Blog Life

iPod with a mind of its own?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I finally got my iPod fixed, and since we’re waiting for the shipment from Ireland to arrive (could be tomorrow), it’s been my main source of music (I’d fortunately backed up quite a few albums on my machine and Buendia’s).

We had friends visiting over the weekend, so during dinner and barbecues, I’d set it up to play randomly and output through the stereo. Sounds like a nice idea, but all too often the mood was destroyed by the appearance of a Nik Kershaw song (or other 80s classic) I’d archived on the iPod when I got rid of the tapes.

It seems I’m not alone in thinking that the iPod’s shuffle command is actually less than random.

An article in yesterday’s New York Times (free reg. required) talks to folks with all sort of theories about the cunning selection process the ‘pod goes through when choosing the next track.

From a cyclist who reckons his machine ‘knows somehow when I am reaching the end of my reserves, when my motivation is flagging,’ and drops in a killer tune, to the woman who reckons ‘her device had a penchant for picking songs containing four minutes of dead air followed by a bonus track’ just to annoy her.

Mad altogether, but I guess you’re bound to start anthropomorphising the little gadgets you spend your time with.

Posted by David in • Life