How does it feel? You won the war

My four-year-old four-gigabyte MP3 Walkman is getting a nearly-daily workout as the sound source in the car, thanks to a gizmo that slips into the Bose head unit’s tape drive.

Generally, I have 700-750 tracks stuffed into the little cuttlefish, and during an average month I’ll probably scissor out twenty of them and replace them with songs I haven’t heard so damned often. This can be done with good old Windows Explorer, by popping open the OMGAUDIO folder, but Sony does its best to obfuscate matters, so I’ve learned to deal with SonicStage, which has all the irritations of iTunes without any of the benefits. (Next time, screw it, I’m getting an iPod.)

And every time a SonicStage session was completed, regardless of the shuffle setting, the first track upon resuming use has always been the same: “Waterloo” by ABBA. I don’t object to this too strenuously, since this is a longtime favorite (it’s even the perfect length!), but last night, I toyed with the idea of deleting it anyway, and seeing if the new default first track was what I expected, which would be “The Boy from New York City” by the Ad Libs, second in the artist listing since I cycled Ace’s “How Long” out of the rotation.

Instead, I pasted in an ABBA album track — “Gonna Sing You My Lovesong,” from the Waterloo LP — and waited. G comes before W, right?

Nope. I pulled the USB cord, hit the button, and up came “Waterloo.”

Next time maybe I will delete the damn song.


  1. robohara »

    1 April 2011 · 2:59 pm

    Back in my PIP (pre-iPod) days, my old mp3 player was so cheap (“how cheap was it?”) that it didn’t support random file shuffling. My solution was to write a program in VB that (a) imported a list of all the mp3s on my computer, and then (b) copied them to my mp3 player, randomly re-naming them on the fly. Sure, I ended up with files named d4jyplc2.mp3 and fkau8lwn.mp3, but at least they played in random order!

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …

  2. McGehee »

    1 April 2011 · 3:03 pm

    If you do get an iPod, avoid the Touch unless you plan on ending up with Verizon or the Borg Sphere.

    I gave my Touch to my MIL, who has been with AT&T as long as I have (though she was with Cingular before me) and I’ll be very surprised if she isn’t assimilated to the iPhone by year’s end.

    Other ‘Pods are enough different from the Borgphone that you might be saved.

  3. saucy britches »

    2 April 2011 · 11:20 am

    OH MY GOD. I have this exact same problem. EXACT. I used to have a playlist with just white noise that I would plug into a portable stereo for Elise when we traveled. One night I had finally rocked her to sleep and I reached over to turn on the white noise playlist, and SOMEHOW I hit the random shuffle button and BAM — WATERLOO, full tilt. I finally got her back to sleep and vowed to delete that infernal song, but my iPod has stopped allowing me to sync to iTunes — crashes it everytime. I think the electronics are plotting for world takeover, and their soundtrack? WATERLOO.

  4. CGHill »

    2 April 2011 · 11:37 am

    We’ve been lulled into submission by those “pacifist, nonpolitical” Swedes.

  5. CGHill »

    4 April 2011 · 5:30 pm

    Okay, I think I’ve figured this out. I did a semi-hard reset on Player Settings, and when I reconnected to SonicStage, the sort reverted to By Album, and alphabetically, the first album represented, Sony being nowhere as spiffy with these things as Apple, bore the title A Gathering of Promises.

    So the first song out of the player was the infamous Bubble Puppy psych hit “Hot Smoke and Sasafrass” [sic]. Not the greatest song ever recorded, but hey, at least it wasn’t ABBA.

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