Polka Party: Long Cool Woman in a Red Barchetta

KJToonz is loving “Weird Al” Yankovic, The Hollies and Rush this afternoon. In the last couple of hours I’ve heard at least three songs from each in the shuffle.

EDIT (5:47pm) – Another Weird Al song, Addicted to Spuds, just started. Two thousand songs on this thing and it’s playing a Weird Al marathon.

8 thoughts on “Polka Party: Long Cool Woman in a Red Barchetta”

  1. This is not an isolated incident. Others have claimed their iPods become fixated on certain artists. Mr Jobs and Apple deny any culpability.

    We all know that it is a left over part of the”Illuminati” mind-control experiments, just discovering where the programming is on your particular silicone chip will be the challenge.

    ‘Weird Al’, wasn’t he some kind of Grand Visage among the Masons?

    Hmmm, be afraid, be very afraid. Your electronica is not your own.

    All your base are belong to us!

  2. It may also be that we don’t have realistic expectations when it comes to making things “random.” I think that most people, given a randomized list of songs from a hundred or so albums, would expect that the tracks from any given album would be distributed more-or-less evenly throughout the list.

    If this happened, of course, it would imply an underlying order to the randomness, especially if it happened consistently each time the list was randomized.

    Rather than perceiving a pattern when two (or more) songs by the same artist happen to be proximate on the list, perhaps we should see it as a sign that said list really is random.

  3. I want to have a random-play option that doesn’t allow repeats. I have a 3-disc CD player that likes to cycle between the same group of songs on two of the three CD’s. What up with dat?

    ‘Course, if I hear a song on the radio that I don’t like, I just reach over and punch a button, and…voila! A different song! (Or, as my luck would have it, an ad.)

    Then again, it is such a BURDEN to reach down and hit the ‘skip’ or ‘FF’ button on those electronic doo-dads, isn’t it?

  4. The “shuffle songs” option on the iPod doesn’t allow repeats. It takes every track in the current playlist (which, for me, is every single music track) and puts ’em in a random order. As the songs are playing, each song’s position on the list is displayed in the upper left. Right now, Requiem from the soundtrack to Akira is playing, and it is song “280 of 1946.”

    I just found about a dozen CDs that had been hiding from me for the past few months and I’m going to rip them all soon. Plus, I probably skipped over 10-15% of my CDs during my initial ripping frenzy, so I need to go back and add them, too. I suspect that the total number of songs will be approaching 2,500 when I’m finished. We shall see.

  5. What is used by a digital device to create ‘random’, anyway?

    If an algorithm is used, (that is, a formula) how can we tell with any certainty that it is random, when it is not truly based on randomness.

    Machines in general are not designed to be random, but to perform specific tasks with a desired range of outcomes based on a limited variable input.

    Non-repeating random is at best a stripped down version of itself. Random with rules, if you must.

  6. Well, you’ve got two different scenarios. (Potentially) Repeating random says, “Here’s a set of songs. Pick one at random and play it. When the song has concluded, make another random selection from the same set.” With non-repeating random, it’s handled like this: “Here’s a set of songs. Pick one at random and put it on the stack. From the remaining songs, pick another at random and put it on the stack. Repeat until all songs have been added to the stack. Now play the stack.”

    In digital devices, “random” is generally achieved by applying an algorithm that includes a “seed” number. Given a static seed number and a static set of values, you could expect that multiple repeating iterations of random numbers generated from the same seed and value set would be identical (e.g. if you’re building a list of four items by picking a random number from 1 – 10, you could expect that each list using the same seed would be identical). By making the seed number a variable (such as a timestamp, for example), you can achieve something that at least has a more convincing appearance of randomness.

  7. So in the long haul it is the appearance of randomness from the remaining stack which placates the masses.

    Do you leave your iPod on random, or do you have different groupings automatically/manually set up for special occasions? (Do you prefer to leave your music to the machine, or do you match the music to your mood?)

    For instance: Billy Idol’s “Whiplash Smile” and Springsteen’s “Badlands” are good driving albums. Especially during the morning commute when the radio is lacking. Nora Jones’ albums are better as dinner music.

    I guess I wouldn’t want to leave that big a collection to sheer chance.

  8. Depends on my mood. Lately, I’ve been content to let the randomizer do its thing and I just skip any song I don’t feel like listening to.

    I can set up playlists, but I’ve been too lazy to do so.

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