iTunes 8.1 Launches, along with Missing Features

Dennis Faas's picture

Just a day after announcing its smallest music player yet, Apple on Thursday released iTunes 8.1, a brand new update to its very popular media player software. Unfortunately, one of its most exciting new features won't be available for several days. (Source:

The most anticipated new feature accompanying iTunes 8.1 is the Genius sidebar and playlist tool; however, users are already complaining that it just doesn't work the way it was supposed to.

Originally meant to study music, movie, and TV preferences before suggesting songs, films, and shows one might like, a report released by PC World suggests that Genius is being kept behind.

Genius a dunce?

The problem? Simply put, although Genius at one time was supposed to incorporate movies and TV content, it certainly doesn't right now. The Genius sidebar is usable when a user is perusing their music collection, but is unavailable when a user takes a moment to check out their other libraries.

If the user tries to use Genius while using a TV show or a film, they're automatically fed the following very frustrating message: "Genius sidebar only works with music. Select a song in your library to see related music." The notes accompanying the iTunes release, according to PC World, no longer say anything at all about Genius sidebar and movies or TV. (Source:

Just a late bloomer

Thankfully, it seems that Genius will be available for movie and TV content -- just not now.  According to Apple, the feature hasn't yet been made available, but promises it should be ready in a few days.

Genius still works with music and remains an interesting new tool. The function will pay close attention to the kind of songs you listen to, and will then suggest others you may or may not have heard, but will probably enjoy. It's actually not that much different than Pandora radio, a streaming music experience that helped many music fans discover lesser-known bands and artists unlikely to appear on a billboard ad. (Source:

For those of you concerned about privacy, Apple promises that it only tracks song titles, the number of times you've played a song, and the rating you've given it. That's it.

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