Thursday, May 29, 2008

Random Thoughts on iTunes Randomization and Wifi

I was training using my iPhone as my iPod today, and my love of free wifi bit me in the behind. At my turn-around point, I did a slow arc in the parking lot of a firehouse. The music- Evanescence, dipped in volume and I heard a bing that I associate with my email. At least, I thought it was my email, but I didn't know that email reception would lower the music volume. I rode for about 15 minutes, but since part of the reason I carry the iPhone is in case there is an emergency, and I really don't get many other calls, I stopped.

I'd snagged the free wifi and my email. To my credit I didn't check it.

There's been a lot written about the randomness, or lack of randomness, of iTunes in general and iPods in particular.
1) Random is actually quasi-random, because to generate randomness, you need to use a seed, which in turn, well, what you get is not 'true' randomness. However, the title of the blog is not: This Blog is About Math
2) for all intensive purposes, the iPod is random. However, the human brain hates chaos, and will always try to assign order to random results

So when your iPod seems to hate you, or love you, or whatever, that's you, not it. It's a soulless object and it doesn't like Snow Patrol more than Air Supply- although it should.

I've recently added Air Traffic's Fractured Life to my collection, and proving I have no future as a music critic, I'd describe them as a club band who doesn't want to give up that club band sound even though they've recorded a major label album. And nothing's wrong with that, but as they sound like sort of like Coldplay doing club songs, well, I have plenty of Coldplay.

However, since I added this to my collection, the songs seem to play all the time- at least six in three and a half hours today. When you're in that last hour of your ride and you're trying to hold 20 mph climbing hills, in the wind, I'd rather have angry angst. Give me Staind, which the iPod did, after Air Traffic.

The bottom line- you do control your music. Rate it in iTunes (1-5 stars), then click on 'play higher rated songs more often.'

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