An exhausting technique

The work box currently contains 3349 songs in iTunes; I have an auto-generated playlist called “Randomator” which is not actually random. It is set to pull, and then shuffle, according to the following criteria:

  • 220 songs at a time
  • not played in the last 23 days
  • play count less than 10
  • do not pull classical or podcast items
  • do not pull Tubular Bells

As the play counts increase, sooner or later I’m going to run out of songs with suitable play counts. As an experiment, today I kicked the playlist up to 300 to see what would happen when I did. Answer: nothing memorable. The available tracks dropped to 299, then to 298, and so forth.

Some time before tomorrow I’m going to have to either allow the 10-count songs or back off to a 22-day interval. I think more likely the latter.


  1. Terry Hull »

    6 August 2008 · 10:09 am

    Well, if Tubular Bells is excluded, then Randomator sure wouldn’t work for me. As Bruce Dickinson said, “I gotta have more tubular bell!”

  2. McGehee »

    6 August 2008 · 10:16 am

    Mostly OT: on some posts, very occasionally, Firefox throws me an “unsupported compression” error (I think that’s a direct quote, if not it’s a workable paraphrase). If I download the page, open it locally, and then come back and try to open the post on your site, then it works.

    I’m curious if anyone else has been getting this; my installation of FF3.0.1 seems to be less stable than most so it may be my system that’s at fault rather than my browser.

    I say “mostly” OT because this was one of the posts I had to download.

    Now, on topic: I’ve been wishing the MP3 player I use in my truck could be set to do sort of like “Randomator.” Does it work, do you know, on an iPod?

  3. Jessika »

    6 August 2008 · 10:32 am

    The Tubular Bells rule is curious to me. If you don’t want to hear it…they why have it in your library? Although in my mind, it’s the Book of Love version, which I love.

  4. CGHill »

    6 August 2008 · 11:25 am

    I think it’s because when I hear it, I want to hear it as a unit, rather than have two individual tracks (“Side 1” and “Side 2”) show up randomly. This makes little sense, since there are tracks just about as long in rotation, including “Autobahn” and “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” If I ever get around to rip Thick as a Brick, I’ll probably do the same with it.

    Trini says this ought to work on an iPod, but she doesn’t have one with her today. It seems to us that any Smart Playlist can be synced onto the iPod and will function there in the same way.

  5. CGHill »

    7 August 2008 · 8:58 am

    Well, originally there weren’t enough tracks to last X number of days, where X > 20.

    More to the point, as the songs with 10 plays were eased out of the rotation, they accumulated: there are now a bunch of tracks which haven’t been heard since April or May, and I don’t want them all to hit at once.

    I will, however, see what Doug has to offer.

  6. Jeff »

    7 August 2008 · 8:43 am

    I’m going to assume, based on your obvious intellectual prowess and curious nature, that you’re aware you can simply set a criteria of “Least recently played” and nix the whole last-x-number-of-days approach.

    You all might want to check out for way more iTunes funkterrifica™ than you’d ever imagine exists.

  7. Jeff »

    7 August 2008 · 5:47 pm

    Make that One S there.

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