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Creating and Managing Genius Playlists

The iTunes Genius feature creates a playlist of songs that “go together” based on a specific song that you select. It is difficult to predict which songs the genius will group, which is a big part of the fun of using it. The collections of songs you get are a surprise to you and the genius is a good way to make your music fresh because of the unpredictable ways iTunes selects music. Don’t let the unpredictability lead you to think that the genius isn’t good at what it does though; it seems to do a remarkable job of creating collections of songs that sound really good together.

Starting the Genius

If you see the Genius Mixes playlist at the top of the Playlists list, the Genius is turned on and you are ready to start creating genius playlists.

If you don’t see the Genius Mixes playlist, start the Genius by choosing Store, Turn On Genius. The Genius becomes available on the Playlists screen. Click the Turn on Genius button. Sign in using your Apple ID and agree to the terms and conditions. The Genius starts analyzing your music collection. You can continue to use iTunes during this process.

Creating a Genius Playlist

To create a genius playlist, complete these steps:

  1. Play the song on which you want the genus playlist to be based.

  2. Click the right-facing arrow next to the song’s name in the Info area at the top of the iTunes window (see Figure 7.9).
    Figure 7.9

    Figure 7.9. This genius playlist will be based on the song “Heaven.”

  3. Choose Create Genius Playlist. The playlist is created and appears on the Playlists list. It is selected, and you see its contents on the screen. Just under its name, you see how many songs it contains (25 by default) and its run time (see Figure 7.10). You can play the playlist just like playlists you have created manually.
    Figure 7.10

    Figure 7.10. This playlist contains songs that “go with” the song “Heaven.”

Changing a Genius Playlist

You can change a genius playlist in several ways:

  • To refresh its contents, select it on the Playlists list and click Refresh. The Genius updates the contents of the playlist. It may add or remove songs or change the order in which they play.
  • Like other playlists, you can change the order in which songs play by dragging them up or down the list. (If you refresh a genius playlist, the order you set may be overridden.)
  • To change the number of songs in the playlist, click the downward-facing arrow to the right of the number of songs and choose the number you want to be included in the playlist. The options are 25, 50, 75, or 100. If you change the current number, the Genius adds or removes songs to get to the number you selected.
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