Home > apple, itunes, music > iTunes 8 genius feature screenshots

iTunes 8 genius feature screenshots

The biggest new feature of iTunes 8 is the genius, which works like online services Pandora and LastFM to recommend similar music in the iTunes store, and create smart playlists using the songs you already have. iTunes 8 is a 58.4Mb download available now from the Apple website or through Software Update.

There’s also a new way of viewing your library, using album covers.

Not a bad way of browsing your library, as long as you remember what the album covers look like. Genius is off by default, until you choose to turn it on. Information about your music will be sent to Apple but iTunes says this is anonymous. Once turned on there’s a short wait while iTunes sends the information to Apple and downloads the results.

Once setup, the genius bar appears to the right of your library and recommends songs based on your current selection.

Apple have said the recommendations will improve as genius analyses more music, and as you can see from the screenshot above it has a bit of learning to do. Howard Jones is not what I would expect to be recommended when the Track selected is Billy Idol’s Flesh for Fantasy. Not sure about Duran Duran either, but then it is an old track so the offerings are probably just based on 80’s pop.

My Second attempt was at a genius playlist using songs from my music library. Again not a new track, I chose 6:00 from Dream Theatre’s 1994 Album Awake. The selected songs are not a bad match since there’s only around 1000 songs in the library.

They last try was with the Echobelly song Dark Therapy. This was a chart hit in the early 80’s, and genius was unable to make any suggestions. Not unexpected since it’s not a well known song.

Genius looks like an interesting feature, and is another example of Apple moving into areas that others have already done the groundwork in. I expect ut will be a big success if the recommendations do improve over time as Apple has suggested.

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