I’ve spoken of this before, but I really would like to get into this topic more deeply. I have been extremely outspoken against automated playlists for the longest time. I am very picky and moody about what music is playing, so I was adamant that “Some robot” isn’t going to know what to play.

For the past few months, I have been in a very serious relationship that continues to become more serious. When we’re together I want a very specific type of music to be playing. I want fifties-style easy listening to be playing continuously, and nothing else. This is where those goddamned “Robots” come into the situation. They work extremely well in this specific arena. I have really come to appreciate Pandora and iTunes Genius.

Pandora

If you need some tunes RIGHT NOW, Pandora is your best bet. Type in a song or artist in the style of your choice, and music begins streaming immediately. The best part is being able to hone the style of your ad-hoc “Station.” By giving each song either a thumbs up or a thumbs down, the algorithm will slowly begin to understand exactly what it is you want. For example, I have a station for when I am with the girlfriend that has Dean Martin as a base. After tweaking it for about a month, we only hear songs that we like. Just be warned that there are small ads about every eight songs. It is much better than terrestrial radio, but $36 a year will make those pesky ads go away completely.

iTunes Genius

If you’re a music connoisseur with a huge library, Genius is a really good way to group your similar music together. If you only want to hear the acid rock in your collection, using iTunes Genius is a smart move. Just make sure that Genius is allowed to update itself so you have the best results.

In sum, artificial intelligence isn’t going to replace the blood, sweat, and tears of a mix tape any time soon, but it is a superb way to get a genre or style of music very quickly.

Photo Credit: mattfred