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View Full Version : Random Mix doesn't seem very Random



paulwinnan
2008-12-22, 10:48
Hi - can anyone help me...

I am using squeeze box version 3
SqueezeCenter Version: 7.2.1 - 23630 @ Tue Oct 21 07:44:57 PDT 2008 - Windows XP - EN - cp1252

And I like the idea of just randomly getting hit with different tracks from my collection 800 artists - 3000+ tracks and 300 albums. But it seems that whatever form of "Random Mix" I choose it plays the same sort of stuff over and again, so I hear loads of Mary Black, Enya and World music - but it never seems to choose the rock stuff!!

It doesn't seem to be genres as they are all ticked...

Paul

FredFredrickson
2008-12-22, 11:09
This is a classic problem that plagues ALL random mixes. (mp3 players, winamp, everything ever!)

I have the same problem. With thousands of tracks, it seems to favor 1 or 2 artists.

I've only seen one program do it right- SAM broadcaster. Allows you to setup playlist rules, such as:

Don't play from same artist within 2 hours.
Don't play from same album within 3 hours.
Don't play same song within 24 hours.
Randomize();

That was a decent sounding mix, that would work for a radio station.

Oh here's the catch. It's for radiostations.

Cough
2008-12-22, 11:48
I also have issues with the random mix. And SC is worse than any other MP3 player/Ipod etc that I have ever seen. I have had occasion where it plays 3 tracks off the same album within a run of 10 "random" songs (and yes I do have several albums ;)). And it has done this on various artist albums too. Like OP this is not a tagging issue AFAIK, so just seems to be an issue with the randomizing logic in SC??

SJobson
2008-12-22, 12:51
I've not had this problem, and I use random quite a lot. Odd. I've only turned off a few genres in the Random screen (podcast, Classical, Christmas) so it's selecting from most of my library. Is that the case for those having problems?

peter
2008-12-22, 13:59
SJobson wrote:
> I've not had this problem, and I use random quite a lot. Odd. I've
> only turned off a few genres in the Random screen (podcast, Classical,
> Christmas) so it's selecting from most of my library. Is that the case
> for those having problems?

It's a well known fact (tm) that real random doesn't seem random enough
for many people. The casino's are full of them. In my case my SB can
read my mind and often plays eerily relevant tracks. The iRiver in my
car is jinxed similarly.

Still, I accept the point that some form of enhanced random algorithm
would feel better to our irrational selves. And who'd want to hear three
Ramones tracks in a row anyway?

Regards,
Peter

jeffmeh
2008-12-22, 19:34
SJobson wrote:
> I've not had this problem, and I use random quite a lot. Odd. I've
> only turned off a few genres in the Random screen (podcast, Classical,
> Christmas) so it's selecting from most of my library. Is that the case
> for those having problems?

It's a well known fact (tm) that real random doesn't seem random enough
for many people. The casino's are full of them. In my case my SB can
read my mind and often plays eerily relevant tracks. The iRiver in my
car is jinxed similarly.

Still, I accept the point that some form of enhanced random algorithm
would feel better to our irrational selves. And who'd want to hear three
Ramones tracks in a row anyway?

Regards,
Peter

Yes, human beings tend to find true randomness to be counter-intuitive. See the birthday paradox.

JadeMonkee
2008-12-22, 22:54
SJobson wrote:
> I've not had this problem, and I use random quite a lot. Odd. I've
> only turned off a few genres in the Random screen (podcast, Classical,
> Christmas) so it's selecting from most of my library. Is that the case
> for those having problems?

It's a well known fact (tm) that real random doesn't seem random enough
for many people. The casino's are full of them. In my case my SB can
read my mind and often plays eerily relevant tracks. The iRiver in my
car is jinxed similarly.

Still, I accept the point that some form of enhanced random algorithm
would feel better to our irrational selves. And who'd want to hear three
Ramones tracks in a row anyway?

Regards,
Peter

Well put.
I would like a less-than-random random mix. Those rules posted above seem like a good idea.
Should this be a feature enhancement? Random rules?

Goodsounds
2008-12-22, 23:28
You might like Music IP Mixer. I think of it as managed random (my term). You pick a song in your collection to "seed" a playlist, it then follows your (changeable) preferences to populate the list with other songs either most like or most unlike the seed, or degrees of same or different-ness that you choose in advance. You can edit the playlist - delete song, delete artist, more like this, less like this, etc., before you finalize it.

When first installed, it can take a long time (like hours or days) to do the first analysis of your collection. After that, additions are processed quickly.

I use it to create playlists when I'm turning on music without something specific in mind. I find it does a great job of reaching into the far corners of my collection, to prevent me from forgetting things that I have. There is a way to integrate this with SC - it's something I haven't cared enough about to futz with. I just have it set up to use the same folder for playlists as SC, so then a quick playlist rescan and I'm ready to go.

If you read around, it is apparently possible to incorporate personal song ratings and/or play frequency with this or perhaps some other programs/plugins. Personally, I can't be bothered, but perhaps that might also may help you do what you want.

JadeMonkee
2008-12-22, 23:33
You might like Music IP Mixer. I think of it as managed random (my term). You pick a song in your collection to "seed" a playlist, it then follows your (changeable) preferences to populate the list with other songs either most like or most unlike the seed, or degrees of same or different-ness that you choose in advance. You can edit the playlist - delete song, delete artist, more like this, less like this, etc., before you finalize it.

When first installed, it can take a long time (like hours or days) to do the first analysis of your collection. After that, additions are processed quickly.

I use it to create playlists when I'm turning on music without something specific in mind. I find it does a great job of reaching into the far corners of my collection, to prevent me from forgetting things that I have. There is a way to integrate this with SC - it's something I haven't cared enough about to futz with. I just have it set up to use the same folder for playlists as SC, so then a quick playlist rescan and I'm ready to go.

If you read around, it is apparently possible to incorporate personal song ratings and/or play frequency with this or perhaps some other programs/plugins. Personally, I can't be bothered, but perhaps that might also may help you do what you want.

I've considered MusicIP before, but the problem is that I'm running my SC on a ReadyNAS Duo, and I don't think there is enough CPU power for the initial scan; especially as I have ~12000 songs.

paulwinnan
2008-12-23, 02:31
Seems to confirm my worries / thoughts - I really was hoping for random rather than themed playlists, but will play with some of these ideas - thanks everyone for your contributions.

How does the squeezebox community request product enhancements as proposed above..?

paulwinnan
2008-12-23, 04:26
What do the different random mixes actually achieve - e.g. Random SOng Mix vs Random Artist mix?

MeSue
2008-12-23, 07:33
I've considered MusicIP before, but the problem is that I'm running my SC on a ReadyNAS Duo, and I don't think there is enough CPU power for the initial scan; especially as I have ~12000 songs.

You could still run MusicIP on another computer and point it to the same music files that are on your NAS. Then either archive analysis in tags or not. Either way, you can still create the playlists in the desktop app and save them out to your NAS just as Goodsounds described.

When I first installed MIP on my server, it felt like it was going to take weeks to finish the analysis. So then I installed MIP on my quad-core desktop, pointed it to the same files and it was done the next morning--17,000+ tracks. Now when I add music, I still do the analysis on my desktop, archive the analysis, and then add the songs to the headless MIP instance running on my server.

Philip Meyer
2008-12-23, 07:55
>Don't play from same artist within 2 hours.
>Don't play from same album within 3 hours.
>Don't play same song within 24 hours.
>Randomize();
>
This is possible in SqueezeCenter, using Erland's CustomSkip plugin.

JadeMonkee
2008-12-23, 16:20
Seems to confirm my worries / thoughts - I really was hoping for random rather than themed playlists, but will play with some of these ideas - thanks everyone for your contributions.

How does the squeezebox community request product enhancements as proposed above..?

But it *is* random.
It's your concept of random that is the problem.

Cough
2008-12-23, 17:24
>Don't play from same artist within 2 hours.
>Don't play from same album within 3 hours.
>Don't play same song within 24 hours.
>Randomize();
>
This is possible in SqueezeCenter, using Erland's CustomSkip plugin.

So why couldnt this be in SC directly instead of using a plugin??

erland
2008-12-23, 22:21
So why couldnt this be in SC directly instead of using a plugin??

Because it would make standard SqueezeCenter more complex to use for people that don't need this functionality and it would make it more expensive to support these users for Logitech. The concept is that functionality that is needed by most users are included by default and functionality that isn't needed by most users are provided as plugins.

In SqueezeCenter 7.3 installing a plugin is just a matter of entering the plugin repository url in the Extension Downloader settings page, checking a checkbox beside the plugin and restarting SqueezeCenter.

The available plugin repositories are listed on this page:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/SqueezeCenter_Repositories

JadeMonkee
2008-12-28, 17:47
You could still run MusicIP on another computer and point it to the same music files that are on your NAS. Then either archive analysis in tags or not. Either way, you can still create the playlists in the desktop app and save them out to your NAS just as Goodsounds described.

When I first installed MIP on my server, it felt like it was going to take weeks to finish the analysis. So then I installed MIP on my quad-core desktop, pointed it to the same files and it was done the next morning--17,000+ tracks. Now when I add music, I still do the analysis on my desktop, archive the analysis, and then add the songs to the headless MIP instance running on my server.

This sounds like a good idea.
I'm going to upgrade to a Core i7 in Feb, so will look into how to do this then. Thanks for the tip.

OppfinnarJocke
2008-12-29, 08:35
And who'd want to hear three
Ramones tracks in a row anyway?


Me! :-)
And not only three, they come in batches of 14 on an LP, great!!

And Happy New Year