So, contrary to my "Let the suckers do the beta testing" instincts, I upgraded to iTunes 8 in order to check out its new "Genius" function, a 'smart filter' that will take any song selection and "create a playlist of other songs from your library that go great together"(while also recommending songs to purchase from iTunes store).
Naturally I decided to push its limits and ignore the obvious. Being lazy and unscientific I limited the test to three playlists.
Playlist One tests how well Genius handles Nerd Soundtracks choices, with trigger song being "Captain Scarlet Main Theme (Stereo Version w/Narration)" (click images to enlarge):
Playlist Two tests how well Genius handles Cult Rocker Personal Friends From Boston:
Test Three is a triple bind - how well can Genius handle a selection that could either be JPop,Anime, or Superhero Muze?:
As you can see, Genius come out with a score of "Not Bad." For example, Playlist One's rather superb matching of Ifukube, Goldsmith, and Morricone goes seriously awry with the jump to Bernstein (and not Elmer).
Playlist Two disappoints with the obvious yet appropriate matching of Ad Frank and Bowie, but segueing from "Everything Counts" to "Atlantic City" gets points for ballsiness.
Finally Playlist Three resolves the Triple Bind by maniacally shuttling back and forth between genres resulting in such awesome song selections as "Take The Skinheads Bowling" into "Imperial March" from Star Wars into "Spider-man TV Theme" by the Ramones. Astounding.
Who wants to trade Genius Playlists?