Sunday, June 7, 2009

genius you say.

i've stayed away from iTunes updates since apple has added the genius feature.  but recently i gave in and updated the version on my macbook.  i just had to see what the fuss was about.

now i love to make mixtapes--and i was always call them mixtapes whether they are zip files of mp3s or mixes burned to cdr--but the problem with genius is that it takes the creativity out of making mixes.  all you have to do is select one song and hit the genius button and then viola you have a mix. 

i selected battles and got a mix full of noise, math and post hardcore songs.  i picked be your own pet and got a selection of punk, post punk and fast indie pop songs that all seemed to fit the mold.  so i guess in a bind, genius works better than the old party shuffle function on iTunes.  we all have too much music and too much diversity in our genres for party shuffle to work without making a schizophrenic playlist.

but really do we need a genius function?  i make mixes all the time and genius isn't going to supplant that urge.  its one size fits all, basing its mixes mostly on genre and nothing else.  so you get a fairly cohesive mix, yet if you want anything more specific you can't use genius.  i often make mixes of new songs i've acquired.  or mixes by label or mood or content of the lyrics.  genius can't do that.  maybe it will at some point, but not without allowing apple some big brother leverage.

so genius is alright i guess.  but the way it works is by feeding your playlist info to apple and collating the data into some sort of secret formula.  and yet for all the data mining and science, you can still make a better mix than the apple robots.  and for some of us music junkie and djs, we will always be able to slay the dancefloor much better than apple.  so take the genius function for what its worth.

but please keep making yr own mixtapes.  


Ben Miller said...

I totally agree.

I use genius strictly as a replacement to shuffle, if you're in the mood for a certain type of music you can get 50 songs that fit the bill. One weird thing is that I seem to get almost identical playlists when I select Holland, 1945 or any given Decemberists song. I didn't think NMH was even in the same ballpark as Decemberists, but Apple seems to think they might be the same band.

I keep hoping to have house guests with an iPhone or iPod Touch to try out the new iTunes DJ. They can log in and see the upcoming songs, make requests from your library, and veto upcoming songs. Maybe when we're in Iowa and there is iPhone coverage...

j. amadeus markley said...

yeah the itunes dj was going to be a future post, but i'm not sure what to make of it quite yet.

as a party shuffle with the ability for listeners to vote songs on or off remotely, it seems rad. but will there ever be an opportunity to use it? an iphone, ipod touch only party?

let me know what you think......