Having spent a day with iTunes 9 and OS 3.1 on an iPhone and iPod touch, I find that I am completely smitten with a feature I pretty much completely ignored before yesterday. I’m referring to Genius, which hadn’t lived up to its name until this […]

iTunes IconHaving spent a day with iTunes 9 and OS 3.1 on an iPhone and iPod touch, I find that I am completely smitten with a feature I pretty much completely ignored before yesterday. I’m referring to Genius, which hadn’t lived up to its name until this latest retooling.

Since upgrading to iTunes 9, I’ve used Genius Mixes exclusively on both my computer and my portable devices. Contrast this to the two or three times I ever used a Genius playlist since their introduction in iTunes 8.

Get Your Mix On

First, in case you’re like me, it’s possible you need a little help in getting your Genius Mixes set up in the first place. The key is that once you upgrade your iTunes installation, there’s one more step to take before they appear. Go to your “Store” menus, and click on “Update Genius.” Once Apple (s aapl) delivers your results, your new Mixes will appear in the source menu in the left-hand side of the iTunes window, right under the Genius atom icon.

Update GeniusClicking on it should reveal 12 squares with album cover composite images that show artists representative of the content found in each mix. I say should because I’m not sure if iTunes will necessarily generate all 12 for smaller library sizes, but you should at least have a few to choose from so long as you have more than a couple artists in your collection.

My Mixes

Individual mixes are named so as to give you an idea of what genre of music they contain. For example, some of my mixes are as follows:

  • Indie Mix — Based on: Death Cab For Cutie, Rilo Kiley, The Most Serene Republic, and others.
  • Hip Hop Mix — Based on: Kanye West, Common, The Fugees, and others.
  • Pop Mix — Based on: Ray LaMontagne, Rocky Votolato, Adele, and others.
  • Punk Mix — Based on: Rancid, Rise Against, Brand New, and others.
  • Country Mix — Based on Wilco, Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, and others.

Genius MixesMost of my mixes look like those above. Smart, clearly defined, and pretty much how I would’ve divvied up my library if I ever bothered to arrange tracks into genre groupings. A few seem like collections of assorted odds and ends Apple couldn’t quite fit into the other categories. All are admittedly interesting, and most importantly, useful ways of sub-dividing my music collection, though.

How Well Does it Work?

Playing through these mixes, I found that Apple has indeed improved their Genius engine, since the results were much more impressive than they’ve ever been using Genius playlists based on a single song. My collection is diverse enough that I don’t always want to just turn on iTunes DJ, but a Genius Mix sets the mood perfectly for parties, for work, for working out, or just for relaxing.

Apple still needs to make some improvements before I’m completely sold, though. As of right now, you can only view your mixes in Grid mode, and only the track currently playing is visible. To see what’s coming up next, you actually have to fast forward to the next song. While it’s kind of exciting not knowing what’s in store, I’d much rather be able to see a playlist like in iTunes DJ or in classic Genius mode.

I also don’t like how you have to specifically select the playlists in your Audio settings and sync your iPhone or iPod in order to get Genius Mixes on your device. Genius should be able to analyze the content you already have on your iPhone or iPod and create Genius Mixes specific to the device. Maybe this doesn’t affect people whose libraries match on both, but my computer-based music collections far exceed the capacities of my mobile devices.


As for Genius recommendations, I do find that they’re much better than they were when they were first introduced. Of course, Apple’s had a year to collect data from millions of users to make things better, so it would be more remarkable if there wasn’t any noticeable difference in the returned results. Also, Genius will always be a subjective thing, so it’s hard to determine the efficacy of results beyond just the size of the catalog of artists available.

How are you finding your experience with Genius Mixes? Is Apple’s recommendation and organization engine finally worthy of its moniker?

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  1. i feel the total opposite. genius playlists were much more what i was looking for than genius mixes. my mixes are so random and include so many songs i don’t think are relevant to each other, my collection isn’t that eclectic either (i mean it made rock mixes 1 through 6).

  2. I have to agree that the mixes feature is awesome in the fact that it takes the guess and labor work out of doing it. But personally, in my experience with the iPhone Genius Mixes (are they different than desktop – I thought it all depended on music?) the selection of music went down. I would shuffle five or six times and hear the same song twice or three times. Very poor job and not much shuffling either.

  3. I just noticed that you can sync those mixes back to the iPhone.

    “update genius”
    click on iPhone / iPod
    music tab

    Select certain genius mixes that you want synced to the device Really great way to auto-fill my iPhone w/o much effort!

  4. I’m rather disappointed. Genius gave me 8 rock, 1 RB/Soul, 1 Pop, 1 Hip Hop/Rap, and 1 Soundtrack. I have scads of country, alternative, and instrumentals (which are all probably higher in counts than soundtracks) but none of those made the Genius cut. I would not say that rock comprises three-fourths of my collection.

    I hope that they figure out a way to show us the mix libraries as well. Basing it on cover art, I have to agree with Carrie that some of the contents don’t really make sense. Dido is in there with John Lennon? I wouldn’t put those together. Nor Men at Work and the Go-Gos. But like you said, it’s subjective, and really, more of the compilations make sense than don’t.

    Plus, you can still use Genius in the old way, by clicking on a song and then clicking on Genius, which did make sense and still does.

    Live up to its name? For the most part, I’d still have to say no. I’d be sold if I had every genre well represented. Then the odd-ball song/artist in the mix wouldn’t bother me at all. I mean, it’s my music, so I like all of the songs (well, not Dido; she belongs to my daughter!).

  5. I just turned on Genius for the 1st time last night after upgrading to iTunes 9.

    As someone who has stayed away from the feature but gladly used Pandora, I have to say that I LOVE the Genius Mixes. I have a nice selection of 3 Rocks, 2 Punks, 2 Soundtracks, 1 Country, 2 Alternative, maybe something else.

    I didn’t have them synced to my iPhone, so I’ve been using the 1 song Genius feature while mobile today, and, like Pandora, it fits my needs very well. Except its all songs from my library and I don’t have to skip through the odd song on Pandora that I just can’t stand (stop recommending Foo Fighters already!).

  6. Genius, while a nice feature still fails for me. The mixes are a nice addition but iTunes makes them too diverse. I might aswel just play the library with shuffle on and get a better mix then.

    So for me, no genius…

  7. Does anyone know how to get more than 6? I have 4 of the same type, but what I really wanted was an Alternative Rock genius…

    1. you need more songs. The number of genius playlists is determined by the size of your library. 12 is the max.

  8. One thing I really don’t like about the new iTunes is the green/zoom button no longer switches between fullscreen and miniplayer, just makes the full screen larger or smaller… a bit useless. You now need to use Command+Shift+M to do the same job.

    1. Option-clicking the green button works too.

    2. Completely agree. Wonder if this was intensional.?

    3. WORD!!! this pissed me off so much

  9. I like the Mixes – definitely something I’m going to use more often than the old version of Genius playlists. The feature doesn’t seem to be working quite right for me though…

    Out of ~11 GB of music, iTunes gives me 9 mixes. 5 of them are rock, plus one classical, one vocal, one pop, and one soundtrack mix. That’s about right for my tastes, so I’ll give it credit there. But the problem is that the “Vocal Mix” isn’t actually vocal music… it seems to be mostly my instrumentals, in fact! I double checked to see that my songs didn’t have the wrong genre on the files or something, but no cigar… Very weird. It’d be nice to be able to customize the mixes, for instance to create an Alternative Rock genius out of my Rock mixes (like a previous reviewer said), but so far I do like the mixes it’s been putting together. Thanks, Apple!

  10. I have been using the Genius feature since, so Genius Mixes is a huge improvement for me. On a small library it does not work that well, so last night I had to add 25GB worth of music to my work PC for it to work. It is great, I love it.

  11. Is there any way to make Genius work when browsing/listening to a shared library? I can’t seem to get that to work.

  12. I agree with you on the problem when your library is bigger that your iPod capacity… in a way. My problem is similar but no because of capacity but because I have a set os songs ( ’bout 3% of my lib ) that I don’t, ever, wanna sinc to the iPod, so I allways sync the iPod with a smart playlist that excludes those songs, giving 97% percent of my lib.

    Well, gen mixes are allways based on the whole lib, making those excluded songs to sinc into the iPod.

    It would be great if you could make a exclude list for gen mixes, or base a gen mix on a playlist.

  13. @Darell
    You can see the numbers/playlist of your Genius-mixes if you turn your iPod/iPhone to make the coverflow visible :-)

    Does anyone know how to disable live-albums and mix-albums from the Genius, Genius-mixes and iTunes DJ? This is awesome!

  14. @delroy
    how do you exclude the 3 %? do you have a special genre?

    1. Best way to exclude songs from the ipod is to uncheck the unwanted songs and check “sync only checked songs and videos”.

  15. Considering I seem to have a rock band in a rap mix, I think Genius Mixes still leave a lot to be desired. Also, as iTunes seems to tag anything as “Alternative & Punk” if it doesn’t know what it is, I’ve ended up with 5 of that particular mix. Even after fixing the genres, it changes nothing. It’s pretty poor in my opinion.

  16. I would really like to know IF there is a way to exclude songs from the Genius Mixes :)

  17. I’m enjoying the Genius Mixes, even though it has given me 4 Gospel & Religious mixes, when the Gospel & Religious genre can be broken down into sub categories of different styles, such as Rock, Pop, Hip Hop/Rap, R&B, etc. I might have to change my Genre listings in iTunes, even though I like to use the Genres iTunes gives to each album. My Country mix came out good. Country is country.

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  19. Huge improvement. I’ve used genius in the past, but the mixes are pretty good

  20. I am totally in love with Genius mix. My library is pretty eclectic and here is what I got :
    4 rock mix , 2 goth mix, 2 pop mix and 1 tristesse mix.

    iTunes 9 is a big upgrade for me. I am happy Happy !

  21. My library ist not so diverse, but i have a lot of music, the probolem with it is that it made wierd comnbinations, for examnple i have a trance list, and it says: base on lady gaga, donna summer, beegees, wtf??????????????? lol, this is what i got?

    3 trance mixes
    2 alternative
    2 rock
    2 pop
    1 spanish classics
    1 80’s
    1 R&B

  22. You know I have had the same problems as the guy before me. I like Genius mix because I have about 5000 songs in my library and I haven’t listened to everything so it has introduced me to a lot of stuff I didn’t know i liked….however it also shows me a lot of stuff I don’t. For instance, why does my comedy MUSIC genre have Dane Cook, and led zeppelin? I guess they’ll work out the kinks..hopefully. Also the fact that you can’t effect ANYTHING about the mix, not even the name or how they are viewed, is just plain stupid in my opinion. These are my only qualms though, overall I do like the scope of music it gives me. :) Right now I have 3 rock, 2 punk, 2 alternative, rap/rock, classic rock, classical and soundtrack. This is pretty good except i do have a lot o other music that would form great mixes too, like electronica or dance. Anyway, those are my two cents.

    1. Same thing for me, since when is Led Zeppelin comedy? Or Lionel Ritchie swing music? My 80’s mix has more music from the 50’s and 60’s than the 80’s. They need to make a way for the user to adjust/tweak the lists or else it just doesn’t work.

    2. Since when is Dane Cook comedy?

  23. I think the mixes are good – 3 pop, 2 rock and 1 R&B, which is pretty much the division of my library (I have occasional soundtrack or instrumental but mostly pop/rock). I still use normal Genius playlists with the limit at 100 for some things though.

  24. I’ve been playing around with the genius mixes for a couple of days since upgrading to iTunes 9. I like the feature, but it has a ways to go before I’ll be really happy with it. The biggie for me is that I can’t see the mix playlist while in iTunes. I also have the problem that my iTunes library far exceeds what I sync to my iPod — I sync only selected playlists (and now with iTunes 9, also selected artists now and then). A couple of other things I am wondering:

    1) Does it base the mix composition on the genres I am using to categorize my music or the genres it think my music fits into? My mixes seem to be very heavy on “rock” (8 of 12 mixes) even though my library is not nearly that stacked toward generic rock — actually it is heaviest on Alternative and Indie, but I have no mixes with those labels. However I use the genre field for *very* broad genres (i.e. “rock”) and then use the grouping field for sub-genres (i.e. “alternative” and “indie”), which I am thinking could throw it off, unless it is not even using my categorizations.

    2) Is there a way to see/get to the track info on the “now playing” song in a genius mix? This would be a much more useful feature to me if I could rate unrated tracks while listening, but I am not seeing how to see the current rating and/or set a rating while playing a mix track. It would also be nice to be able to see the album name, year, etc. instead of just the song name and artist that I am seeing in the player bar. Maybe I am just missing it?

    3) Would also like a way to exclude certain playlists from genius mixes, or even a feature that would allow you to mark something as “do not include this track in future mixes” when it is playing in a mix.

  25. I actually have a problem with the Genius Mixes. I like progressive rock and metal.
    First off, they don’t work nicely or me. In ‘Progrssive Metal Mix’, I’ve got Dream Theater and Yes, Tool and Phil Collins.
    So i decided to ignore these. But then, while looking through the mixes on mi iPod, i foun that when you play one of the mixes, no song is displayed, and the iPod displays ‘Unknown’ in Artist, Song Name, and Album, showing the song as 1 of 0.
    Afterwards, i noticed that Dream Theater’s Black Clouds & Silver Linings had wound up with one of the mixes’ composite artwork image as artwork. Also happened for Porcupine Tree’s The Incident Medley.

    Any fixes?

  26. Speaking of iTunes 9 (though, sorry, not about Genius mixes), there appears to be a rather serious bug in the way it sorts songs (see http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2151080&start=0&tstart=0). There are a number of fairly ugly workarounds, though none too satisfactory as best I can tell. Hopefully this _is_ a bug, rather than something intentional on the part of Apple (a campaign to add more info to their info, maybe?).

  27. i have nearly 13,000 songs i’m experiencing repeated plays :( would love if they could refine this feature.

    1. this is what i’m finding too
      i have around 6000 songs and am hearing the same song multiple times in the mix within an hour or less
      could be dups?

      also, is there an easy way to mark a new song with those lovely stars? without clicking on the drop down menu? one really nice thing about genius mixes is i am hearing music i didn’t know (remember) i had….

      i am enjoying these mixes nicely even if i wish it would have given me a few more genres …must have to do with my unorganized library?

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  29. Genius mixes are not working for me I have tried e erything to turning off genius and turning it back on to updating genius, but still no genius mix option in the sidebar. I have 150 songs with different artists. So please HELP me to get genius working.
    Thank You,

    1. I think 150 songs is too less, I’ve 6057 numbers and total 12 Genius-mixes. So get more songs and click on “Store”- “Update Genius”.

    2. ummm 150 songs is like 10 albums. Get more songs.

      1. Genius Mix worked for me with my library of 120 songs, but it gave me just one pop mix.

  30. @mark, I don’t exclude exactly a 3%. It’s just an estimate. I meant there are certain songs I don’t want in my iPod, though I want to keep them in mi lib.

    And genious mixes are based on the whole lib, making iTunes sync songs I don’t want to be synced.

    1. thanks for your answer. but my question is how do you exactly exclude the songs you don’t want with a smart playlist? do you use a special genre or something else?

  31. Disappointing. Of my 12 mixes I ended up with two “soundtrack” and two “holiday.” Holiday mixes are fine at Christmas time, but not something I want to listen to year round. And the very idea of a mix of random tracks from different soundtracks seems stupid to me. I would never listen to a mix like that. And I have not one, but TWO of them. I’m not sure why, as soundtrack albums certainly don’t make up 1/6 of my library. If there were some way to exclude certain genres from the process this feature might be more useful. Or not. The more general mixes don’t make much sense either. Although they are labeled as rock, country or folk the contents are a jumble of all kinds of songs (including even MORE Christmas songs!). At the very least there should be a way to delete a mix completely and let Genius try again.

  32. i am experiencing some trouble with my genius mixes on my ipod touch (just updated to 3.1.1):
    there are 9 mixes on my ipod
    – elektronic
    -heavy metal
    -rock 2
    -post hardcore
    -rap & hiphop
    the problem is that only heavy metal, rap & hiphop and metal are working, with the others when you press the mix you want to play, the ipod says “onbekend onbekend onbekend” wich is dutch for unknown unknown unknown.

    does anybody know how this is possible and even more important how can i fix it?

    thanks in advance
    (reactions can be send to my email address: rooie_roel92@hotmail.com)

  33. Just wanted to tell you GrowlTunes lets you give rating to a song playing in Genius Mix even iTunes itself won’t.

    1. Actually GrowlTunes can’t set a rating when playing a Genius Mix. Neither can Sizzling Keys.

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  35. Overall, I like the mixes song selection, but I’m really annoyed that I can’t do anything with the currently playing song without finding it in my library first. I’d like to be able to rate it, add it to a playlist, etc. One of the reasons I use generated mixes and random play is that I have a large library and like to be able to find surprise songs for playlists, especially running playlists.

    1. hmmm
      guess this answers that question i had

  36. Does anyone know how to disable live-albums and mix-albums from the Genius, Genius-mixes and iTunes DJ? This is awesome!

  37. I love the idea of Genius mixes and was really looking forward to it. I have my entire library very well organized with every album having album art, every artist and album sorted properly, and every genre correct (at least in my opinion). However, being a ska fan, I find Genius unable to recognize or work with a lot of my music. It simply doesn’t have enough information. So my Genius mixes are essentially worthless. The most random and clearly incorrect songs are chosen for most of my mixes. Ska punk mix 2, for example, is based on Eddie Money, A.F.I., and You, Me and Everyone We Know. Eddie Money and A.F.I. are in my library because there are a couple of songs I like and occasionally listen to, but none of those bands are ska, punk, or ska punk. And as that’s the genre I listen to most often, having Genius not incorporate those songs into the mix at all makes it completely useless to me. After skipping through 50 tracks it played everything from AC/DC to The Strokes, Blues Traveler to Semisonic, and Smashing Pumpkins to Richard Cheese. Only one ska artist ever came up.

    I think a significant improvement would be to be able to delete a mix entirely, define your own artists from which to create a mix, or even (like Pandora), give each track a yes or no so that it can improve the mix each time.

    1. I have the same issue. I really like underground (“indie”) hip-hop, and it created an “Indie Hip-Hop” playlist that is filled with Moby, Crystal Method and largely instrumental stuff. I mean it’s a decent electronic mix, but definitely what it should be.

      I find the regular Genius feature to be *awesome* but these Genius Mixes are straight poop.

  38. Genius sucks. I have ITunes 9, turned on Genius & allowed it to generate a playlist. From what I have ready this playlist is supposed to be based on Genre. Well my playlist mixed Hard-Rock songs with POP songs??

    Also the Genius Mix “feature” only created 1 4-song mix that I could NOT update, and I could NOT create a new one.

    Apple needs a clue, not all users want to be lead around like sheep!!!!

  39. I only have Hip-Hop/Rap mix I have about a hundred songs including country, hip-hop, pop, r&b, alternitive

    Why is only one showing up I have updated genius

    1. You need more songs… for Mixes to “work”.

  40. I updated Genius, my mixes appear when I click on “Genius Mixes”. When I double click on the “play” arrow nothing happens. I can’t get them to play. Anyone have ideas?

  41. I really like the genius mixes but I have listened to one of them a few times and I want to get a new mix. When I updated genius it didn’t change my 12 mixes. I want a way to just re-mix the library.

  42. I actually really like the mixes, because it lets me listen to just one genre that I want. I have…
    Alternative & Punk Mix
    Alternative & Punk Mix 2
    Alternative & Punk Mix 3
    Alternative & Punk Mix 4
    Alternative Mix
    Rock Mix
    Pop Mix
    Pop Mix 2
    Pop Mix 3
    Hip Hop/ Rap Mix
    R&B Mix
    Folk Mix

    However, I do wonder why some songs get grouped in different sections. My mother and I share iTunes with our different music (we just download are own playlists onto our iPods) and her music is mostly folk and R&B. Now say, my Beyonce is technically according to iTunes under the R&B genre, why is it put under the Pop Mix? And if Bright Eyes is technically listed as Alternative & Punk in iTunes, why is it put in the Pop Mix? I have A Day To Remember listed as Alternative & Punk, so why does it appear in the Rock Mix? It’s mostly things I actually agree with! I just wonder the Red Hot Chili Peppers are grouped with Cobra Starship and not the Smashing Pumpkins, for instance.

  43. i caaaaaaaaaaaaaannntt believee you have to pay for thisssssssssssss i hateeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee appppple you have to pay for everything

  44. Same issue here with a few oddball songs in an otherwise good mix. With the old genius lists, you could see the songs in the mix, and delete out any that don’t belong. It’s very good – out of 100 songs, I might delete 3. Ta-da! Nearly perfect mix becomes perfect mix.

    But with the new Genius Mixes, you can’t see what’s been selected for the mix, and can’t take a specific song out (at least I can’t figure out how). At least it’s not mixing Comedy with Rock, but I have some christmas music with the genre “Holiday” and it keeps mixing that in with jazz. Kind of annoying. If anyone can figure out how to exclude a particular song or genre from the Genius, please post it.

  45. I can’t make any Genius Mixes. I made one before, but it was with songs I didn’t like. Are the songs based on genres, or how does it work, I CAN”T MAKE A GENIUS MIX FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!

  46. I am having a problem with Genius Mixes. When I play one of the 9 mixes on my iPhone created by Genius, if I then go back to a playlist I have created or a downloaded album I cannot turn off shuffle. Can anyone help!!!

    1. Here’s how to turn off shuffle and repeat after listening to a Genius Mix:

      1. Start playing a song.
      2. Hold the iPhone/iPod Touch upright so that it ISN’T in Cover Flow view. You’ll see the album cover of the currently playing track as well as some buttons.
      3. Tap once anywhere on the album cover, NOT on a button. Wait for a second.
      4. Another little group of buttons should appear, the button on the left is ‘repeat’ and the button on the right is ‘shuffle’. If they are blue, they are ‘on’. To turn them off, just tap them.

  47. Yea I am having same probl

  48. They really need to give us the ability to limit genius mixes size wise. With over 70 gig of (legal) music in my library, these mixes get carried away quite frequently, and there’s no way to see how much space they take up individually, or to edit them.

    The idea is good, but they get way too carried away on larger libraries.

  49. used to have 9 mixes – now down to 2. Despite having updated Genius. (Oh and I have 5605 songs at 55.60Gb, all legal). irritating, as it was quite good with 9 mixes reflecting the eclectic nature of my music library (Motorhead to Dolly Parton to Albinoni and everything in between)

  50. Joseph Blowseph Saturday, January 2, 2010

    So what does Apple have against classical music? I mean isn’t Mac the oracle of the effete tea and tweed set? I have a THOUSAND quality classical tracks (complete CDs I have purchased – big composers, big conductors for the most part – not obscure by any means).

    But every time I click on a classical track (O’ Fortuna, Carmina Burana by Orff or Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem) I get “cannot create a Genius mix from this track”. Same with anything from the Baroque, Thomas Tallis Medieval era stuff, Gregorian, or even Aaron Copeland!

    So needless to say, I’d say Genius pretty much sucks at this point since much of my 5000 track collection is in fact tracks that Genius has never heard of! But gee if I want to play baggin pants “yo wussup” crap, I’d have list after list, wouldn’t I….

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  52. If only it would work, I send the songs, I get a result, but they will not play

  53. Catherine McCollum Sunday, February 14, 2010

    I just bought a song from itunes – why can’t I make a genius list from it? I have over a thousand songs, and have been able to make lists from most. although I get the “Genius can’t identify this song” error message for a good number of them, even after updating genius!

    Why can’t the “genius” feature recognize the song the iTunes store just sold me?

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  55. So I just turned on Genius, I’ve got about 5000 songs, and whenever I click on a song and the Genius button, I get that it’s unavailable for the song. This has happened upwards of 100 times, all with popular songs. The genius mixes also don’t work. It shows me the genres, but nothing happens when I double click. I’ve updated Genius and uninstalled and reinstalled iTunes, still nothing. Any ideas?

    1. Catherine McCollum Ami Thursday, March 18, 2010

      Exact same problem. Seriously, my selections are fairly middle-of-the-road popular songs. I posted the question above yours last month. Still no answer. I also sent apple a direct question the same day and still have gotten no reply. This really doesn’t speak well for Apple or the Genius. Hope your question gets a reply!

    2. My guess is that your stuff is either missing some meta tags, OR it is tagged slightly differently than the iTunes Store expects it to be. Find a popular song that Genius doesn’t recognize in your collection, and download just that song from the iTunes Store. Then try to run Genius on it. If it works, that’s your problem.

  56. Genius mixes are…interesting. I have thousands of songs in an admittedly few genres, but still it only gives me 4 mixes: Rock, Thrash & Hardcore, Alternate Metal, and Emo.

    Emo is the one that really confuses me, i have probably four “Emo” bands, it has everything from Blessthefall (i guess is emo) to Christmas songs, i even got an acoustic worship song in their once. It just seems to throw everything into this mix.

    Also it puts the one true alt-metal band that i have into the Hardcore mix. And puts several Thrash metal bands in the rock mix.

    idk, maybe my library is just funny, but i dont think genius is very good for non-diverse libraries. Though it has gotten better, the first time it just gave me one mix, which is kind of useless dont u think? ;)

  57. I have about 220 GB of mp3s, including a lot of weird fringey stuff, and Genius works fantastically for me :) 12 mixes of awesomeness. I think the more music you have, the better it works.

    1. I agree that the more music you have (30,000 @ 320GB) the better genius works; however, it tends to produce the same playlists. I am currently trying to find a way to do a REAL refresh of the list. I am hoping that iTunes 9.1.1 will do the trick.

  58. Catherine McCollum Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Derek and All – Are you saying it’s all in the tags? I don’t know what those are, so I’m not sure how to fix this. Here’s my latest problem – I downloaded “Hey Ya” by Outkast from the iTunes store. I paid for it, the download says it’s protected….however, it says Genius doesn’t recognize this song. HUH?

    I have no problem with roughly 80% of the music I have (about 1500 songs – nearly ALL bought from iTunes store) but around 20% (ALL bought from iTunes store) are “unrecognized”.

    Am I being pedantic? Am I caught up in thinking that if I just paid iTunes for some music they SHOULD recognize it?

  59. iTunes 9 Genius is a pretty cool feature. I have 12 mixes. Americana, Classic Rock, Brit Pop, Adult Alternative, Alternative Rock, Jam Bands, Singer Songwriter, New Wave, & Indie Rock Mixes + Others. After the genius update, it made the mixes automatically. One thing I don’t understand, is why Bob Dylan’s 30th Concert Celebration, is in the Punk Rock category ;)

    It would be nice to be able to edit the categories to your taste, since music is a personal thing. It would also be great if genius would be able to analyze the content I only have on my iPhone or iPod, and create separate Genius Mixes specific to the device. I also have a music library that doesn’t fit completely on my device, so I just have a knew and not recently played mix sent to it. Unless this is Apples way to tempt one into purchasing a device with more GB.

  60. I have around 170 songs in my iTunes, yet I only have one Genius Mix, my Punk Mix. Is this normal, and is this or something similar happening to anyone else, b/c I can’t find out how to find/make different mixes.

    1. I have just one Genius Mix, a Pop Mix, for my library of 132 songs. You would probably need a larger library to get more mixes. Because iTunes manages the Genius Mixes, there’s no way to create or edit them. For me even my one Genius Mix has been useful since I have some meditative music on my iPod that I wouldn’t want to listen to while driving. I can turn on my Pop Mix and be confident that the meditative music won’t come up.

  61. I am sold.
    My beef with the original Genius mixes was that the choices would hover too close to the five or six “people also purchased” artists that you would find linked to an album in the itunes store.
    These new Genius mixes are extremely on-point.
    I should add, however, that I have a very large collection, I have a lot of music that’s come onto the scene since the inception of the iTunes store, and I have a lot of releases that stick in and around certain genres.

    I think there are different kinds of music listeners that hear different reasons for bands to be “similar.” For me similarity comes from bands having similar sonic elements, similar influences, similar philosophies, and similar cities or origin (i.e. the Chicago ‘Thrill Jockey Records’ sound––lots of divergence in styles and genres, but similar aesthetics due to the weather and feel of Chicago).
    I feel like these are the types of delineations that Genius playlists never had the knack for but Genius Mixes excel at.

    iTunes gave me Electronica, Indie Rock, Art & Experimental Rock, Punk, Post-Modern Rock, Hip Hop / Rap, Alternative Pop/Rock, Progressive House, Metal, Brit-Pop/Rock, Alt. Singer/Songwriter and Americana.

    They are all pretty diverse. In the progressive house mix, for instance, the usual suspects like Daft Punk, Deadmau5 Vitalic, John Tejada and Audion were there, but iTunes threw some Squarepusher and DJ Assault in the mix as well. Which is interesting because those artists aren’t necessarily ‘progressive house,’ but share some similar aesthetic elements.

    Life is good.

  62. I cannot create Genius Playlists or Genius Mixes to work on my computer. They work perfectly on my iPhone.
    I have turned off then on and Updated, still nothing.
    Is there anyone out there who has any ideas?

  63. Kristian Hansen Friday, June 25, 2010

    I realize this is an older post, so you may have figured the following out by now. You can actually view the songs that are going to play next by clicking on the Genius icon to the right of the title. Here’s a screenshot: http://classyllama.com/wp-content/uploads/skitch/ClipMenu-20100625-130705.jpg
    Now, I have over 65,000 songs in my library. I can’t see this being a reason I would be able to do the above, and not those with smaller libraries!
    Also, in case any of you don’t know, you can right click on a song, and click “Start Genius”. This will automatically take you to a Genius page. Basically, this allows you to do the same thing that you would do with Pandora (except it allows you to view all the songs at once… but Pandora most likely has a larger selection of music than all of us put together…!).

    1. Thanks for your reply Kristian. I did solve the problem. It seemed obvious once I had done it, but there was no direction anywhere about this. All of the songs have to be checked off in order for Genius to work properly. I am sure that there must be someone else out there who had this happen to them!

  64. umm, with my Genius, i can only get one mix, which is UrbanCrossOver, and although most of my music is Urban, (because im a teenager) i still have other Genres of music.. why wont it make new mixes? even tho i updated Genius?

  65. I personally find Genius Mixes to be absolutely terrible. Roughly three-quarters of my library is classic rock (AC/DC, Led Zepplin, ect.), alternative rock (Breaking Benjamin, Green Day) or metal (Within Temptation, Drowning Pool). So, it stands to reason that I would have many rock or metal playlists, correct?

    Well, with over 1000 songs, my 9 mixes are as follows:

    Punk Pop Mix
    Teen Pop Mix
    Teen Pop Mix 2
    Pop Mix
    Urban Crossover Mix
    Classic Pop Punk Mix
    Children’s Mix (Really? What?)
    Alt. Metal Mix
    Classic Rock Mix

    None of the mixes make sense. The pop mixes are all repetitive mixes of the ~100 pop songs that I have in my library, and in the other mixes, there is a confused jumble of unrelated songs. (Since when is The Bloodhound Gang a Metal band?) I have carefully tagged the genres of every song in my library, so this distribution is extremely confusing to me.

    Also, some technical glitch seems to have replaced the cover art of some of my albums with the graphics of my mixes… Has anyone else experienced this?

    Suffice to say that I am sorely disappointed with Genius Mixes. I can only hope that an editing feature is added in the near future for all of our sakes.

  66. I have a 8gig Nano 5th gen, I got at least 30gig worth of music in my library but no matter how many times I update Genius it always gives me same results which I thought should be randomly selected based of course under the same/similar genre. for example. I selected a song from an Artist based on ROCK MIX but on my next attempt almost same sets of ROCK songs are created for genius even if I have other rock songs in my 30 gig of music in my library…why its like this? pls help.
    thanks in advance.

  67. -new wave mix
    -classic hard rock mix
    -alt. singer/songwriter mix
    -alternative pop/rock mix
    -contemporary folk mix
    -alt. folk mix
    -punk mix
    -indie rock mix (:( I despise the very notion of “indie”, but all the stuff in it is excellent like the vaselines, smog, they might be giants etc)
    -brit pop and rock mix

    awesome :D

  68. I like the genius mixes but I can’t figure out how to make them into playlists that I can burn to disc for the car. Also I miss the genius sidebar and don’t see how to make that come back. Ping doesn’t work for me very well at all and the old genius sidebar is how I found most new music to buy.

    1. You can still have the genius sidebar if you go to the menu bar and click “view” there is an option that says- Show Genius Sidebar. Alternately, you can use the shortcut: Shift-Command-G

  69. Idolina in Spain Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Even after going to my Music tab for my iPod and selecting my Genius Mixes–it’s still only syncing one of them (out of 4)! Help anyone?

  70. Well Genius was updated a few days ago – but technically there is no John Lennon songs which are unavailable to them now, because they might have been holding a dispute by Apple that his most famous songs ‘Imagine’, ‘Jealous Guy’ (later covered by Roxy Music), ‘(Just Like) Starting Over’, and ‘Woman’ are still unavailable, also The Belle Stars’ earlier hits ‘Sign of the Times’ and ‘The Clapping Song’ are now unavailable, which seems it appeared on Genius over a few months ago now.

    Also if i could put the likes of Aled Jones, Charlotte Church, G4, Bryn Tefel, Katherine Jenkins, and Russell Watson on to a ‘Classical Mix’. That would be an appropriate idea, well i put the likes of Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and many others on to a Children’s mix.

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