A painting of me

Not So Random

   8 February 2007, late morning

My shuffle has been spitting out Faye Wong track after Faye Wong track. The play list I use to make my random mixes contains the songs from almost every single album she’s put out. I guess when it randomly samples that list for songs to put of the shuffle, Faye Wong songs show up more often than not. I’m not complaining: Faye Wong is wicked. I just listened to her cover of Dreams by the Cranberries, which makes me want to watch Chungking Express.



  1. Itunes random feature is pretty lame in my opinion. After listening to a specific song first, I can always tell what the next few songs will be. Not exactly sure why this is but it seems that when I start playing a specific song iTunes has some sort of very fixed algorithm to decide what the next “random” song will be. This tends to change though if I make a slight variation to the playlist, ie. add or remove a song. I am not quite sure if this is the case with other music players seeing how I haven’t used a different player in years now.

  2. on another note – Ram, you like Faye Wong? I’m very surprised! I didn’t even know Faye Wong has any international reputation.

    btw i found some data on the OMB information regarding how often cases were decided infavour of developers and what not…I’m writing a paper on this issue but i’ll lend you the book if you’re interested.

  3. She has a fair number of foreign fans, though I can’t imagine its a big number. I used to listen to lots of cantopop when I was in High School: Kelly Chen, GiGi Lueng, Beyond, Coco Lee, Candy Lo, Na Ying .. I have so many CDs I haven’t ripped to MP3. I should really do that.

  4. My iPod was never good at playing random songs. I have heard the same songs (when I tell it to play random songs) since January 22nd. Same order, Same songs and I have tons of music for my iPod to choose from.

  5. That’s why I use smart playlists. The one I use in particular is this:

    -Last played is not in the last 3 weeks
    -My rating is great than ***
    -Play count is less than 9
    -Limit to 24 hours chosen by random

    Since I’ve rated almost all my music, I get a fresh playlist of non-repeating artists. Out of the 325 tracks on it right now, there’s only 5 back-to-back pairs by the same artist.

  6. I like your iTunes set up a lot, but I have yet to rate all my music. I think you can do more interesting things with Smart Playlists once you’ve done that. At the very least I should do things like set up the smart play list to drop short songs, and stuff like this.

    I’m listening to a random mix of House and JPop today till I figure out a slicker way to autofill. I love this iPod.

  7. Who knew a device named after its ability to randomize songs would be so bad at doing just that?

  8. Maybe they should start calling it the iPod “shuffle”.

  9. On an unrelated note, how do I play Grey’s Anatomy videos on my ipod? :s Do I have to convert them into some other file type to be able to watch them? And does the TTC have a map of the TTC service lines that can be put on your ipod? or the Path system?

  10. The fact it picked so much Faye Wong makes sense since she is the largest set of music to choose from. It’d be less random if it wasn’t doing this The five digit sequence 11111 is just as random a sequence as 53859, we just see a pattern and ‘feel’ this isn’t the case. Steve Levy actually wrote about this whole topic a while back.

  11. xkcd on the iPod Shuffle.

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