December 18, 2003

Many Songs, Played At Random, Part III

Another benefit of section b of my previous post about my iTunes random cd burning saga is that I can create another smart playlist that contains all the tracks that I have already burned. This, in turn, allows me to do a little analysis of iTunes randomization. It seemed to me that there was way too much They Might Be Giants on the cds I burned. So I thought I would see if iTunes was including more TMBG than was statistically probable.

I had burned a total of 512 tracks. 62 of these were TMBG.

62/512 = 11.92%

I had to make a new smart playlist to include all of the tracks I was considering candidates to be included in the random cd. (see section a of Part II). There were 1482 tracks. (My collection is not as large as some people's.) Of these 1482, 165 are TMBG.

165 /1482 = 11.13%

So, as you see, ITunes was not selecting TMBG tracks a disproportionate amount of times.

I also thought I would do another analysis, this time using minutes instead of number of tracks. I had burned 1849 minutes out of 5398 minutes. I had burned 112 minutes of TMBG out of a total of 311 minutes of TMBG.

112/1849 = 6.05%

311/5398 = 5.07%

A disparity - but since iTunes is picking tracks at random, not minutes, I am not sure if this means anything.

It also seemed like I was hearing too much Kool Keith. So I ran the numbers:

7/512 = 1.37%

17/1482 = 1.15%

25/1849 = 1.35%

68/5398 = 0.15%

It also seemed like I wasn't hearing that much Beatles. So I ran the numbers:

28/512 = 5.47%

69/1482 = 4.66%

83/1849 = 4.49%

200/5398 = 3.70%

hmmm, what does all this mean? I think it means I need to work on growing my music library.

Posted by brad at December 18, 2003 10:09 AM

i suggest the impossible... find an internet feed for a radio station which plays a variety of musics.. sample their archives..key in on like minded shows... begin exploring and taking note of songs of interest via acu-playlists.. outside of using some file sharing agent..this is my favorite way to stumble upon new musics..which is my favorite way to find new musics... i also feel this is a good way to find tracks for eventual inclusion in mix cds... as you will be hearing them in an environment similiar to that on a mix cd.. was this response called for? .. i am suddenly uncertain.. wfmu has a plethora of archives.. you know others who would know more..

Posted by: luther at January 5, 2004 03:52 PM

wfmu. i listen to them sometimes. but never think of listening to them at times when I could probably go for listening to them.

Posted by: Brad at January 5, 2004 04:20 PM

thats... funny... luther... i... like... using... lots... of... elipses...

Posted by: at November 3, 2004 02:47 AM

they might be giants? kool keith? hey you listen to good music!

On topic: you are correct, random while not perfect _is_ random. Everyone i know that has an ipod (around eight) including myself have all wondered at one time or another if it is but its nothing more than the miracle of the human brain at work. You are trianed to look for and find patterns in everything - and running into one truly random thing on a daily basis is frustrating, patterns will emerge even where there are none.

Posted by: Jonathan at November 3, 2004 02:53 PM

Where can I find someone to email?

Posted by: Jim E Tayler at November 3, 2004 05:19 PM