Apple Tuesday rolled out a new version of its iTunes music player application, highlighted by the addition of a playlist-generating feature. The changes to both the iTunes application and the online digital content site kicked off Apple's "Let's Rock" event, in which CEO Steve Jobs walked reporters through an assortment of changes to his company's music offerings.
The new version of iTunes available for download Tuesday contains new browsing options and accessibility enhancements. But the major new addition is Genius, a feature that creates playlists from songs in your music library "that go great together, with just one click," Jobs said.
Demoing the feature during Tuesday's event, Jobs selected Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel;" the Genius feature created a playlist that included songs from Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and others. The sidebar also includes songs by the artist that user might be missing--in that case, other albums by Elvis Presley.
In 2000 Apple used Elvis before to promote their products. The commercial for Indigo Blue iMac used Elvis' version of "Blue Suede Shoes".
Here's how Genius works: When users select a song and click the Genius button in the bottom right corner, iTunes generates a Genius playlist of songs in the user's library that certain qualities, such as artists, genres, and other criteria. Users can set a limit of how many songs are on the playlist, refresh to get a new set of songs based on the same track, or save the playlist for later use. A button in the top right allows users to toggle on a Genius sidebar that provides recommendations of songs and albums from the iTunes Store that aren't already in the user's music library and might match the playlist.
Source: Various / Updated: Sep 12, 2008