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People are anthropomorphizing their iPods, particularly in

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 26, 2004

People are anthropomorphizing their iPods, particularly in relation to the shuffle function. “…her device had a penchant for picking songs containing four minutes of dead air followed by a bonus track”.

Reader comments

szgAug 26, 2004 at 2:47PM

It’s funny, I’ve often wondered how random the ipod selections truly were. I have set up a smart playlist
to randomly select 3 star songs not played in the last 3 days for 60 minutes. I have found it selects songs
from The Streets first album more often than other songs.

AdamAug 26, 2004 at 3:03PM

The Apple spokesguy in this piece is either being disingenuous, or he doesn’t actually own an iPod. Mine shuffles FAR from randomly - else why does the Yardbirds’ “Evil-Hearted You” play within the first thirty tracks every time I turn the thing on.

It’s one lonely track out of 2,721. I haven’t heard the Young Marble Giants’ “Final Day” (or “Television, The Drug Of A Nation” or “Citadel” or “I Am Kurious (Oranj)”) in weeks, if not months. What gives?

BernieAug 26, 2004 at 4:54PM

lately, i have just had mine on shuffle and letting it play through the entire library, and have had no problems with to omany repeats.

if the default random isn’t random enough, you can make it more random. SZG, why don’t you set the ‘Last Played’ time from 3 to 30 days? you can also use the play count and selected by “least often played” variables too.

I also have a special playlist for unplayed (playcount = 0).

justinAug 26, 2004 at 5:05PM

man, i need an ipod. anyone want to sign up for an offer under my account on freeipods.com? hehe.

yes, i know. that’s cheap. check my blog if you’re a nice person. i had no idea that you could set up playlists like that so customizble. the more i learn about ipod, the more i have to have it.

L.N. HammerAug 26, 2004 at 6:15PM

“It was totally not reading my moods,” she said.

I should hope not.

—-L.

Kip IngramAug 26, 2004 at 11:28PM

I’m with Justin; the ipod sounds just wonderful.

mrrheadAug 27, 2004 at 5:07AM

Maybe somehow related combined with selective perception??

szgAug 27, 2004 at 10:51AM

Bernie, setting the playlist to 30 days could solve the problem, but it doesn’t help explain my ipod’s prediliction for The Streets.

sixtoeAug 27, 2004 at 11:13AM

This is the “my TiVo thinks I’m gay” of 2004.





BobbyAug 27, 2004 at 5:27PM

They’ve officially run out of stuff to write about.

nurbleAug 27, 2004 at 9:37PM

There’s something more than just random selection going on. Despite having upwards of 1000 songs, my iPod insists on playing one of the two Bjork songs I have on it each time I turn it on. And one time, it played a series of songs from different artists with the word “water” in the title, one after the other.

nedAug 28, 2004 at 12:12AM

My iPod’s shuffle is so not random. This one time, at band camp, it played Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and then Fatboy Slim’s “Michael Jackson” immediately thereafter!

ErinAug 29, 2004 at 10:48PM

I like the word “anthropomorphizing,” but a friend has told me that I “technopomorphize” because I name and talk to computers, printers, etc. Let’s add another 21st-century word-bastardization to the lexicon, eh?

Also—I don’t have an iPod, but my iTunes shuffle seems rather fond of Modest Mouse and the soundtrack to Kill Bill Vol. 2 lately. I get at least one or two songs from each every hour or so. Must be the same iShuffle Technology.

CamiloAug 31, 2004 at 9:24AM

This is part of the brain functions that detect patterns and assign meaning to events, I am sure. Yet to see evidence of the Cargo Cult in NYT still surprises me.

Jason WallAug 31, 2004 at 1:56PM

This reminds me of “A Beautiful Mind”…

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.