Pandora’s Screwed: iTunes 8 Hits All the Right Notes

Apple released a brand new iPod on Tuesday and while the rest of the nation was captivated by all the pretty colors and the new gizmo’s shake-to-shuffle feature, I was a little busy geeking out about the other announcement: iTunes 8.

Unlike previous incarnations, iTunes 8 is shaking up the application for the first time in years, this time with the introduction of a better visualizer, a new way to peruse your library and a handy little feature called Genius.

Apple developed Genius to effectively change the way we browse our media. It uses a smarty-pants algorithm to scan and analyze all the music in your iTunes library. The first time you fire it up, (you’ll need an Apple account to get started, by the way) Genius scours the dark corners of the internet for all of your album art.

Once its done scanning, Genius is set to go to work. When you select a song, iTunes creates a 25, 50, 75 or 100 track playlist based on that song’s genre, speed, and general mood. It’s essentially Pandora with all of your own stuff. It’s a fun tool for making a quick work-out playlist, getting ready for a party, or discovering just how much of your music sounds a lot like “Brick” by Ben Folds Five. Or, if you have thousands of songs in your library, it’s is a great way to re-introduce yourself to old favorites.

And since Apple wouldn’t be Apple without trying to sell you something, there’s Genius Sidebar, which suggests other artists or songs you should pick up from the iTunes Store.

Don’t listen to music on the computer anymore? Genius is also available on-the-go on all of the new iPods. Badass!

So try it out and let me know what you think. If you make an awesome playlist based on “Brick,” let’s talk.

[Photo courtesy of pcmag.com]

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