Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

The genius of iTunes shuffle

Following Alex Ross’ article (see below) I decided to see what the "shuffle" feature would do with my collection. I tend to listen to my own playlists, and to lean heavily on half a dozen or so, so there are large swaths of my music collection that I’ve probably never actually ever listened to since ripping.

The result is fun: some weird segues, but more often than not the program makes interesting choices (is it completely random? I have a hard time believing that it is), and inspires those "Hey, I haven’t heard that in ages" moments. A pleasant change even from one’s own music programming.

Update 1/12/2005: The thread on iPod, the shuffle, and interesting ways to listen to music continues in:

[To the tune of Lynyrd Skynyrd, "I Aint The One," from the album Millienumium Collection.]

2 Comments

  1. I thought the same thing about the shuffle in iTunes. I’m usually really critical about everything Apple has been doing lately because I think they’ve been getting more hype than they’re worth, but listening to music in iTunes on shuffle is extremely enjoyable.

    I’m not sure what the formula is but Windows Media Player doesn’t get it. I find myself constantly skipping over songs I don’t feel like at the time, and Real Player is annoyingly predictable, but iTunes, I can listen to for hours. And with each song be amazed at how perfectly the list suits my mood.

    too bad iTunes freezes all the time and takes up a bunch of processing space otherwise it’d be perfect.
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Practice to product
    URL: http://Blogger.iftf.org/Future/000698.html
    IP: 64.157.92.82
    BLOG NAME: IFTF’s Future Now
    DATE: 01/28/2005 01:03:17 PM
    My iPod erased itself over the weekend, so I took it into my local Apple Store, the one on University Avenue that Steve supposedly appears in from time to time. Of course I wanted to get it fixed, but I also wanted a look at the new iPod Shuffle, about…
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Practice to product
    URL: http://Blogger.iftf.org/Future/000698.html
    IP: 64.157.92.82
    BLOG NAME: IFTF’s Future Now
    DATE: 01/18/2005 10:52:31 AM
    My iPod erased itself over the weekend, so I took it into my local Apple Store, the one on University Avenue that Steve supposedly appears in from time to time. Of course I wanted to get it fixed, but I also wanted a look at the new iPod Shuffle, about…
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: the unexpected delights of iPod shuffle
    URL: http://www.fredshouse.net/archive/000165.html
    IP: 67.117.138.113
    BLOG NAME: fredshouse.net
    DATE: 04/19/2004 11:34:50 PM
    The very next day after Alex wrote “See? See? I told you so” about the genius of itunes shuffle, I had my own iPod shuffle moment. It was like this: the fredshouse crew was driving back from San Luis Obispo;…

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