iPod Shuffle -----How Random is Shuffle setting?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by welders4mac, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. welders4mac macrumors member


    Aug 11, 2007
    The Great White North
    Hello all!

    I received a Shuffle for the Christmas. Actually it was from Santa Himself, hey its all I need.

    RE: shuffle mode only

    Anyhow I have about 13 albums plus on it and I find that that only 4 or 5 get heavy "playtime"...sure I do get the songs from others, but I was wondering if anybody else has found this, and if anybody knows how Songs are weighted, if at all. Or if the playlist is truly drawn up randomly?

    Thanks for any constructive comments
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    It's completely random. You could use "smart shuffle" in iTunes, but it will not carry over into an iPod.
  3. welders4mac thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 11, 2007
    The Great White North

    After using the shuffle option for awhile now, I can confirm that the playlist is random.

    It was playing heavy on some Albums @ first but it has since equalized throughout the playlist.

    I guess theoretically you can have your exact playlist show up in a random shuffle :eek:
  4. orbital~debris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    England, UK, Europe
    As I recall, there's an interesting discussion of the randomness of the 'random' feature in the book iPod, Therefore I Am.

    There are anecdotes of people doubting that the shuffle mode actually randomises the music, and Apple software engineers are mentioned as having checked that iTunes was randomising properly. I think this is related to the eventual appearance of the Smart Shuffle feature in recent versions of iTunes, although I'd guess that the iPod still shuffles music truly randomly as there's no user interface to alter as to how random it feels…
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Mathematically truly choosing random numbers will mean that some songs will get chosen more, that's how it works, but you don't know which songs will be picked like that to begin with, or whether they will continue to get picked more at any stage.

    On a very simple level if you look at a random sequence of heads and tails, you will see long sequences of one option, not lots of switching between them.

    There are lots of decent random number algorithms so I'm sure Apple is using one of them.
  6. Thanatoast macrumors 65816


    Dec 3, 2002
    your brain is hardwired to detect patterns (whether they exist or not - just in case) as a survival trait. the shuffle function is random, it's your brain that's not.

    seriously :)

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