I’m the kind of girl who refuses to update her MacBook every Sunday for years. I’m the kind of girl who denies all and any form of internet/computer updates, unless it’s automatic. And then, I get passive aggressive all over the internet about the internet. I am a simple minded girl. I like my internet and more specifically my iTunes to be kept basic. Which is why for the first time in a year (at least) I updated my iTunes.
A couple weeks ago, I was at my brothers house, and a rather awesome collection of songs played as breakfast was prepared. When someone commented on the playlist, he replied, “Oh, it’s a Genius playlist.” A who?
The very next weekend, the exact scene played out, only the characters were different.
Genius? “Yeah, you just select a song, hit the button, and voila! An entire playlist created by the Genius.”
I must admit, I was intrigued. Immediately I went home and updated. The first song I selected was, “Walcott” by Vampire Weekend and in the playlist sat five other Vampire Weekend songs. I assumed this was a fluke, so I selected another and the same thing happened.
They say, the third time’s a charm and well, I must agree. At least in regards to Mr. Genius.
I selected “Laundry Room” by the Avett Brothers and it produced 1.5 hours of wonderfully compiled songs. I enjoyed the hell out of it and you know what? I wouldn’t have put half those songs together.
And that’s my problem. I would never think to put half of these songs together and especially not back-to-back. I’m not complaining, after all this thing is a goddamn Genius. But I love making mix tapes or more accurately mix cds. I love going through my iTunes and selecting the most random songs for the best birthday mix or the perfect combination for the perfect stranger. Once I reach the end of my library and have a full playlist, I go through, weed out the ones that do not fit, and re-organize. It’s a task, a skill even, that I’ve mastered.
I have made mixes for internet strangers, real life strangers, best friends, boyfriends, siblings, parents, holidays, ordinary days. For driving, road tripping, swing sets, murder mystery parties, baking, hide and seek.
Through mixes that I have created by hand picking and selecting tracks, I have turned people onto some of their (now) favourite bands. This is something a program could never do, even if it’s a genius.
Mr. iTunes may be able to compile playlists, but it puts no time, effort, or thought into it. It’s just a playlist, a half-hearted mix tape. It’s not personal and mix tapes are supposed to be personal or at least a little meaningful.
The Genius tool is fun and smart, but it’s not a tool I could utilize without feeling like both a horrible person and a terrible music fan.