Genius is Genius

I’m not talking about the Genius Bar at retail Apple stores (although I love that, too)… I’m referring to the new features in iTunes 8. My purchase rate has definitely shot up since the addition of the Genius Sidebar that appears alongside my song list – yet another testament to the value of good recommendation technology.

My favorite iTunes feature, however, is Genius’s dynamic playlist technology which uses a single song seed to create a playlist of my own music. I’m amazed by its ability to group together songs that are diverse across basic characteristics like artist, genre, and album but similar in “essence.” It seems like they’re basing this solely off of other users’ song/playlist data instead of “music genome” data like Pandora. Works great for me and, theoretically, this should improve over time. In the following playlist (seed = Our Swords) there are probably 2-3 songs max that seemed like audible outliers:

Our Swords – Band of Horses
Haiti – Arcade Fire
Fast As You Can – Fiona Apple
Kiss Them For Me – Siouxsie & The Banshees
Only You – Joshua Radin
Sunshowers – M.I.A.
Til Kingdom Come – Coldplay
No Myth – Michael Penn
Marry Song – Band of Horses
Keep the Car Running – Arcade Fire
Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins
Joey – Concrete Blonde
The Last Time – Gnarles Barkley
Babylon – David Gray
Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I Know – Fiona Apple
All I Want Is You – U2
Warning Sign – Coldplay
Lullaby – The Cure
Wicked Gil – Band of Horses
Amie – Damien Rice
Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire
Run – Snow Patrol
Head On – The Jesus and Mary Chain

Aptly named feature. :-)


1 Response to “Genius is Genius”

  1. 1 rommy October 7, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    no one reads this blog except me.

    just kidding. i didn’t even realize you had a live blog anymore.

    so i TOTALLY agree about iTunes Genius. i’ve created 5 awesome playlists at the click of the button.

    i just wish there was an easy way to save them off once they’re created rather than manually having to create a new playlist then moving the songs into it from the Genius one.

    i’m so lazy.

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