Normally, this blog tries to refrain from recommending or condemning any specific products. In this case, however, I'm going to make an exception.
Don't use the new iTunes Genius feature. Not if you value the credit card you have connected to the store, at least. It's just too damn good, and if you're anything like me, you'll spend more in two hours than you've spent on iTunes downloads in the last two months.
For those of you that haven't yet updated, Genius is the new feature in the iTunes store that takes a look at whatever it is you're currently listening to and puts together a list of albums and songs that you don't own yet but no doubt want to. And of course, each suggestion has a little "buy now" button so you can shell out your cash before you have time to give it a second thought.
Some people say Genius is just like online music service Pandora. Baloney. If Pandora is the "suggested listening" rack at the record store, Genius is the cute clerk who leans over the counter and says "ooh, I love that band. Have you heard of these guys? I'll just go ahead and add it to your pile and you can put it back if you hate me."
Now, we've all had our moments of e-commerce shame. Who hasn't come to after a night of hard drinking to find that you somehow bought a set of collectible bagpipes on eBay while in your drunken stupor?
But this is different. Genius is devious, it's calculating, and it slips out with your money faster than you can say "impulse buy."
And, of course, it will be great for Apple. iTunes song downloads were already selling like Evian in the Sahara. With Genius, they may start moving so fast Apple will need to rent the National Debt clock just to keep tally.
If my first impression was any indication, Genius will be huge. And I'll be stuck eating ramen noodles by candlelight for a while.
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