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  1. #1
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    I have a playlist of just over 350 songs (about 22 hours of music) which I have downloaded to my iPhone. I listen to this playlist during my morning cycling workout which covers about 12K and takes bout 30 minutes. I always hit the "Shuffle" button to start this playlist. I normally hear eight to ten songs per workout.

    But, Shuffle seems not very random. For example, I've heard the same Bob Dylan song (Girl from the North Country) every day this week. I've also heard the same Diana Krall song (Frim Fram Sauce) both yesterday and today.

    Now, I realize that humans are not very good at determining what is random and what is not and that probability is not well understood by most people; especially old men like me.

    But….

    It does seem like Shuffle ought not play the same song three days in a row when it's only playing ten songs from a 300 song playlist.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Try reading over some of these hits from a Google search on:
    iphone Shuffle Not Very Random
    https://www.google.com/search?q=ipho...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    It seems you're not alone in questioning the playlist choices...



    - Patrick
    ======

  3. #3
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    This is very interesting. (And, excuse me for not searching anywhere but this forum….)

    Back in the 60s when I was at university I was learning to write code (PL/1) on an IBM 360/40. One day the random number generator stopped working so the operator offered up a box of chads punched from Hollerith cards which, of course, each had a single random (?) digit. We were invited to take as many as we needed.

    Perhaps Apple has based its shuffle algorithm on a similar method.

  4. #4
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    After reading some of the posts turned up by @pm-r's Google Search I figured out a way to get more randomness.

    Instead of starting the playlist by hitting the Shuffle button, pick a song, any song, and play it. Then hit the Shuffle button. That will play a new, seemingly random song after which subsequent songs do not repeat the songs I've been hearing all week. Perhaps that changes the seed song to which Apple applies it's random algorithm.

  5. #5
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    After reading some of the posts turned up by @pm-r's Google Search I figured out a way to get more randomness.

    I'm glad to read that you found a solution, and without having to resort to using any punchcards or a spinning Roulette or gaming wheel.

    And probably a bit of relief that you can skip some of the Bob Dylan and Diana Krall repeats. That would sure be a relief for me, especially if they never played.



    - Patrick
    ======

  6. #6
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    If you leave the Music app open, can’t you just press Play/Resume and it will continue the “shuffle”process?


    Bob -

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    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  7. #7
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    I'm glad to read that you found a solution, and without having to resort to using any punchcards or a spinning Roulette or gaming wheel.

    And probably a bit of relief that you can skip some of the Bob Dylan and Diana Krall repeats. That would sure be a relief for me, especially if they never played.
    Well, I did say I was old….

    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    If you leave the Music app open, can’t you just press Play/Resume and it will continue the “shuffle”process?
    Only if you don't play anything else in between. I've got a cycling playlist that I listen to every morning. But, by the time coffee hour arrives I'm listening to something completely different.

  8. #8
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Well, I did say I was old….

    Well, I'm sure not a young'en with my 78th B day happening this Saturday. But just not my music style...



    - Patrick
    ======

  9. #9
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    Well, I'm sure not a young'en with my 78th B day happening this Saturday. But just not my music style...
    Yeah, you win. I'm only 69. And, you'd probably be appalled at my playlists. But, hey, it's a choice.

  10. #10
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Nighthawk4's Avatar
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    I remember from BASIC days that a computer random number generator is not all that random.

    However, I would hope things are better these days

  11. #11
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.
    - John von Neumann

  12. #12
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratsima View Post
    -
    Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.
    - John von Neumann

    thumbup2.gif clap.gif


    - Patrick
    ======

  13. #13
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratsima View Post
    Instead of starting the playlist by hitting the Shuffle button, pick a song, any song, and play it. Then hit the Shuffle button. That will play a new, seemingly random song after which subsequent songs do not repeat the songs I've been hearing all week. Perhaps that changes the seed song to which Apple applies it's random algorithm.
    I've been using this method for a week now and am happy to report that it Makes Shuffle Great Again. In many hours of listening to several playlists I have not yet heard the same song twice.

    @pm-r - Nor have I heard a single song from either Bob Dylan or Diana Krall.

  14. #14
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    Rod's Avatar
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    What! Obviously you're not doing it right then.


    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums
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  15. #15
    Music on iPhone: Why is Shuffle Not Very Random?
    badshoehabit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    And probably a bit of relief that you can skip some of the Bob Dylan and Diana Krall repeats. That would sure be a relief for me, especially if they never played.



    - Patrick
    ======
    Oi, I am a Girl from the North Country!
    Sue

    If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.

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