iTunes 8.1 falls short on promise of Genius

If you update to the new version, you're not likely to find the promised Genius button in the lower-right tool bar when in the library for TV or movies.

Updated at 10:44 a.m. with a comment from Apple.

Apple's notes on iTunes 8.1 , an update released Wednesday, as was a new iPod Shuffle , promised a list of new and improved features.

Among them is an update to the Genius feature that makes recommendations based on favorite music that users select from their own library, and lets them play clips of those recommended songs from a sidebar.

It's a neat and convenient feature, which is why the Internet was abuzz when it was rumored, and then Apple's iTunes 8.1 release notes confirmed, that the iTunes 8.1 update "adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows."

It would be really convenient to watch a video clip in sidebar without having to enter the iTunes store home page.

But after updating to the new version, there is still no Genius button offered in the lower-right tool bar when in the library for TV or movies.

If you try choosing a TV show from within the Purchased library and click on the Genius button you get this message, "Genius sidebar only works with music. Select a song in your library to see related music."

While declining to comment on how this Genius gaffe happened or who was at fault, an Apple spokesman did return my call to say simply, "The feature isn't live yet, but it will be in the coming days."

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet,, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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