iTunes "Shuffle" function...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by PrometheusG5, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. PrometheusG5 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    What kind of formula or algorithm does iTunes use for the "Shuffle" function? I seem to get any thing but random results. Does it key off the song's rating, how many times, its played...?
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    I wouldn't expect anyone to know this...it's an Apple secret.
     
  3. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #3
    I aggree. I have 7400 songs and tend to get the same 100 songs or so when i put it on shuffle. Happens on my iPod too... but it's not to say i'm not overly satisfied with either product.
     
  4. Thom_Edwards macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #4
  5. ephramz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    #5
    I had to delve into the workings of iTunes Shuffle when I was stuck for a month with "only" about 15 GB of music on an external hard drive to listen to in iTunes. I set it to Shuffle and noticed that I kept hearing the same songs over and over, especially when I disconnected the external hard disk which I did every few days.

    I soon realized that iTunes reshuffled the playlist every time i remounted the external drive. So to make sure I actually heard every song once before starting over, I did a Shuffle, then "Copy to play order" to preserve that one shuffle. Then everytime I reconnected the drive for some annoying reason it would start over at the first song again. So I'd go back in the "Most recently played" smart playlist and see where it'd left off, and jump to that song to pick up the same shuffle list again. That way I was finally hearing ALL the songs.

    I still don't know what algorithm they're using, but there are several pseudorandom binary counting schemes that easily hit every song in a list once. For instance counting from 1 to 1024, but just reversing the bits of each number, will appear to jump around somewhat randomly in the list.
     
  6. bviz2 macrumors newbie

    bviz2

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    #6
    A few weeks/months ago I submitted an "iTunes" feedback item asking for a version of shuffle that gave a higher priority to the unplayed or least played songs. If enough people ask, maybe they will implement it.
     
  7. PrometheusG5 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #7
    Not really, but it is a cool tip. It allows you to shuffle several times without going back to the original playlist, then clicking shuffle again.

    However, I am still stuck with getting the same songs near the top the whole time. I wish Apple would make it more random.
     

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