Future Tense, Past Perfect


I downloaded iTune’s latest update a few days ago. It was a “major upgrade,” so I was all a-quiver with excitement to see what new goodies were included… Turns out the new thing is a dealy-bobber called a “Genius List.” Ooookaaayy…

It’s supposed to work something like Pandora, where you find a song you like and tell the software to find other songs for you that are similar. So I click on a song and push the “Genius” button, noticing briefly that I didn’t really feel any smarter, and watched the software pick out twenty or so songs based on ZZ Top’s toe-tapper “Lagrange.” The first song on the list was “Come Sail Away,” a rock ballad by Styx. I didn’t even know I had that song on my computer, and I’m reasonably sure I didn’t put it there on purpose. Anyway, the two songs couldn’t be more different. I glanced through the rest of the list. It included things like “The Weight” by the Band (a countryesque song), and “Just What I Needed” by the Cars (an 80’s pseudo-electronic song).

As near as I can tell, the only things these songs have in common is that they’re played with instruments and may have been written by humans (though I’m not sure about that Styx song).

So I don’t much trust the Genius button. I do still click on it every now and then, though, hoping to feel at least a little smarter…

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9 thoughts on “Future Tense, Past Perfect

  1. The Guv'ner

    The first thing I did when I downloaded the new iTunes (after I stopped panicking about all those big icons and how to revert to list format) was delete that genius sidebar thing. It’s retarded! So there. I agree. Just once I wish they’d bring out a version that actually did something different and maybe looked appealing. I’m sick of the old look. Whine whine whine.

  2. SkylersDad

    You kids and your fancy iPod thingys. Why in my day we had to lug around boom boxes and make mix tapes, sometimes listen to old 8tracks!!

    Sometimes we didn’t even have electricity, so we had to whistle and bang a dishpan!


    You kids get off my lawn!

    Go on scram…

  3. D A

    Oh yea? In my day we had these things called “records”, they were round flat, and scratched real easy – or is that Cds?

    What were we talking about?

  4. D A

    I installed the new iTunes and the first thing it did was crash my hard drive when it tried to make a copy of my whole library. 7 years later after I got it running again, I kind of like Genius.

    No, it doesn’t make the most impressive playlists, but some of the combos it creates are good for a laugh (Based on The Beatles “Hard Days Night”, the next song was Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the dashboard lights” – that one made me chuckle for an hour.)

  5. D A

    Maybe they should change the name from “Genius” to “Forrest Gump”

    Song Selected: Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Top Songs You’re Missing: Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd



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