Shh. Don't tell anyone. My iTunes Genius is tone deaf. When I selected "Man of Constant Sorrow" as my "seed" song, My Genius actually suggested "America, F**k [sic] Yeah" and "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)" at the store. The proper genre, or at least the genre I was looking for, was "Rockin' Bluegrass", not "Obscure Movie Themes". Bzzt. Let's try again.
Next, I tried "Funiculi Funicula" by Pavarotti, a song I knew was in the store. I was told "Genius is unavailable" for that song. Please choose another song or artist. A few more tries revealed that I needed to focus on pop music, not classical or obscure. Well enough. But then I got the same error message for the Beatles' "Long and Winding Road." You know them, a mildly popular band of the 1960s, known for not being sold through iTunes but otherwise not an unthinkable choice in a modern playlist.
Success finally followed for Alison Krauss' "Down to the River to Pray". My genius matched me up with Queen's "Bicycle Race", the Wreckers' "Rain" and Billy Joel's "Say Goodbye to Hollywood." These are not exactly groupings that I would have picked myself. Listening through to the playlist hit home how jarring those selections were.
I expect the Genius feature will only improve, especially as Apple big brothers all our personal music collections but for now I'm so totally not dropping Last.fm any time soon.
How's Genius working for you? Are your playlists sublime or just strange? Let us know in the comments.