iTunes Shuffle

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Danrose1977, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. Danrose1977 macrumors regular

    Danrose1977

    #1
    Does anyone know if the shuffle in iTunes gives preference to certain files? Perhaps by star rating?

    I only ask because there are some tracks on my iBook that it never seems to play, even with the whole library on shuffle....

    cheers,

    Dan
     
  2. sonofslim macrumors 6502a

    sonofslim

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    #2
    the iTunes shuffle isn't great. i think (not sure) that it does give preference to rated songs.

    actually, while we're on the topic, does anyone know more about the specifics of the iTunes shuffle function? i've always wondered if it isn't actually a pretty good randomizer, but we all complain about it because we don't want true randomness -- we want maximum deviation.

    that is to say, i don't really want the chances of hearing each song in my library to be equal; i want there to be a higher chance that the next song i hear isn't from the same album or artist as the current one.

    i've noticed my iPod seems to run in stretches where it'll favor (sometimes heavily) one or two artists for a week or so, if i let it play on shuffle. does anyone know how the randomizer is seeded?
     
  3. ituner macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    #3
    There does seem to be some bias in the shuffling, but it's not related to the ratings.

    I have a "Top-Rated" playlist of close to 200 songs (weighing in at 15 and a half hours) that I listen to fairly frequently, and all the songs are rated 4 or 5 stars. As it's such a long playlist, it's fairly infrequent that I'll actually get to listen to it all the way through before I need to close iTunes or want to listen to something specific, both of which lose the current "shuffle".

    Having reconstructed my iTunes library from scratch some time ago (as my library file got corrupted somehow), all my play counts had been reset to 0 and I had re-rated all the songs at the same time (save for a few recent additions, which are statistically insignificant). When I look at my shuffled list, though, I can see the songs shuffled near the top average about 11 plays each while near the bottom it's closer to 8 or 9. It's really easy to eyeball this as there's a lot more double-digit counts at the top of the list (no, I didn't calculate anything). (The ratings seem to be equally distributed throughout the list.)

    If the shuffling was simply not maximizing the deviation, one would expect to see the higher play counts distributed equally throughout the shuffled list; although perhaps many of the songs from the same albums would have similar play counts. Instead, I see a definite tendency for the higher play counts to be shuffled near the beginning. This implies that the some songs are getting preferentially shuffled near the beginning (though not dramatically so), and then as I listen to one quarter, or one half, of the playlist, only those songs get their counts incremented.

    - an itunes user
     
  4. parrothead macrumors 6502a

    parrothead

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    #4
    For me it seems like the shuffle picks out songs I haven't listened to in a while. That would be nice, but then it seems to keep picking them out until they get played-up.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    I got a lot of plays = 0 kinda songs too. But I don't use ratings, except to 1-star things that I want to delete or re-record.

    I have this problem that it picks out things like radio recordings and spoken word, and it (with that little grin of a five year old who thinks he's being clever) picks out a mix that is half hip-hop and half baroque opera.... :(

    It would be nice if there was some kind of intelligent shuffle where you could use smart playlist-esque rules to make a dynamic mix. But I guess you could make a smart playlist and hit shuffle play instead of using party shuffle.....
     
  6. RBMaraman macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #6
    Are you running iTunes 4.5? If so, you can use the "Party Shuffle" which has an option to play higher rated songs more frequently. You can also choose which playlist to select music from.
     
  7. joshuajestelle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #7
    iTunes 4.5 has this new Party Shuffle feature that has the option to take into account your ratings. I'm not sure how it specifically takes into account your ratings, but its suppose to weight highly rated song higher when randomly choosing songs.

    Also, there are various AppleScripts out there for making more intelligent random playlists... but none that I've found are especially useful.

    I think I'll use Party Shuffle for now.

    Josh
     
  8. applejack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    #8
    Re: Shuffle

    The shuffle on my ipod seems to really love one particular band (Stereolab). There's maybe 30 or so songs from that band out of thousands on my ipod, but I seems to hear them over and over again.
     
  9. joshuajestelle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #9
    well stereolab is some good stuff so no wonder your ipod likes it so much! :p
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Hmmm....true, although then I'd have to start rating songs. ;) And I'd still have my cross-genre woes. :( But FWIW I *was* running without that box checked.
     
  11. Xenious macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    #11
    an idea

    I've always thought it would be cool to have an intelligent shuffle. Apparently from the "recent played" list a song is not recently played until it has finished. Thus if I hit forward to skip to the next song the one I was listening to doesn't count as "played" because it did not play to completion. One could take this a step further and have the AI start picking songs based on the ones you were listening too all the way through. It could use the tags off the recently played list to establish a "mood profile" and this being an intelligent shuffle. It would still be shuffling and not repeating, but it would be shuffling to your mood.

    Now I know you could say just pick a genre and shuffle within it, but what if your mood changed? The intelligent shuffle could pick up on this (by perhaps averging genre's from the past x tunes) and shift to a new style.

    Thoughts?
    -jim
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    It would be really sweet if some kind of intelligent shuffler mixed the beat matching thing that Ask the DJ does (but did it well) and some kind of intelligent genre picking / shifting. Then the only thing else you need is that PowerMate thing as a speed control like on a turntable, and maybe you can hit the button to nix any bad transitions so the program can learn. ;)

    But (daydreaming off) I think some kind of beat matching or intelligent transition would be important too to make this work. Otherwise it might well pick songs randomly between the fast and slow songs in a genre, if you happen to like both kinds in the same genre.
     

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