5 Replies Latest reply: Aug 27, 2009 7:58 AM by strongnc21
Bob Rodenburg Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
I've noticed that, when playing songs in Shuffle mode, I hear some songs more often than others. Is the Shuffle function truly random or does it select songs based on other factors like rating?

Dual 2 GHz G5, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 3 GB RAM, 1st gen iPhone (8 GB)
  • AKRBTN Level 4 Level 4 (1,355 points)
    That some songs play more than others doesn't mean it's not random. If it is very deliberately only playing any one song once until all songs have been played, I'd say that wasn't random.
  • Scott Murphy4 Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    I totally agree that its not random enough. My old 3rd gen ipod was exactly the same. I have songs on my iphone that have played 10 times, but countless others that have never played.

    I reckon it should never repeat until ALL songs have played. Wouldn't seem like it would be hard for Apple to put in a setting for this...
  • roaminggnome Level 10 Level 10 (93,760 points)
    In a truly random selection it is possible to hear the same song twice in a row.

    Flip a coin at random; sometimes you can get several tails in a row. Does that mean that a coin toss is not random?
  • spacedye2001 Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    There is a simple solution. Make a few smart playlists with your requirements.
  • strongnc21 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I think the question shouldn't be about the definition of the word "random". That is not in dispute, nor should it be.

    What should be questioned is how the Shuffle in iTunes or on an iPod SHOULD work. Hearing the same songs over and over, and not hearing others, is simply not how it should work. A truly Random shuffle is not ideal.

    The solution should be smarter. Maybe based on Skips + Played (Total). The higher the value of Total, compared to other songs, the less likely it will be that the song is played.

    I am not going to take the time to write out an algorithm and show data structures and etc, but really, a smart shuffle function could be written and tested easily within a few hours. If Apple wanted to, we could have a radio button to choose between True Random and Smart Shuffle within a month.