Creating Playlists with iTunes Genius

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Introduction to Creating Playlists with iTunes Genius

Creating iTunes Genius Playlists, step 1

The iTunes Genius feature of iTunes can help you discover new music you haven't heard before, but it can also present music you already have in your iTunes library to you in new ways - specifically in the form of Genius Playlists.

Genius Playlists are different from playlists you create yourself or even smart playlists, which are created based on sorting criteria you select. Genius playlists use the collective intelligence of the iTunes Store and iTunes users to create playlists that pair related songs together and make playlists that will sound great (or so Apple claims).

Applying this Genius, believe it or not, takes almost no work at all. Here's what you need to do to create one.

First, make sure you have iTunes 8 or higher and have Genius turned on. Then, you need to find a song to use as the basis of your playlist. Navigate through your iTunes library to that song. Once you've got it, there are two ways to create the playlist:

  • Right-click on the song and select Create Genius Playlist from the menu
  • In iTunes 11 or higher, hover your mouse over the song. When the arrow appears next to the song name, click it and then select Create Genius Playlist.
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Review Your Genius Playlist

Creating iTunes Genius Playlists, step 2

At this point, iTunes steps in. It takes the song you've selected and collects information from the iTunes Store and other Genius users. It looks at what songs the people who like this one also like and then uses that information to generate the Genius Playlist.

ITunes then presents the Genius Playlist. This is a 25-song playlist, beginning with the song you chose. You can either begin enjoying it or, to see what other options you have, move on to the next step.

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Revise or Save Genius Playlist

Creating iTunes Genius Playlists, step 3

You may be happy with your Genius Playlist as it is, but if you'd like to modify it, you can.

The default length of the playlist is 25 songs, but you can add to that. Click on the 25 songs drop down under the playlist and select 50, 75, or 100 songs and the playlist will expand.

To reshuffle the order of the songs randomly, click the Refresh button. You can also manually change the order of the songs by dragging and dropping them.

Your next step depends on the version of iTunes you have. In iTunes 10 or earlier, if you're happy with the playlist, click the Save Playlist button to, well, save the playlist. In iTunes 11 or higher, you don't need to save the playlist; it's automatically saved. Instead, you can just click the play button next to the playlist's name, or click the shuffle button.

And that's it! If iTunes is as Genius as it claims, you should be loving these playlists for hours to come.