A little while ago, I posted a blog about how time consuming it is to select songs and managed playlists for running. I mean, you can only listen to the same playlist for so long before getting annoyed or bored. Well, I'm happy to report that I discovered a wonderful new tool in iTunes that actually creates playlists based on a song that you select. It's the "Genius" function available on iTunes version 8.0.
Genius automatically suggests songs based on your selection of a baseline and has two parts: the Genius sidebar and the Genius Playlist tool. You will need to turn on Genius before using it and usually it takes a few minutes for it to collect information on your iTunes library. Then it submits the info to Apple and begins shooting you results. Once you activate Genius, iTunes will compare your songs, playlists, and iTunes purchase history against what Apple offers on iTunes as well as library info from other users to give you the most relevant recommendations.
So once you've activated it, all you have to do to create a new playlist (in less than a minute) is select one of your favorite songs and then click on the Genius button in the lower-right corner of the iTunes window (an atom icon). iTunes will then generate a playlist containing 25 songs in your library similar to the song you selected. 25 Songs is the default however, you can create Genius playlists up to 100 songs.
I can't tell you how excited I am by this feature. So far, I have been very pleased with the songs that Genius has selected for me. I was able to create about 10 lists of 25 songs in less than 10 minutes. Before Genius, it would have taken me hours to sort through all my songs to make that many lists. Yay!