with some guy hummming then yelling moments later.

    I feel sorry for the tech support. Imagine what they have to put up, with idiots that call up claiming the songs it suggests are not similar. And those same idiots would want help to configure genius to better suit them…. argh

  8. After I installed iTunes 8, I want to give it a try for that features, but it hang with the beach ball spinning forever and need force to quit. Better yet, I can’t update my App from the App Store. It said error on my iTunes App Store (error 5002). Apple, I want you to make money and love your invention. But please help us to get it through this smoothly … at least at the beginning… not to mention I need to restore my iPhone every other day until I gave up purchasing anymore Apps and sync with my phone. Will give you (Apple) one more chance this Friday with the 2.1 update. I still love you, Apple

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