My iTunes experience began with version 5. The newest edition, which I downloaded about three weeks ago, is iTunes 8.

One thing about iTunes and the whole iPod experience is that change is constant. As long as I can hold on for the ride, I find it’s worth the constant … well … shuffle.

iTunes 8 has a new feature called Genius and it is. (Maybe we could do without the smug-Apple-icious name, but when you’ve got it ….)

Genius allows you to click on a song — obscure or mainstream, offbeat or pop — and have a new playlist created for you. Genius creates the playlist by putting together music from your own library, so I find it’s a great way to hear familiar music in a new way, a sort of paradigm shift for the ears. Genius also acquaints me with music I’ve loaded, but haven’t listened to yet. (Who hasn’t forgotten what’s on their iPod? With 8 gigabytes, it’s hard keeping up with all those yummy tunes.)

Another feature of Genius is a bit self-serving: If you click on a song, it will recommend songs you can purchase from the iTunes store. In general I’m not fond of these cloning-type services, whether its courtesy of Amazon or Netflix.

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid infection with iTunes … it’s time to take the plunge. I have found immeasurable new pleasure and joy in music thanks to the digital form it’s taken these days. I don’t leave the house without my iPod and it goes from desk to living room to bedside; on runs, in the grocery store and in the car.

Once you figure it out, Genius is great fun. It refreshes music, organizes it in new ways, shines a light on forgotten songs and artists and kicks your favorites out of their status quo corner.

3 Responses to “in-genius”

  1. Gene-o says:

    OK, how much did Apple pay you to write this column? It’s a sad day when product-placement marketing comes to Fiction Dailyland!

  2. Gene-o says:

    (Just joking, by the way.)

  3. Marion says:

    Oh my … yes, I have stumbled … shuffled? … into the dark side … but darn it, it’s wonderful having so much music with me at all times … and yes, as I’m singing to Beck, I also sing the praises of Apple for applying technology to such a worthy goal. Speaking of which … they don’t drop bombs with Apple technology, do they? I applaud a company dedicated to the pure joy of design (the Mac profile) and now, music (iPod, iTunes). It shows we can use technology for good … even if we make a profit … PS … Your point about product placement is well taken!! MB