You Call That Shuffle?



You Call That Shuffle?



Apple doesn't understand the meaning of Shuffle.


One of the most misunderstood features of all music players is the concept of "Random" vs "Shuffle". To many people, they are interchangeable, but there's a big difference between the two, especially when it's done right.

The core idea behind "Shuffle" is to play your songs in a random order, so the order itself is a surprise to you. Sounds simple enough. You hit Shuffle, and the music player definitely picks a song at random, so what can be wrong with that? As it turns out, quite a bit.

Here's the problem. If you have 100 different songs, and you decide to shuffle them, you should hear each and every song exactly once, before any song repeats, but that's not what happens, because more often than not, you'll hear some songs multiple times, before you hear others even once. To me, that's random, not shuffle.

The key point here is "Shuffle" should be like a deck of cards. If you shuffle the deck, you change the order. As you continue to draw cards, you will never repeat a card.

Unfortunately, what Apple does is similar to drawing cards from a shuffled deck, then placing the card back into the deck. Sooner or later it will repeat a card.

Technically, if you start playing music without stopping, Apple maintains a "Shuffle", but when you stop, it re-shuffles the list. This means that if you start playing music when you leave your house, then stop for a few minutes to go a store, when you start again, there's a good chance you'll hear the same songs you heard only a few minutes before.

, Founder

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