Music Play Randomization In iTunes

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iTunes has always been the consistently most unreliable software from Apple. Ever since acquiring SoundJam and releasing it as iTunes on January 9th, 2001, Apple has been constantly rebuilding this behemoth, with very mixed results. Earlier on up till perhaps version 6, iTunes had significant issues playing music without stutter, which in itself is possibly the biggest show stopper for any music player. Then, there was the disaster with the PC version preventing booting altogether, in an act of suicide, worthy of Darwin Awards.

I have never loved this piece of software, and more than occasionally, I hated it. One of the things that drove me crazy is the fact that Apple was randomly changing the user interface without any tangible benefit. Skeuomorphs with brushed aluminum look etc. came and went, along with many hide-and-seek user interface features that continuously confused and frustrated us, users.

Listening to music in iTunes has always been problematic as well. In the most recent versions of the software, if you have music videos in there, it became exceeding difficult to turn-off the video part to listen to the music.

One of the things that annoyed me as  well as a host of people out there, is the randomization of the tunes. Recently, I made a little unscientific experiment. I have a playlist with thousands of songs that have 4 or 5 stars. For a period of several weeks, I tried to listen to this playlist using randomization. Despite having many 4 or 5 star songs in there that have not been listened to more than once or twice, iTunes consistently favored a very small subset of songs time and again. To the point that it gets real tiring.

Then, I pulled out my old 60 Gig 5th generation iPod from the bottom of some drawer, synced all of the music, and started listening to the very same playlist with this old iPod. It started by playing songs that I have not heard, and has been going at it ever since.

Sad, isn’t it?

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