Make Genius Mixes smarter

Dan Miller
15 September, 2011
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The Genius Mixes in iTunes are nice – they group related tracks in convenient playlists without any intervention on your part – but they’re also frustrating to use.

You can’t see which tracks are in them, so you never know what’s coming next. And if you have a small library and you listen to the same mix over and over, the songs can start to repeat. But there’s a way to fix those flaws.

Start by creating a new playlist (File > New Playlist, or c-N); let’s call it ‘Select Genius’. Next, select iTunes DJ in iTunes’ Source list. (If it’s not there, open iTunes > Preferences, click General and select iTunes DJ in the Show section.)

At the bottom of the iTunes DJ window, select the Genius Mix you want from the Source drop-down menu. Click on Settings and choose to show 100 upcoming songs. While there, select Play Higher Rated Songs More Often to make it more likely that you’ll hear songs you like (assuming you’re diligent about rating your tracks).

Next, select and then drag the first track in the iTunes DJ playlist to your new playlist. Then go back to iTunes DJ, select all of its tracks (c-A) and drag them all over to the Select Genius playlist in the Source list. You should see a dialogue box telling you that duplicates are being added. Click on Skip to prevent those dupes from being copied.

Now check your Select Genius playlist. You should see all the songs that were in the Genius Mix, without any duplicates. (Without the duplicates, it may contain fewer tracks than the original Genius Mix.)

You can, of course, refine the playlist further – sorting by rating and removing lower-rated tracks, for example, or sorting by artist and removing the ones you don’t want to hear.

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