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How to Use the iTunes Genius Sidebar

If you display the iTunes Genius Sidebar (shown in this figure), it makes suggestions about what to buy from the iTunes Store based on the song or video you select. The Genius Sidebar tries to skip songs or videos that are already in your library to show you content that you might want to buy. But it’s not perfect — sometimes it doesn’t recognize that you already have the song or video (especially if you ripped the song from a CD).

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The Genius Sidebar is not the same as the Genius button that creates a playlist from your library based on the song you select, or the Genius Mixes that iTunes creates automatically for you.

iTunes informs the online store about the songs and videos that you select whenever the Genius Sidebar is open. It then shows you content that other iTunes users purchased when they purchased the content you’re playing. You can click any item in the Genius Sidebar to go right to the iTunes Store page for that item.

The Genius Sidebar operates only if you give it permission and if you already have an iTunes Store account. When you first start iTunes, the sidebar isn't yet turned on. To turn it on, click the Turn On Genius button, enter your Apple ID and password for your iTunes Store account, and click the Continue button. If you don’t have an account yet, select the Create a New iTunes Store Account option, and choose your country from the country pop-up menu. Then click Continue.

If the Genius Sidebar can’t find the content you’re playing, it offers choices that are simply in the same genre.

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