Genius: Oh, so you mean like a smart playlist? Real genius, sure


One of the new features of iTunes 8 is Genius, a preposterously named playlist creator that seems, to me, completely overhyped. What does it do, really? Apple’s highly detailed instructions (above) say all you have to do is play a song, click the Genius button, then off you go. It scans your iTunes library for songs that “go great together,” then creates a playlist of those songs. Wonderful.

Nearest I can tell, all Genius is doing is going through my library and picking a bunch of songs of the same genre or artist, then grouping them together. How is that different from a smart playlist set up to select 25 hip-hop or classic rock (or whatever) songs?

Like, check this out. I tell Genius to make a playlist based on “Energy Bomb (Alex Gold, Adam K & Soha Mix)” by Alex Gold, a progressive house song (you can listen to it here, if you dare!). What does Genius do? It makes a playlist of a bunch of progressive house songs. (That’s when it doesn’t throw me a bunch of error messages.) Wow, thanks. I couldn’t have done that on my own.

In my estimation, Genius is a wildly over-hyped smart playlist generator. Thank you.