Monday, March 22, 2010

What's the deal with iTunes' Genius Mix?

We beat West Ham over the weekend, Chelsea dropped points against Blackburn, Man Utd beat Liverpool and we're now 2 points closer to winning the title. Vermaelen got sent off by a crappy refereeing error, and we're scratching our heads whether to play Song in defence against Birmingham in order to save Campbell for the quarter-final tie against Barcelona.

Almunia saved our bacon against West Ham. Eboue's in fine form. Denilson did well and scored a goal. Arshavin was wistless and disinterested, but apparently it was because he was sick and couldn't run far. Diaby, Cesc and Denilson had better step up against Birmingham because we really need three points from a tough away game without Vermaelen. And Messi's just scored his second La Liga hattrick in a row and I'm torn between crapping myself with worry that he'll do that against us, or crapping my joy that I get to see such a fine player play.

However, I've been distracted lately. I've spent the last couple of days converting my CD collection to iTunes. I became interested in the Genius and Genius Mix functions in iTunes, and endeavoured to figure out how it works. Turns out you need a really large, varied music library to get appropriate mixes.

118 CDs later, I'm still not sure how Genius works. iTunes has divided my collection into sections with names like "Electro-Pop Mix", "Adult Alternative Rock Mix", "Adult Alternative Mix", "Alternative Pop/Rock Mix", "Brit-Pop and Rock Mix", "Grunge Mix" "Neo-Soul Mix" and the strangely named "Surf/Garage Revival Mix". Now, you could probably capture 80% of my CDs under "Alternative Mix", but what's with all these different categories? What's the difference between "Adult Alternative" (which for some reason includes Dido), and "Adult Alternative Rock" (which somehow includes gospel music from the Blind Boys of Alabama)?

I'm more puzzled with Genius than I was when I first stumbled upon it. What's the deal with Genius? Does anyone outside of Apple know how it works, who decides which songs go under which categories? And does anyone know why every other song I'm playing seems to be Coldplay? I mean, I like them, but I don't like them that much.

I'm thinking that if I get more albums, maybe some soul, or jazz, definitely more hip-hop and dance, then I can straighten Genius out, and get categories that aren't just different shades of the same colour. I've got one that's called "Neo-Soul" - I want more categories than sound as cool as that.

Apple is insidious. iTunes is manipulative. Genius is a marketing ploy that'll soon suck all the money from my bank account. But it'll all so shiny and seductive and I can't resist. I'm deep in tech-lust, and even my love for Arsenal won't drag me away from the lure of the perfect music collection.

Arsenal vs Birmingham? I'm more concerned about how Dido gets into my Indie Rock Mix.

4 comments:

Royal Arsenal said...

hahaha, genius is kind of a smart playlist, itunes sends all the titles of the songs on your computer to their program and when you make a genius playlist, it is songs similar to the first one that you chose. kinda like pandora.com, except with your music and doesnt require internet after sending the data.

Royal Arsenal said...

I use it quite a bit when i want to listen to music, but not all by the same artist. and itunes really doesnt know anything about genre, i always changed it to what it really is

Connolly's agent said...

Yeah, I'm up to 157 albums now, and the mixes have changed. I've lost "Neo-soul" (dammit) but I'm gained "alt singer/songwriter" and "singer/songwriter" mixes. I think electro-pop, hip-hop and brit-pop mixes are here to stay - they've been present ever since my mixes went to 12.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why I need to sign up for an iTunes account to access it, and why I need to give credit card details for storing.