Sunday, June 18, 2006
Not so Random i-pod Shuffle
I'm not looking for a conspiracy but it does seem slightly odd that when I put my i-pod on shuffle there are certain songs it always plays. I find this slightly annoying. If you set it to shuffle a playlist of 180 tracks you want a bit of variety, but no, the same tracks come up every time and what is weirder is that one of the tracks that keeps coming up on my ipod, 100 Billion Stars by Lux, also comes up over and over on Hunchermuncher's ipod.
I did wonder if maybe it is to do with where you downloaded the tracks from in the first place, but there is just no way of knowing. It means that I quickly tire of certain tracks and then remove them for a while. According to Steve Fruhlinger I am just doing the human thing - looking for patterns in things.
"Apple's engineers swear that the shiny white music players actually do use pseudo-randomizing algorithms for shuffle play. The people at Newsweek were kind enough to verify this with Steve Jobs when they found that their iPod had an unhealthy obsession with Steely Dan (it happens). The conclusion? People love their iPods so much that they look for patterns in the pseudo-randomness. It's what we do, as humans."
But what if there really is a pattern???