Shuffle play, plus the SDA

Anyone who knows my CD comps knows I have really broad tastes, and love nothing better than to juxtapose, say, DMX with French chanson. So it should be no surprise that my iTunes and iPod are usually in perpetual shuffle play. One reason is that my two favorite radio shows growing up were living shuffle plays: Space Pirate Radio in SB and John Peel’s show on Radio One in the UK.
The other reason is that juxtaposition is a way of hearing things differently and sometimes “new” even when they are old. Today I listening to the opening section of The Fall’s “Hip Priest” right after The Beatles “Eight Days a Week” and believed I heard the same drums. Does that make The Fall more Beatlish or The Beatles mroe Fall-ish? Or was I hearing something new for 30 seconds before the memory kicks in?
Also, and I’d like to hear feedback on this, I think there is a secret shuffle play algorithm installed in both ‘Pod and ‘Tunes. I call it:
THE STEELY DAN ALGORITHM
My iTunes holds 100GB of songs, that’s 30,000 songs so far. There are at most 50 Steely Dan songs in there. My iPod holds about 5,000 songs, of which maybe 20 are Steely Dan (A Decade Of, and bits of Aja and Can’t Buy a Thrill).
Yet every day I get at least one Steely Dan song come up in shuffle. Why is this? The odds are incredible. So I’m thinking that one of the programmers of the shuffle play code has a line in there about Steely Dan. IF “Peg” then PLAY. Or whatever code looks like.
Anybody else have this problem?

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I too am profoundly fond of shuffle, and find that is the only mode I listen to. Most people are disturbed when the Dead Kennedys are followed by Toots and Maytals, who are then followed by Slayer.
    I think it makes for a zesty day.
    As for the algorithm: if somebody wants to hear an album, afterwhich I go back to shuffle, it’ll play the same “popular” songs again, regardless of the 3,600 songs it could choose from.
    Somehow the songs are almost invariably the so-called singles from any given album.
    The next test is to figure out the randomness. … yeah.

  2. a – it makes them both… English. The drums, exhibting that classic velar nasal sound, sure to set one’s foot a’tapping.
    b –
    A Dan a day
    in shuffle play,
    makes me feel grouchy,
    like fagen, some say.

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