iTunes Random Shuffle or Not?

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iTunes Random Shuffle or Not?

Postby AtomicHyperbole on Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:55 am

I'm confused. I've always noted that it plays some random patterns. I've got pretty much my entire collection of MP3's on shuffle, but sometimes it'll seemingly play one type of genre or theme things together.

The crunch came a moment ago when it played I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry twice, once after the other - both covers by The Raveonettes and Johnny Cash. I'm sure the statistical chances of that happening on over 10GB of tracks is pretty slim. Wierder still I was thinking about the JC cover whilst singing along to the Raveonettes track!

Unless JC is trying to communicate something to me, I'm certain the shuffle aint random. If the former is true, his choice of Groove Armada's Super Styling has confused the crap out of me.
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Postby jgraphix on Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:59 am

My iPod shuffle does the same thing... they're tricksters.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:05 pm

I got it on shuffle. 4500+ songs, 16+ GBs. A few times it'll play the same artist back-to-back (different albums) or play two songs from the same soundtrack back-to-back...
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:14 pm

OK, it's pretty much never played The Raveonettes. Now it's on a Raveonettes fix. The GA track was followed by some Chemical Brothers. The other day it was targeting Radiohead and similar stuff. It's also on the third Lost In Translation track in 40 minutes.

To make things clear, I've got a pretty wide ranging taste in music. Seems odd it targets certain things in patterns, and I'm glad it's not just me.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:17 pm

AtomicHyperbole wrote:OK, it's pretty much never played The Raveonettes. Now it's on a Raveonettes fix. The GA track was followed by some Chemical Brothers. The other day it was targeting Radiohead and similar stuff. It's also on the third Lost In Translation track in 40 minutes.

To make things clear, I've got a pretty wide ranging taste in music. Seems odd it targets certain things in patterns, and I'm glad it's not just me.


When I was slowly putting my shit on my iPod, I went and added Songs in the Key of Springfield, then took my iPod out for a jog. There are around 30 songs on that cd and I had around 3000 tunes loaded. Three of the first seven songs, played randomly, were Simpsons related. After that, it was all okay with the randomization...
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Postby The Vicar on Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:45 pm

I love my Ipod shuffle - its great for running.
I know you can bias the selection by, in Itunes, rating certain songs higher than others.
Or, if you use the "play in order" selection, and skip to a song, the more you play particular songs over others, the more often they seem to bob to the surface in random mode.
But every once in a while....must be a ghost in the machine.

If you start hearing songs you didn't put on the Ipod, its Stephen King time.
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Postby Kilgore on Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:25 pm

There's also a setting in Itunes that is supposed to directly affect the repetition of artists and genres...but to be honest, I have no idea if it works, since I never really screw around with it.
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:36 pm

My IPod and Tivo are smarter than I am.

I'm scared.
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Postby Kilgore on Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:37 pm

Lord Voldemoo wrote:My IPod and Tivo are smarter than I am.

I'm scared.


Just accept your assimilation.
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Postby The Vicar on Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:44 pm

Kilgore wrote:There's also a setting in Itunes that is supposed to directly affect the repetition of artists and genres...but to be honest, I have no idea if it works, since I never really screw around with it.


Yeah, you can rate your songs, and arrange for the higher rated numbers to get more air play.
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Postby sleepflower on Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:09 am

The same happened with me, and I have 96GB of music!

The randomness is based on how often tracks have/haven't been played, genre playing etc, to keep it steady and not to jump too harshly from one genre to the next. In itunes it's a bit poo though.

My sny walkman on the other hand is genius. Can do random shuffle, non random shuffle (like itunes), shuffle by a certain year, shuffle by favourite and most played tracks and shuffle artst etc.

I do recomend the a3000.
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Postby The Thin Man on Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:24 am

This happened to me yesterday whilst running. Out of 2000 tracks on my IPod, 3 of the 4 Kate Bush singles I have all appeared one after the other. IPods, like all MP3 players that shuffle songs, have to genreate random numbers to select which track to choose next. As any computer student will tell you, true randomness is impossible to achieve. Computers and computer chips just cannot generate random numbers. The solution is to use an algorithm that simulates random generation. Most computer students are given a project to write a random number generator at some time in their studies (I was). However these algorithms will always have a certain bias in it hence some tracks will appear more often that others. The following Wikapedia entry explains it much better than me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-random_number
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Postby Tubbs Tattsyrup on Tue Apr 11, 2006 7:20 am

6700+ songs.

I once got THREE DIFFERENT VERSIONS of "Ava Adore" by the Smashing Pumpkins in a row...the album version plus two live versions. This was on Party Shuffle mode. Fucking Twilight Zone shit, that.

It also happened on the radio last year...some station played a song then a remix of that song right afterwards, it was a no repeats thing so I guess it was on random...
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Postby Fried Gold on Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:03 am

I'm far too much of an Obsessive Compulsive to put up with a random shuffle.

Keep it ordered. Keep it categorised.
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Postby Tubbs Tattsyrup on Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:14 am

Fried Gold wrote:I'm far too much of an Obsessive Compulsive to put up with a random shuffle.

Keep it ordered. Keep it categorised.


You can keep it ordered and still use shuffle from time to time...my music is so obsessively organised I have sent complaints to Apple that they don't have an option for "subgenre" in their software...but you can still shuffle, dude.

I'm still a fan of the album format, though. It's weird, I almost *never* shuffle on my iPod, but on my computer I pretty much always do. Probably cos you can look in advance on the computer and see what's crap and remove it from the list.
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Postby Bean on Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:40 am

I find that iTunes has certain randomizations for my playlist, and it will repeat itself a lot, so I end up skipping tracks to get to one I haven't heard yet.
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