Friday, April 07, 2006

Random Isn't Really Random

I currently have 9043 songs on my iPod. I have many more on iTunes but because this machine can't handle them all I've now been forced to "choose" which music I want to listen to.

As I've posted before I listen to my iPod at work, typically I put it on Random until I hear something I really enjoy and then I'll listen to the album. This is much better than the way I used to listen to music.

So why is that when I select "Shuffle Songs" I hear, within a matter of an hour, three songs from the same album? I've got 9000 songs to choose from and you play from the same album? I don't get that. Plus I hear the same song every now and again, I know that iTunes knows when I last listened to a song, but apparenlty my iPod doesn't.

What else is weird is if I am at home and listening to iTunes and do Shuffle, the same thing happens, but what's even more weird is sometimes I'll hear the SAME SONG that I heard on my iPod?! What's up with that....

It got me to thinking that their shuffle must have some kind of algorithim instead of just being random....how would you like that job as a programmer "I need you to write me a piece of software that creates random-like music but isn't really random."

Has anyone else noticed this when they set their iPod to shuffle?

11 comments:

xmichra said...

*sigh*.. wishes for an ipod.

Ms Mac said...

Yes, I have. When I put mine on shuffle it seems to always play the same few songs first. I always ffwd through them though because I really want to listen to something else. Which is why I don't put it on shuffle very often!

Kat said...

I don't like the shuffle on my ipod for that reason. I can shuffle them on my Itunes, then down load them and play them in that order. But if I re-shuffle on my ipod, it makes wierd things happen. I will hear one or two songs twice and not hear another one at all.

Anonymous said...

Computers can't be random ... the program hasn't been written that makes it truly random ... however the formulas do do a very good impression of being random.

As for the ipod, it does have a system where it tries to play songs it think you will like in groups .... hence why you are getting them from the same album ... not sure but I do think there is a setting you can change to stop it from happening.

~ditsy
http://www.ditsy-bint.co.uk

Michael said...

That's a good explanation Ditsy but there's no setting in the iPod nor in iTunes.....Oh wait, yes there is, it's called the "next" button : -)

Mrs. TBF said...

TBF and I are convinced there are actually little people inside the iPod that mess with you by doing that. We now just refer to them as "they", as in "they sure are playing a lot of 80s music tonight".

Michael said...

Mrs. TBF - I remember reading that.....it's always "those people" and "them" and "you know who" isn't it? Good thing we have them to blame!

ads510 said...

my ipod played one damn song every single time i put it on shuffle. it wasn't even a song i liked all that well (especially after hearing it so many times). i eventually ended up just deleting the song off of the ipod!

Anonymous said...

Pish .... don't you say I'm wrong ... cos then I have to actually make an effort to prove myself right :P

I don't know where it is on the Windows version of itunes, but in the mac version its ....


Preferences, Playback ... and then adjust the "smart shuffle" slider depending on your tastes.

So there :P

~ditsy
http://www.ditsy-bint.co.uk

Michael said...

OMG Ditsy, you're so totally right.....I was looking on the iPod itself.

I bow deeply and humbly in your presence.

Btw, I set mine all the way to "less likely"

Anonymous said...

My pleasure dahling :)