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The Joy of Random Shuffle

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the synchronicity dept.

Music 718

ajayvb writes "Wired has this article on how the iPod and other music players have brought random shuffling of songs to the fore. This generation seems to like their music that way, and according to one of the authorities in the article, it's because they are likely 'brain damaged' and have lower attention spans. Ouch."

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First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884218)

First Post!

TEH JOY OF TEH SPOKE? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884226)

My shuffle world random rocks (5, Funny)

American AC in Paris (230456) | about 10 years ago | (#8884232)

Started I random it like time, all shuffle much the I've so the using.

Re:My shuffle world random rocks (5, Funny)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | about 10 years ago | (#8884370)

List of things which cause 'brain damage':
Rock and Roll...

*rereads parent*


Re:My shuffle world random rocks (2, Interesting)

nhavar (115351) | about 10 years ago | (#8884374)

How many times can you shuffle that until it goes from:

"Started I random it like time, all shuffle much the I've so the using."


"I like the random shuffle so much, I've started using it all the time."

How many times would it take to shuffle a series of songs back into their original album order?

Re:My shuffle world random rocks (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | about 10 years ago | (#8884479)

speaking in probabilities... 1/(N!) ?

Since presumably the chances are not dependent, there is a chance that your first shuffle (or any other specific shuffle) actually will be in the original order.

Who would have thought? (5, Insightful)

Texodore (56174) | about 10 years ago | (#8884239)

Who would have thought that shuffle would be popular? You know, like the radio?

Re:Who would have thought? (2, Insightful)

Godai (104143) | about 10 years ago | (#8884445)

Exactly. The only difference is that with one these nice tasty DAPs, it's like listening to radio station that only plays music you like. All the fun of the radio without the inccessant chatter and unwanted songs. Who would have though that would be popular indeed!

Re:Who would have thought? (4, Insightful)

bracher (33965) | about 10 years ago | (#8884466)

You've never listened to a Clear Channel station, have you?

Re:Who would have thought? (1)

Grant29 (701796) | about 10 years ago | (#8884475)

My Sony 5-disc CD changer has shuffle and I bought it in 1992. Still works, and I've used shuffle for years. Sony wasn't the only audio maker to have this feature. I thought everyone used shuffle at one time or another.

Retail Retreat [retailretreat.com]

Radio killed the album star... (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#8884243)

Random shuffle of recorded music bears a resemblence to the other way people listen to their favorite genre of music... radio play. On the radio, rarely are two songs from the same artist played back to back, and it's extremely rare for twelve songs of the same artist to be played in a row.

But, actually, radio play is not a truely random selection. Radio programmers mark certain slow-paced songs as "do not play in the morning drive" because nobody wants to be put back to sleep while driving to work. They also bias their selections towards favoring more popular songs, artists who are coming to town soon, recent "fresh" hits, and the songs that best define their format.

iTunes, Real, and nearly every other music organizing program are starting to catch onto this with their playlist generator, which very closely resembles the way that radio program directors deal with their playlists... setting a ruleset that creates a quasi-random base for their day, and then displaying the results for potential human manipulation.

The end result is that we're all basically running our own cluster of radio stations. Sometimes you feel like listening to the songs you've rated 5-stars, sometimes you want a mix of high-energy fast-paced songs, sometimes you want some soft background music. Each of those is defined as different playlist, and as new music is added into your system they automatically drop into the rotation on their appropriate lists.

So, there you have it. As much as we want to escape radio, we love it when we're the one running the board...

Re:Radio killed the album star... (1)

Mateito (746185) | about 10 years ago | (#8884364)

> nobody wants to be put back to sleep while driving to work.

You obviously don't work for a Telco :)

Artists killed the album star... (5, Interesting)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | about 10 years ago | (#8884411)

It is the musicians themselves that have killed the album. When they record a CD with a few interesting songs, a couple of OK songs, and a bunch of filler, nobody values the album format. And why should they, since it would just be boring to listen through the filler to get to your favorite songs. An album, in the true sense, is a collection of songs that are similar and put together well (example: Pink Floyd). When it became just a bunch of songs thrown onto a CD as a delivery mechanism, the idea of the album lost its meaning.

brain damaged ?!? (5, Insightful)

untermensch (227534) | about 10 years ago | (#8884245)

From the article:
"Temporal order is an important element of how a work unfolds dynamically over time, an important factor underlying the aesthetic effect."

Well, sure it is within a song, but saying that the order of songs within an album is important to the "aesthetic effect", is like saying that if I read a book by J. Random Author without reading all of his other books, in the order they were written, that I'm missing the effect.

A song, like a book (or book series), is a discrete unit of art. Sure it's similar to the other songs on that album, and sure it can be nice to listen to an entire album, in order, but where on earth does he find evidence for the claim that random shuffle appeals to "brain damaged" kids with short attention span.

Re:brain damaged ?!? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884319)

A lot of good albums have some sort of order in the arrangement of the songs, meant to engage the listener. There are smooth transitions, buildup of some sort, etc. Though most of the time this is pretty subtle, it's still present.

Try Memento or Hiroshima Mon Amour (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884362)

Those movies were presented in a temporaly non-linear fashion. Think "flashback" in a movie or TV show. Temporal experimentation in art goes back to Gilgamesh.

Brain damage. Fuck. We are all braindamaged from reading Wired. Remeber: the are trying to turn us all into Libertarians.

Re:brain damaged ?!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884372)

Depending on the album, a song can be compared to a small story in a book with several small stories, or it can even be compared to a chapter of a book. Your analogy is flawed.

Re:brain damaged ?!? (1)

Ithika (703697) | about 10 years ago | (#8884438)

All I can say is: you're obviosly listening to the wrong albums :)

Seriously though, I would never even dream of listening to, e.g., OK Computer, Come On Die Young or Twenty Twenty Sound out of order. Actually, that would probably go for anything by those artists. I generally distrust shuffle play because it doesn't give me any sort of consistent atmosphere. If I'm listening to Godspeed You Black Emperor! and it cuts straight into The Divine Comedy or Metallica my whole mood would be spoiled.

Re:brain damaged ?!? (2, Insightful)

Mike Hawk (687615) | about 10 years ago | (#8884443)

Your comparison is a little off. The songs on an album would be more like the chapters of the same book, and yes you would likely miss the artist's intended effect if you didnt read those chapters in order. If you think an artist does not consider which songs make the album and in what order the songs should go, you have obviously been listening to the wrong artists.

I'm not totally on board with the brain damage thing, but there is a lot to be said for a good total record and it can be greater than the sum of its parts.

Re:brain damaged ?!? (1)

JoScherl (228091) | about 10 years ago | (#8884455)

I think it ddepends very much on the album. There are albums where the order is unimportant and shuffle is nice for having variation but thereare albums where the order off the songs is well thought an has an introduction, a climax and an ending (thiscan be made with the music or with a story that is told) - this doesn't work when played shuffled.

Rock Operas are dead (thank god) (4, Insightful)

oomis (600367) | about 10 years ago | (#8884464)

Maybe back in the day an artist had a lot of say in terms of what went onto an album, and how the album unfolded as a listener worked through it. Perhaps at one point there was a larger message that could only be conveyed by an album, and couldn't be contained in a single song (I'm thinking of The Wall by Pink Floyd). But the reality is that nowadays so much of the music out there is crap that the album as an art form seems to be mostly dead. This is one of the reasons that people are more willing to buy an individual track than to buy an album. Personally, I prefer to buy an album, but ONLY after I've previewed (read: downloaded) enough enough material or I'm familiar enough with the artist to have some faith in them. I HATE being burned by buying an album based on one song and then finding out the rest of it was a load of shyte. Record companies seem less and less interested in promoting a good album, and care more about the 2 or 3 singles that they can extract and promote the hell out of. My point is that one of the reasons that the random play is preferred to an album at a time is because few entire albums are worth listening to anymore. Random play, with careful selection of what goes on the iPod in the first place, ensures that EVERYTHING that I listen to is good AND I get to be surprised. But ... it could just be the brain damage. If so, it's most likely brought on by too much commercial radio.

Re:brain damaged ?!? (1)

Holi (250190) | about 10 years ago | (#8884478)

Umm No.
There are many albums out there that really do have a specific order. The songs may be layed out in a way that they tell a story.

Actually there are MANY albums where this is the case.
Take most opera,
Many classical albums,
almost all musicals,
A few rock albums.

I don't agree with the brain damaged statement but to say that temporal order is only used within a song is flat out wrong.

I like a good mix, but (5, Insightful)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 10 years ago | (#8884249)

I like a good random mix as anyone. However, I am also rather fond of the "rock opera" format. You lose something if the songs of "The Wall" or "Tommy" or "Greendale" are scrambled and mixed in with other tracks: a lot of the enjoyment is in the "story" and sequence. I suppose you can get around this by making sure that these albums are encoded as one single audio file.

Re:I like a good mix, but (2, Informative)

gid13 (620803) | about 10 years ago | (#8884295)

Or, perhaps, by watching the DVD. :)

The Wall is one of my favourites too. My approach is to keep the DVD around for when I want the whole thing, and keep some of the tracks with the most flow into each other encoded together.

Re:I like a good mix, but (4, Insightful)

ek_adam (442283) | about 10 years ago | (#8884368)

From the article,

"Temporal order is an important element of how a work unfolds dynamically over time, an important factor underlying the aesthetic effect. Random shuffle pretty much flushes that down the toilet."

On the other hand, you can set the iPod and iTunes to shuffle by Album. All of the songs on the album are played in order, then it jumps to another random album.

Re:I like a good mix, but (2, Insightful)

mrwonton (456172) | about 10 years ago | (#8884382)

A random mix of one's favorite songs seems to me like something most would enjoy. For myself, however, the most common reason I use shuffle is because I've been too lazy to put my latest favorite songs into a playlist, or I want to hear some songs that I may not have listened to lately.

Expert (3, Insightful)

Thanatopsis (29786) | about 10 years ago | (#8884250)

The expert quoted in the article was a professor of marketing, hardly the go to guy as far as neuroscience is involved.

Re:Expert (5, Funny)

Soko (17987) | about 10 years ago | (#8884379)

Hmmm.... dunno 'bout that, dude.

Depends on which end of the disection scalpel he's on.


Variety (5, Interesting)

gid13 (620803) | about 10 years ago | (#8884251)

First of all, I hardly think my preference for random translates to a lower attention span since many of the tracks on my playlist are half an hour or longer. Furthermore, a lower attention span is not necessarily a bad thing. It has been noted by more intelligent people than me that there is an extreme overabundance of information in this world. Perhaps a short attention span is a defense mechanism to help filter out people's bullshit.

Re:Variety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884395)

i agree there is too much bullshit and attention spans are too precious for them to be wasted on everything that is fed to us. maybe we should write a bullshit filtering program for our brains so we dont have to spend so much attention on filtering the bullshit out HA!

Give me Album Shuffle (3, Interesting)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 10 years ago | (#8884252)

OK, so I'm an old fart... Why don't any of the MP3 devices/programs/whatever that I use allow a "random album shuffle", that plays albums completely through, then chooses another album? /frank

Re:Give me Album Shuffle (5, Informative)

Darth Maul (19860) | about 10 years ago | (#8884323)

You can do this on an iPod.

Settings > Shuffle: Album.
Then select an artist in browse mode and hit play.

Re:Give me Album Shuffle (1, Redundant)

American AC in Paris (230456) | about 10 years ago | (#8884329)

Why don't any of the MP3 devices/programs/whatever that I use allow a "random album shuffle", that plays albums completely through, then chooses another album?

The iPod has album shuffle, and it works just as you describe...

Re:Give me Album Shuffle (1)

dr_dank (472072) | about 10 years ago | (#8884342)

I have a Kenwood CD/MP3 receiver with a 10gb Phatbox in the trunk. The phatbox can do two kinds of shuffle: shuffle within a playlist and shuffle within the whole collection. The best of both worlds.

Re:Give me Album Shuffle (1)

Norgus (770127) | about 10 years ago | (#8884381)

I'd really like a feature like that actually. I like random because sometimes there isnt time to listen all the way through, and random allows me not to only hear the first 3 tracks of a CD over and over due to lack of time. I say that your brain damaged if you always listen from the begining and never get the time to hear the last tracks, its just stupid.

Re:Give me Album Shuffle (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 10 years ago | (#8884472)

Well, OK, I'll just toss my Archos out the door and go buy an iPod. How much are those again? Actually, I'm glad to hear that the iPod implemented that feature. Maybe now I can get those Rockbox guys to do so.... /frank

attention span? uh... no. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884257)

When I listen to an album in its original format, the end of one song triggers a memory as to what's coming up long before the song actually starts playing. It gets monotonous. It's much more pleasant to have a mix.

We don't have sort attention spans... (2, Funny)

The Desert Palooka (311888) | about 10 years ago | (#8884259)

Regardless of the fact I had to read the above around 3 times before I picked up all the sentences...

Prespective (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884261)

It's common for people to fear what they don't understand. When a person doesn't understand that I happen to enjoy a wide variety of music, from techno, to classical, to the beatles. The fact that I enjoy a surprise when I encounter something unexpected, and the fact that I don't like hearing the same song on repeat for weeks on end, ala a radio station. Just because you don't don't understand, doesn't make you smarter or better, just different.

Use in conjunction with Musicmobs... (0, Offtopic)

tobes (302057) | about 10 years ago | (#8884267)

You'll start listening to stuff you would have never thought you would.

forward, please (2)

opus18 (691503) | about 10 years ago | (#8884272)

That's funny. I know my attention span is damaged because my 'forward' button is worn out. Plus, it's all in the thrill of gambling what's next anyways. Content? Who needs it anymore?

Old fart (1)

stealthmidget (761031) | about 10 years ago | (#8884274)

"Personally, and I believe I speak for many old farts here, I appreciate listening to music, be it an opera or a pop album, in the sequence in which the artist decided to present it," he said.

That's good and all, but being a 'young fart' myself, random makes much more sense. With the portability of music nowadays (iPods, etc.), we tend to hear a lot more music throughout the day. The only way I listen to music is on random, otherwise I'd hear the beginning of a (cd, folder) a hell of a lot, and never hear the tracks towards the end of the playlist. Imagine hearing the first two minutes of song one EVERYTIME you left a class...how dull.

what? (5, Funny)

Washizu (220337) | about 10 years ago | (#8884277)

"it's because they are likely 'brain damaged' and have lower attention spans."

I'm outraged!

Who wants to go ride bikes?

Re:what? (1)

Craptastic Weasel (770572) | about 10 years ago | (#8884373)

Alot of the new jukebox software stuff out there not only shuffles, but plays the songs based on some knowledge of the songs/ genre/ artists you pick by hand in the past.

Radio that plays based on my tastes... man, If thats brain damage these keys must be pushing themselves...

The sad irony of the ignorant is plausible comedy for all.

Uh. Ipod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884278)

Winamp's had this for like ... a long time, man. What about like DJs playing shit on the internet radio ... that's like random.

Article posting is a troll.

Best is quasi-random shuffle... (1)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | about 10 years ago | (#8884281)

Our jukebox server keeps a list of all the requests each user makes. When the request list is empty, it randomly selects from a pool that includes the name of every song on the archive, plus the request lists. That way you get a mix that includes some truly random stuff but is weighted toward your favorites.

It produces a stream with the same appeal as a college radio station -- loosely aligned with a particular format, but quirky and eclectic.

"Wow!" said the article (1)

geoffeg (15786) | about 10 years ago | (#8884282)

That article feels like someone found a few dozen quotes about a topic and made an article about it. It seems every other paragraph is a quote from some seemingly random person.

iPod Problems (-1, Offtopic)

webword (82711) | about 10 years ago | (#8884286)

Sure, sure, great idea...as long as you iPod isn't broken [google.com] !

Re:iPod Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884405)

Offtopic? Not really. When hardware doesn't work, software doesn't work. Wake up.

I take complete (4, Funny)

AbbyNormal (216235) | about 10 years ago | (#8884287)

offense to this article about being brain damaged and further more....Oooh I got a new email message...

Dain Bramage? (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 years ago | (#8884288)

This generation seems to like their music that way, and according to one of the authorities in the article, it's because they are likely 'brain damaged' and have lower attention spans. Ouch."

Probably "Authority==Orderliness Nazi" Music has for the most part been shuffled on radio for years, except those stations that just play loops. Gotta slow down on reading up on such "authroities" I'm developing a sodium problem.

I doubt it. (1)

Telastyn (206146) | about 10 years ago | (#8884289)

It's probably that our brains enjoy doing pattern matching. Doing the little "what random song is this?" game is great little exercise for pattern matching and memory retrival.

huh? (2, Insightful)

hookedup (630460) | about 10 years ago | (#8884290)

Winamp has had that feature for years. People were shuffling mp3s that way before ipod was a sparkle in an apple execs eye.

20,000 songs on IPod never been heard? (1, Interesting)

DeadSea (69598) | about 10 years ago | (#8884291)

The article states that they interviewed one person who has 20,000 songs in their collection to which the interviewee have never even given a listen.

Either this person bought 2000 albums just for the one song they liked and never listened to the rest, or (more likely) they pirate a whole lot of random stuff.

Either way: Unbelievable. Why would anybody waste time and hard drive space like that?

Re:20,000 songs on IPod never been heard? (1)

dknight (202308) | about 10 years ago | (#8884458)

Disk space is cheap. In my apartment alone, I've got over 1TB of disk space. I could easily download more music than I could ever hope to listen to without putting a noticeable dent in that.

Have I been dreaming? (1)

sirReal.83. (671912) | about 10 years ago | (#8884292)

Is this new? I've had 'shuffle' on every single player I've owned since CDs! Wired, I'm ashamed.

Re:Have I been dreaming? (1)

Timothy Chu (2263) | about 10 years ago | (#8884417)

Yes, but how many of them do that intelligently? My car's Kenwood deck, for instance, may play two tracks back to back because on a 12 track disk, there's a 1 in 12 chance of that happenning.

Three Little Birds (1)

Lizard_King (149713) | about 10 years ago | (#8884296)

One user interviewed by Bull, for example, said the iPod "colors" one's surroundings, and random shuffle can significantly change one's perceptions of a familiar place.

Very interesting statement and quite true. I no longer think of the NYC subway system during rush hour as an intense, pushy, completely undesireable place. I now think of it as "three little birds sit by my doorstep..."

i resent the depiction (0, Redundant)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 10 years ago | (#8884304)

i resent the depiction of a whole generation as 'brain damaged' and with a low attention span

furthermore, i... wait, what were we talking about?

oo look! shiny object!

Re:i resent the depiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884447)

My generation saw god when they played Black Sabbath backwards at 78 rpm.

Man, they are too good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884308)

And the RIAA says :


Re:Man, they are too good (2, Insightful)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | about 10 years ago | (#8884367)

ummm, you do know you can random shuffle a CD, or songs on a CD right?

Re:Man, they are too good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884402)

Luckily I've never used this feature... pfew!....

Take this low attention span and figure out (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | about 10 years ago | (#8884309)

random big at should be makes. More much decipher for Every dialogue. Fun interesting to words paragraph challenge especially thing.

It won't be long... (1)

Weirdofreak (769987) | about 10 years ago | (#8884311)

Before we're using it to play Monopoly or some such, in order to waste time that would otherwise be spent productively.

'Marlybone Avenue, 60 rent.'
'Gimme a sec, this solo rules!'

Not that it needs to be dragged on any longer than it is anyway, of course...

Albums (5, Insightful)

Mose250 (724946) | about 10 years ago | (#8884314)

I used to be a huge fan of shuffling (this isn't a new feature - every mp3 player ever has had the ability) until I started appreciating the album as a cohesive work. I never really enjoyed the music of the Beatles, for example, until I listened to Abbey Road the whole way through and realized that the album's genius lies at least in part in the overall construction. I feel like a lot of this is lost through random play.

Artist knows best? (4, Informative)

DreadSpoon (653424) | about 10 years ago | (#8884315)

"Personally, and I believe I speak for many old farts here, I appreciate listening to music, be it an opera or a pop album, in the sequence in which the artist decided to present it," he said.

"Temporal order is an important element of how a work unfolds dynamically over time, an important factor underlying the aesthetic effect. Random shuffle pretty much flushes that down the toilet."

He is assuming, of course, that the songs being listened have any real order. A good deal of the albums produced have no theme, no real order, and are just collections of songs. This is especially true for rock/pop/blues stuff. Listening to an album in order just means you get a preset random chunk of tracks vs a dynamic random chunk of tracks... not to mention you often find that you only like several songs on a given album.

Shuffle rules! (5, Informative)

graikor (127470) | about 10 years ago | (#8884322)

I usually use a Smart Playlist that takes all the 4 and 5 star songs I haven't heard recently, and plays them in shuffled order. That makes it like a radio station that only plays my favorite songs, with no repeats (albeit one that only plays songs I've actually heard before).

Sometimes there's no substitute for listening to an actual album in order, but shuffle is a nice way to introduce some serious variety - there's nothing like hearing Coltrane followed by Queens of the Stone Age...

What's an El-Pee? (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | about 10 years ago | (#8884326)

Sounds to me like someone at Wired is heavily into ye olde art rock, and expects people to listen to albums that are really just collections of pop songs as if they were Dark Side of the Moon.

Why don't players have a real shuffle play? (2, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | about 10 years ago | (#8884328)

Strictly speaking, a shuffle play shouldn't be random. Like a dealing from a shuffled deck of cards, once it's played one song, it shouldn't play that one again until it's finished them all and reshuffles.

Re:Why don't players have a real shuffle play? (1)

stealthmidget (761031) | about 10 years ago | (#8884461)

I just bought a new JVC head unit for my car, and I was pleased to see that it has true shuffle play. Plays mp3s...can shuffle through the whole cd, or just one folder. I was thinking just the way you are when I first bought it, and the other day I put it on random, and it suddenly switched folders. I then realized that it had played all 50 songs in the first folder, then switched to the next.


Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884330)

Brain damaged? What a dipshit.

Not Brain Damage, more a solution to two problems (1)

Stubtify (610318) | about 10 years ago | (#8884331)

I don't think shuffling music (and therefore not listening to music albums in order) is a problem caused by brain damage as much as by impatience. I don't know if you've seen the teenagers of this new generation, but they are even less able to hold a coherent though than I was at their age. Shuffling music is their way of keeping things new and intersting.

Secondly, albums that kids listen to suck. Shuffling means you get good songs all mixed up, and not a bunch of crappy ones and then a good one.

Not brain damaged (1)

hords (619030) | about 10 years ago | (#8884334)

I remember listening to music on Tapes, CDs, etc. Where the songs were presented to you in a specific order normally. I found it annoying that every time I would hear one of the songs anywhere else like the radio my brain would always expect the next song on the tape, CD etc. I never have that happen any more. Now whether that is good or bad I don't know, but it serves my purpose.

I'm not brain damaged, I just think that way

Of course we have lower attention spans (1)

DR SoB (749180) | about 10 years ago | (#8884337)

Who can concentrate on just one thing when so many things are cool now-a-days??

I mean, we aren't communists!!

not me (1)

Pidder (736678) | about 10 years ago | (#8884343)

This generation seems to like their music that way, and according to one of the authorities in the article, it's because they are likely 'brain damaged' and have lower attention spans.

I'm 20 and don't shuffle. Albums are supposed to be listened to from start to finish.

The pod could handle shuffle better... (2, Interesting)

kzinti (9651) | about 10 years ago | (#8884347)

Shuffle mode is one of my few gripes with the iPod. I make large playlists and like to listen to them in shuffle mode, but I always listen to my albums straight - no shuffle. However, I'm constantly forgetting what mode my iPod is in, and listening to the first few songs on an album in shuffle mode, or vice versa. I would really love it if Apple would update the firmware to track shuffle mode independently for playlists vs albums/artists. Or, even better, if it could track the shuffle preference of each playlist, album, or artist individually.

OT -- SCOX may be taking a hit now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884350)

This is OT, but BayStar which invested millions in SCO just requested their money back, citing various paragraphs -- some of those concerning insider information -- according to a press release just out.

See the yahoo SCOX board for the minute by minute action! :-)

I enjoy random shuffle (1)

Lxy (80823) | about 10 years ago | (#8884358)

I hardly call myself brain damaged though. I just like not having to think about things.

It's nice to be able to listen to music without having to build a playlist. I listen to music at work all the time. I'm usually only at my desk 50% of my day, so while a 2 hour playlist would be OK for a few days my co-irkers would kill me (some are chained to their desks and would tire quickly). I usually listen to streaming audio (Live365.com kicks ass) because I never have to worry about playlisting or picking songs I want to hear. Punch in a good station, crank it up, all taken care of.

If I owned an iPod, I'd probably be jogging or working in the yard or something. I don't care about my playlist, as it's unlikely I have crappy music in my iPod. Random shuffle is a lot less work, especially since I usually don't care.

Shuffle-by-album (directory) possible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884359)

I wrote a program to shuffle my Winamp playlist (.m3u) by album (directory). Then, I put that playlist on straight-thru play. That gives me the whole albums (or at least the songs I didn't delete), and randomization.

Can iPod/iTunes do that? I might want to pick up an iPod eventually, but would like to use *MY* preferences for playorder, not Steve Jobs's.

this is new ? (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | about 10 years ago | (#8884365)

I've been doing random playlist for years.

Tune in at eleven when I'll be hosting a two hour special on using the microwave to heat water.


Brain damaged Old Fart? (1)

oomlout (770653) | about 10 years ago | (#8884375)

Well I can see how that applies for opera or classical music, where each track is an element of the larger work, but it's a rare pop album where the order of the tracks is of any real significance.

I don't like shuffle (1)

The Desert Palooka (311888) | about 10 years ago | (#8884377)

Increasingly albums are written as albums. Thus you can reduce a fantastic album down to a series of songs. (Daft Punk, Ester Drang, Chemical Brothers, and oh so man are this way)

On the other hand, I do like shuffle from time to time when I want to listen music that I've heard alot. Breaks down expectations and renews play lists...
that part, very nice.

Random? Are they crazy? (1)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | about 10 years ago | (#8884394)

I cannot understand random playlists. I always like to have my music fade from one mood to another smoothly, for example:
  • No Letting Go, Wayne Wonder (relaxed, Jamaican feel)
  • Pimp Till the End, Lloyd Banks (relaxed)
  • 10 Mins, Joe Budden (slow, but interesting)
  • Stand Up Nucca, Joe Budden (kind of slow, but very vivid)
  • Banks Victory, G-Unit (moderate, but vivid and intense)
  • Paid in Full, Eric B. & Rakim (club track that's lyrically interesting)
This would not work at all on a random playlist, but it sure builds up when done correctly.

Random shuffle? Has anyone heard of radio? (1)

mboos (700155) | about 10 years ago | (#8884396)

I would like to point out users have no control of what songs they hear on the radio either (though it is usually from a smaller selection of tracks, and there is a great deal of repetition) As far as I'm aware, radio stations don't play entire albums from start-to-finish either.

What? (1)

Accipiter (8228) | about 10 years ago | (#8884406)

Uh... Random shuffle isn't some big sociological boom, nor is it some killer new fad exclusive to hipsters with iPods and CD Players.

It's called variety. Ever hear a radio station play an album from beginning to end? Typically an album will have one artist (or group) and every song will be the same style. So if you want to "mix it up" you randomize the playlist. All of my music players are set to randomize, except for my home stereo which I rarely use.

I've never known anyone to listen to music by playing an album from beginning to end. Even back in the days of records, we'd flip through the collections to figure out what we were going to listen to next while the current song was playing.

What about CD players? (1)

nv5 (697631) | about 10 years ago | (#8884408)

Many CD players made random shuffles possible, within CD's or if they were multi-CD capable, even across CD's. So this is not a particularly new phenom.

From The Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884426)

...With a large music collection, it is very easy to forget some of the gems that are in there, and random tends to bring some of those out again."

Of course it's easy to forget what you have bootlegged off of p2p. That's why I prefer that the RIAA help me organize my collection rather than some crazy technology. Years of executive meetings and recycled crap can't be wrong!

What Professor Kellaris really means. (3, Funny)

Eevee (535658) | about 10 years ago | (#8884448)

My parents' generation listened to music on 45s, where they get together and play songs at random. My generation listened to LPs where the songs were in a particular order every single time. My kids' generation listens to MP3s and play songs at random.

Obviously, both my parents' generation and my kids' generation are brain damaged, because us baby boomers never took drugs while going through college....

James Kellaris is clearly full of shit (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 10 years ago | (#8884454)

Musucians tend not to spend too much time deciding on order. Yes, they'll put them in the order that they think is best, but, with certain exceptions, I don't think even they would claim that there's a "right" and a "wrong" order.

The guy likes his music to be predictable and formulaic right down to the order in which the tracks are played. This is perfectly fine. Just because other people don't like it that way it does not make them wrong. It's a matter of personal preference.

My Attention Span... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884457)

. ..

Random like Radio???? (1)

monkeyboy87 (619098) | about 10 years ago | (#8884459)

Are you guys kidding? random like radio? the reason I stopped listening to the radio is because songs make the "A" bin where they would be in heavy rotation adn you would hear the song over and over again during an afternoon or evening set.

Subject: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8884460)

Last time I had a random shuffle in public, people started screaming and I ended up in front of the magistrates.

I've been going the other way... (1)

Flat Feet Pete (87786) | about 10 years ago | (#8884474)

I've been going the other way, but only because I'm lazy.

I made this [flatfeetpete.com] webcam and barcode printed on card based, lego built, printed CD card music player (follow the link, it'll make sense then). As the music organised by CD and next/prev currenly means a trip to the PC, I've redicovered the joy of albums. I enjoy music differentlty when the urge to fiddle every 5-10 seconds is denied.

I say lazy because if I got my act in gear and finished the hardware I'm hacking I'd have full control.

Having said that, I'm quite enjoying the whole album thing. Hearing lots of other tracks from real bands where I'd only checked out one or two before.

PS Quite proud I've mentioned a card based system and have avoided a shuffle based pun!

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