Thoughts on iTunes 8 and Genius

I’m generally impressed with the new Genius feature in iTunes 8. I want to give my reasons…

Let me clarify that the recommendation engine itself seems to be no significant improvement over thefilter, which is what Apple apparently bought and integrated into iTunes 8. However, the integration itself, and the UI job is commendable. If you haven’t tried it yet, the Genius music recommendation feature is essentially a button you push when you have a song selected, and it will create a playlist of “similar” songs from your iTunes library.

A lot of people I’ve talked to have complained about the quality of the recommendations… but I think we’re spoiled by Pandora. Pandora’s recommendations come from the labor-intensive “expert” analysis of their music collection, so naturally an entirely automated system can’t compete… yet.

I think Genius is a step in the right direction… and it should get better over time, assuming it takes into consideration how you respond the recommendations and leverages that feedback across users.

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