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OT: appropriateness of "random" for playlist generation (was: random doe

From: Jeremiah Dodds
Subject: OT: appropriateness of "random" for playlist generation (was: random doesn't feel very random)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 08:45:43 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.2.50 (gnu/linux)

Ivan Kanis <address@hidden> writes:

> I am using random for generating music play list. I have found that it
> is not random enough. It keeps playing the same tracks.
> I have even wrote a cache of recently played tracks so that it tries
> harder. Obviously it's a band aid.
> Yes I am just talking about "feeling" here. I don't know how to prove
> that random does not work. Is it even possible?
> On a side note are we using /dev/random?

FWIW, I've never found even "good" random algorithms to be good for the
purposes of playing music, especially when your collection is large. 

I like to listen to albums as a whole, and in particular I'd like to
listen to random albums that I haven't heard before, if any are
present. A lot of times, this can end up with you hearing multiple
artists in a row.

I actually went so far as to write my own little mp3 player that uses
an algorithm that can be summed up as "play me a random album from a
random artist that was not the last artist played", which sounds a lot
more "random" to my ears, but is technically much more stable.

Jeremiah Dodds

blog       : http://jdodds.github.com
github     : https://github.com/jdodds
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