[![Itunes_genius_logo][2]][2]In a departure from deeper content, I submit the following.  iTunes Genius lives up to its title.

[]: http://www.apple.com/itunes/

I have no idea how the algorithm works, but it does just work.  As usual with Apple products, the first few times I used it I was distinctly underwhelmed.  But then I came back to it a few months later and I was amazed. 

From what I can tell, it seems to take into account both subjective and objective criteria.  This is key, because I am very anal about how I log, listen, and classify my music collection.  Thanks mom, for that wonderful personality quirk.  I have no idea if the objective criteria are pulled from the iTunes database, crowdsourcing,
or some combination. 

Yet for whatever reason genius seems to take this into account.  Very little of my music currently has the genre which came when I bought the songs from iTunes.  I have reconfigured everything, and this gets taken into account (from what I can tell) when Genius makes its track decisions.  The other subjective criteria it seems to take into account besides the genres are the ratings, which I’m overly fastidious in using. 

Yet, it also takes into account some level of objective criteria.  Sometimes if I put on an older track I have the pleasure of many of my old high school favorite tracks.  So it must take into account the year of the album.  Also when I put on a woman singer, most of the tracks selected are women.  

[![Last][3]][3] The last thing, and that which I most appreciate, is that it does a great job of keeping with the overall mood which I’m going for.  If I find one song that fits my particular mood of  the moment – Genius is really good about keeping me in that mood while exploring my music collection in the way that [last.fm][3] allows me to do with an online portfolio outside my music collection.  Last.fm is fantastic, but my bandwidth limitations usually preclude using it.  Sometimes everything is OK, but usually the music is sketchy which is incredibly annoying.  Kudos to Last, by the way, for opening up their interface.  When I first came to Africa I could not listen to my tracks / stations, but now they have fixed that.  Thanks.

[]: http://www.last.fm/ [3]: http://www.last.fm/user/caseykuhlman

[![Apple_tv_intro_graphic][5]][5] Generally, I hate listening to my music on my tinny computer speakers.  Luckily, a while ago when I was up in Europe I bought an [AppleTV][5].  This is fantastic for me, because I can plug it into my decent receiver and speakers.  The closed nature of AppleTV is annoying, but there are plenty of hacks.  Yet, even out of the box when combined with Genius it is wonderful.  You get Apple’s stunning, sexy graphic interfaces and your music which can be played on reasonable speakers.  This is a blissful combination for me.  The final thing which I will say is that I use Genius similarly to how I use the web, I wander.  I will find old favorites or new favorites and Genius them to see what else I may be forgetting or never have found within my own music collection.  Genius.

[]: http://www.apple.com/appletv/ [5]: http://www.apple.com/appletv/

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