Friday, September 12, 2008

55GB music + Apple iTunes = Genius

Alright alright Steve. You are rocking ;-)

My first impression of the iTunes Genius Toolbar was not impressive.
First of all I like to discover music on my own through various Podcast and music blogs, and the danish iTunes store is not really that impressive and up to date, thanks to all the ridicules regional codes.

Recommendations and discovering
But I must admit that the feature where iTunes lists what albums and songs from an artist I am still missing comes in handy when you are discovering new artists, which I love and do a lot.

Annoyance, ignore, genres and stupid
But it's almost annoying when it comes to established artist who have numerous albums behind them. Albums I choose to ignore.
And when it comes to danish artist, like VETO e.g., Genius merely lists all the danish indie artist that are in the store, without taking genre into consideration... and that is, quite frankly, stupid.

Submitting smarter genres
The biggest bang is definitely the Genius smart playlists. I have already successfully let Genius create a couple of playlists from my 55 GB music collection and even though some of the suggested tracks where plain rubbish, it managed to let me rediscover artists that I have almost forgotten in the bottomless pit of my fast growing music collection.
On the bonus side it also made me delete albums that I have almost forgotten, and it made me remember why ;-)

It still needs to get a lot smarter, but I've learned that it's supposed to learn the algorithms the more you use it. And that brings me to something I've been at for a long time. Unless iTunes get smarter genre specifics, the genre parameters are never gonig to work to it's fullest.
You cannot sort or create a playlist from genre alone as long as iTunes list entire albums as one genre. One album can easily contain rock, pop, ballad, hard rock etc.

User submitted genres
Now I believe that Genius works on different user experience and will eventually learn to surpass the genre obstacle, but until then I suggest that Apple urges it's users to submit their chosen genres for the specific songs and let the masses decide.
And from now on iTunes should let every artist and record company add more specific content to their tracks - thank you.

Until then I will do my best to feed the Genius with my extensive music playlists.

Now playing: Sigur Rós - Untitled 5
via FoxyTunes


I wrote this comment in an LinkedIn forum on the Genius effect.

By now I could easily see iTunes, Last FM, Pandora, MOG, MySpace e.g. start up their popular radio stations with hosts that represent their community. At this point I probably listen to as many hours of music and lifestyle podcast as I listen to music tracks.

I hope that in the near future we could be free of the hassle of owning Our own music copies. Unless we want to buy special designed packaging and booklets or want to listen to handpicked albums on our high end audio, there is no reason to download, back up and update Our music collection over and over again.
[Read the rest here]
Now playing: Explosions In The Sky - The Only Moment We Were Alone
via FoxyTunes

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