My iPod’s Shuffle Sucks

My iPod (an old model by now) has a crappy randomizer.

It’s an iPod Shuffle, which is basically ONLY a randomizer.

It doesn’t just favor certain songs – it LOVES certain bands – and cycles through them over and over until it gets to one song from a band not in its favor. In fact, one time I heard the same 10-song thread repeated twice in the same order (I checked. It was still on shuffle).

I love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

But my iPod loves them more than anything. My iPod cannot function unless it plays a YYY’s song once every five tunes. This has forced me into a situation where I am regularly compelled to skip past these tunes (“I Know,” “Mysteries,” “Turn Into,” “Rockers to Swallow” and “Date with the Night” are the biggest culprits (and I love them and would suggest these tunes to anybody ready to rock or willing to check out this exceptional three-piece band)).

Delete them, fool!, you must reasonably be bellowing. But why should I let this tiny computer tell me what to do? I want them on my damn iPod! I’d just rather they be played at rate that doesn't make me want to sit Karen O. down and brew her some tea so she'll stop yelling.

I realize that “normal randomness” is something insane to wish for. Of course, if pure randomness was what we were really dealing with the little gizmo may well play the same song over and over 100 times in a row because the odds would be the same for every song every time. But that’s equivalent to saying that the Illinois Lottery might come up with the same six numbers two drawings in a row – you can probably bet against it.

I’m rambling. Needless to say – there is some sort of equation involved in this “randomizing.”

My roommate and I were complaining about Winamp’s crappy randomizer in college exactly a decade ago. With the rapid advances in technology since then, why haven’t we solved this particular equation?

This article ( talks about iTunes (probably the more modern ones) and how the shuffle mode is like a deck of cards that is re-shuffled every time you play it. It does, however, include every song in its new playlist (my Mac’s iTunes is like this) and play each one through until the list is done. But my iPod must work differently, because I constantly hear the same songs three times during a single session without listening to every song I've uploaded.

My iPod only has about a gig’s worth of songs (a couple hundred?) so this is bound to happen, but it happens all the time and over and over with the same damn songs and the same damn bands (it is also enamored with my two Cake songs).

This randomizer is more like a crappy dormitory clothes dryer: after 60 minutes much of it will be bone dry, some a little damp and one unlucky stock still winds up crumpled and wet.

If somebody can get their computer guy on this, I will surely purchase the final product. When I have money.

I’ll post a Yeah Yeah Yeah’s video above to accompany these words. Rock on, friends.



Leave a comment
  • It doesn't get any better. I have over 3000 songs on my ipod and the randomizer still plays the same stuff over and over. There are songs on there I forgot I even had.

  • In reply to lila8517:

    ...Although sometimes it's nice to forget about a song, then hear it and be like "WHOA. RIGHT?!" Haha... You gotta hear it first, though.

  • It’s been a pleasure reading this story. It’s hard to find great articles to read today so it’s nice to find good content to read. Thank you!
    Webmaster of Waste King 8000

  • In reply to mschwartz:

    Thanks, mschwartz... I've got no shortage of music rants, thoughts and opinions. i'm sure you get it, as your website looks pretty... hardcore! Rock on.

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