May 31, 2011
In addition to regular playlists you make with drag and drop, and smart playlists you make with rules, iTunes can create playlists for you -- using the songs in your library -- with its Genius feature. Think of Genius as a giant, perpetual music party in the iTunes Store where the songs are the guests and they mingle with each other based on who they hang out with in their own libraries. When you send your music to the party by turning on Genius, your own library gains an ever deeper, sharper, more subtle map of what songs are likely to go well together, which is then reflected in the playlists Genius creates for you.
To create a new Genius playlist, select a song in your library and click the Genius icon on the lower right of the iTunes window. You can use the controls across the top on the right to change the number of songs, ask Genius to take another stab at it, and save playlists you want to keep. Your Genius playlists, new and saved, will appear in the Genius section in the left-hand column of the iTunes window. A tip: one of the reasons Genius is good at generating playlists is it takes its time figuring out all the places new songs are destined to hang out at the party. If it hasn't seen a song enough yet, it'll let you know that Genius is not available for that track. The longer songs have been around and the more often they've been bought and played, the better Genius gets at knowing where they might fit in your playlists.