A Wizard Genius

When I first started using iTunes I thought the bit at the bottom of the Party Shuffle screen that said “Display x number of upcoming songs” meant that the program would select new music I might like based on what I was currently playing. When I discovered it didn’t do that at all I was slightly disappointed. Now, a few years later, Apple has introduced Genius, which does exactly this and more. The recommend feature in the sidebar is okay, but by no means perfect. It doesn’t work as well as it could as it still suggests songs I already have, and I can’t say that I’ve found any new and exciting music via it’s recommendations. What I do find excellent, however, is the choices it makes from my own library.

I don’t own a massive music collection, but it does now stretch to around 13,000 tunes and I’ve found that while Party Shuffle plays music I’ve not listened to in a while, it doesn’t actually play the music I want to listen to. Which is to say, it plays music that I’m not in the mood for. Genius, on the other hand, is excellent as I’m able to pick a track that matches my current mood and iTunes then gives me a load more tracks that are similar. Okay, so some of them are a bit left field compared to the base track and the system fails if it doesn’t recognise a tune, but on the whole it gives me music I haven’t listened to for a long time while at the same time giving me music I feel I want to hear. Genius also demonstrates why it is a good idea to have your entire music library available all the time, as it works best when it has a lot of tracks to pick from. Now if only there was a memory card for my phone that could store my entire library and a Genius function on that.