Where have you been all my MP3 life, Mr. iTunes 8.0 Genius Playlist?
One of the perils of possessing almost 7000 MP3s (besides the wife complaining that the music collection slows down YouTube versions of Charlie Bit Me remakes on the laptop) is that something is always left out when making a mix CD. It is as inevitable as sticky sleeping bags at summer camp.
Well, thanks to the latest version of iTunes, all of that pressure is now alleviated – from me, at least. You’ll have to make up your own mind.
Have a song stuck in your mind that is in your iTunes library? Just right click on it and select the genius option. Suddenly a playlist is created based on that one song. You can choose the number of songs in the playlist (from 25 to 100, in increments of 25) and refresh the list based on any new settings. (That is my one beef with this newfangled option, by the way. Since I am not an iPod owner and I burn CDs to listen to, I’d like a little more freedom in choosing how many songs are selected. Most home-burned CDs can hold 18-20 songs so I’d like the options to be in increments of, say, 18 or so. But that’s just low-rent me…)
My first foray into the genius realm was at the behest of my current favorite song: Missed The Boat by Modest Mouse. (Tangent: I did not realize that the very great Johnny Marr, the man who played the incredibly kick-ass riff on How Soon Is Now? when he was with the Smiths, and then went on to play hypnotic tunes with The The, is now with Modest Mouse. How did I miss that?)
Anyway, the 25 song playlist compiled by iTunes based on that one song blew my mind. It might just be the best playlist I have ever seen. Songs from Spoon, The Killers, The Shins, The Violent Femmes, Wilco, and others.
However, I’ll bet that I will top it eventually. For example, right now I am listening to a genius playlist based on Teenage Fanclub’s Mellow Doubt. So far, I have been treated to songs from The Weakerthans, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Wedding Present. Still to come are The Pixies, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Eels, and Robyn Hitchcock.
And, yes, I am leaving a lot of bands out when I choose those few to highlight.
I think I am going to be up all night.