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Posted on Nov 7, 2008 in Technology | 2 comments

So, let’s have a button that does that…

So, let’s have a button that does that…


As my reader will be aware, whether at home or on the move, I almost always listen to music using random/shuffle mode. I have oft to referred to this herein as the ‘randomiser’. It’s just a natural extension of the mix-tape : that changes each time you put it on. But this has some drawbacks.

I’m going to ignore discussions of how actually un-random this usually is and rather concentrate on new features that I would like the makers of media and MP3 players to add.

Ooh-Ooh Play The Next Track Of That Album

It goes like this. The randomiser plays “I Want the One I Can’t Have” by The Smiths and you know the next track is “What She Said” and you really want to hear that but you know the randomiser is about to play a dull B.52’s album track off Mesopotamia. So, let’s have a button that does that…

Nice, Just Play All That Album Now
But just “What She Said” isn’t enough, you have the taste now and you know it goes “That Joke Isn’t Funny Any More” following by “How Soon Is Now“. What you really want now is just to play the rest of the album. So, let’s have a button that does that…

Oh Yes, Stick With Them
Maybe you’re just in the mood for The Smiths now. Would be good to say “stick with this artist” and play random tracks by them. So, let’s have a button that does that…

Thumbs Up
On the basis that there is no true randomness in any of this then I’d like to be able to tune the selection based on weighted choices. Now, I really could go to town on this algorithm. But maybe that would be giving away some really nice IP for something I’ll never build. Anwyay, this button is fairly obvious, you’re enjoying this track now and perhaps tied to mood, location, time of day it could build up a picture of what you like to listen to when and where. But in its simplest form, it would mean “Play more of them“. So, let’s have a button that does that…

Thumbs Down
As above, but opposite. So, let’s have a button that does that…

Never, ever play that song again
One of the major drawbaks of a random trawl through your entire collection is you will inevitably and frequently alight on tracks that are guff album filler. These should be stricken from the record by being able to say never play that again. So, let’s have a button that does that…

Right then, I’ll give you until next Christmas. Go!

I’m not expecting for much, my last attempt to subliminally influence the direction of technology via an unread blog didn’t really work that well.

2 Comments

  1. “Now, I really could go to town on this algorithm. But maybe that would be giving away some really nice IP for something I’ll never build. Anwyay,”

    Do I really believe that an inability to spell the word ‘anyway’ and an ability to write complex alogrithms go hand in hand?

    Well yes, but only because I’ve met you…

  2. agree to all of these, I think the “play more of these” might be already supported in a fashion within itunes…i think in the shuffle options you can ask it to play tracks that you’ve rated higher more often…but it aint a button….

    It is amazing that despite a decade of “development” software media players are still pretty average at doing the basics…for me foobar2000 is the way to go, does buggar all except play your music and supports all the main file types (ie mp3, flac, m4a etc)

    Scott build us a web page where we can put these “requirements” in a list and hopefully some recently-made-redundant computer trading algorithm genius might build it for us…

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