Genius feature in iTunes - tell me about it. Do you use it, do you like it, and why?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by OldCorpse, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    I've never even turned on the genius feature in iTunes, because I was put off by the link to the store. I have no intention whatsoever of buying anything from the iTunes store, though I do have an account cause I had to buy something else online.

    Here's my strong suspicion about Genius - that it's really there just to sell you crappy tracks from iTunes. And I have no use for that noise.

    BUT, I like to keep an open mind. What if I'm wrong, and what if it's actually a cool feature? I remember not being sure about the shuffle function, since I like to listen to albums, so for the longest time I didn't use it. But one day I gave it a go, and what do you know... I liked it, for the most part!

    Here's one additional complication - I got like 50,000 songs in my library and I listen to all kinds of genres.

    So. Tell me about Genius - how do YOU use it? Do you like it? What do you like about it, and what do you hate about it?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    that's just the genius side bar

    there's also genius mixes, which are 12 different mixes of different genres, custom made from your library.

    and genius playlists, which is a custom playlist of songs based on a song, so you pick a song, and it picks 25,50,75, or 100 songs from your library.

    Neither of these have anything to do with the store.

    I'll do genius playlist, if i'm in the mood to hear a song, and similar stuff, normally works pretty well.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    But you have to turn on Genius and log into the iTunes store to use those features.
    This is exactly why I don't use Genius. I don't want information about my library in Apple's hands. I consider this an invasion of privacy.
  5. sneakyzeal macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2009
    New Zealand
    Yeah - I hid the Genius side bar for the reasons you are put off OldCorpse - I don't buy (or want to buy) songs from the iTunes store either.

    The Genius playlist thing is very cool though, an easy way to make a playlist based on what you feel like listening to, without having to THINK about it, and you often come across songs you forgot about (which would be easy to do with a collection of 50,000+!). It's usually pretty spot on in terms of grouping similar songs together, and you can hit refresh and it'll rebuild itself based on the same song (or a different song, whatever you like).

    It's because of this feature that I've never bothered making my own playlists other than year / decade.

    Haven't really tried Genius mixes yet but imagine it'd be just as good.

    If you came to like the shuffle feature, you'll probably feel the same way about Genius! Hope this helps :)
  6. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    The iTunes-made Genius Mixes are decent... certainly better than other programs that offer similar functionality.

    The Genius feature is also okay, I guess.

    I don't use either though: I have a lot of live music I get from live music trackers that I want to listen to, but don't necessarily want popping up in playlists. Especially since some artists I like do a lot of live shows, I may have 50 performances of one song. Same thing with duplicates.

    If all of my music was from officially released albums only, it would probably be a lot better, but with a good portion of my 25,000+ tracks being live performances, unreleased material, etc... it just doesn't work too well for me.

    The idea is that you hit a simple genius button and iTunes does the work, which I get, but I would like the option for customization to be there for those who wish to use it. An "exclude from genius" option or something would be great. Unticking songs probably accomplishes this, but that too doesn't work for me as there are songs I don't want in genius playlists but want to be able to sync to devices.
  7. jawshua macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2010
    kingsport, tn
    Still waiting on it to pickup tobymac's album from feb 9th.... I'm thinking wtg itunes
  8. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    I've hidden the Genius sidebar since the whole thing was first released. I let it show for 5 minutes again this week (I was being experimental with iTunes this week, browsed it by that cover art layout for the first time ever) but I'd rather get my recommendations without a price tag next to them.

    I don't think much of Genius playlists to be honest. It's never made one I've been happy with. The most I ever use it for is to put together a really quick playlist before going running, even then it's not that great.

    I did like Genius Mixes for a bit though. I've got the idea that if I had a new enough iPod to play those then they'd get used a lot more. At first I thought it'd be right up my street 'cause I listen on shuffle a lot but sometimes am only in the mood for one type of music. My only problem was that there were one or two mixes that were a little odd. And they were often a bit repetitive - some songs would always get played. Ultimately I just spent some time on smart playlists and now if I want something on shuffle I choose one of them.

    If you could edit Genius Mixes and Playlists a little yourself then I'd enjoy them more.

    I'm not bothered by the privacy thing, I upload everything to anyway which tends to give better recommendations.

    Edit: I have around 40GBs of music (not lossless) so while it's not the biggest library, it's big enough that I should probably be seeing decent results from genius.
  9. str1f3 macrumors 68000

    Aug 24, 2008
    Can't speak for others but Genius playlists are one of my favorite features in iTunes. For me it does work extremely well on iTunes and my iPhone. I have a large library so it probably benefits me more compared to others. Almost all of my albums are official releases as well.

    Unless I'm looking for really specific songs, I don't even make playlists anymore. It's a waste of time going through a 22,000 song library to make a playlist.
  10. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    I love Genius playlists. I have a fairly diverse collection and random play, while interesting, often seems jarring by mixing different genres. But with Genius, just picking a starting song is usually enough to generate a really interesting playlist that is very cohesive in nature. On the weekends I often have it pick 100 songs and listen to that most of the day.

    I have never bothered with Genius recommendations, or any other of the iTunes store's promotional gimmicks. Over 90% of my collection is ripped from CDs anyway.

Share This Page