Friday, 13 April 2012

listening in comfort to automatic iTunes selections

sport buttonI haven't quite worked out why it happens, but every so often when I get into my car and hit the 'Play' button on the music, it reverts to the same sequence of tracks.

The iPod is connected into the car stereo in some mystical way and has thousands of tracks to choose from, yet I get Norah Jones as a sort of default setting.

Maybe its some kind of 'comfort' mode that I haven't properly identified, and to be truthful its pleasant listening and unlikely to offend any accompanying passenger.

It happened again yesterday after I'd dropped off some dry cleaning and as a result I decided to unplug the iPod and reset it, just to see what would happen.

I then pressed the tracks selection and decided to start with 'A' and work through them alphabetically for a few moments. It's quite intriguing to know what, of dozens of years of music, the iPod would decide was first. It turned out to be 'The A Team' by Ed Sheeran, which is quite a recent track - I wonder if they know its probably the first track on many iPods?

I then let it play a selection or two and realised (a) that I have tracks I've not heard in years (b) I might even prune a few out of the iPod.

A couple of the other tracks wouldn't be quite such an obvious 'comfort mode' setting compared with the ones my car seems to prefer. We had one with a non workplace friendly title, then a Vampire Weekend tune, some Babyshambles, two different songs featuring A&E in the title, 'A13 Trunk Road to the Sea' by Billy Bragg, Captain Beefheart and his magic band singing 'Abba Zabba' and Nico singing 'Abschied' amongst the early selections.

I've just checked back on iTunes and it would take me 2.6 days to get through all of the songs just starting with letter 'A'.

I know some people will work through their collections listening systematically, but I think I'll create some new playlists and maybe edit away some of the songs too.

Maybe I should test whether I get different tunes if I press the 'Sport' button instead of leaving the car in 'Comfort' setting?


Lady Banana said...

I notice that we get the same old tracks playing even though it's on shuffle..

Either that or we get the ones I don't like as much, though that should be easily remedied byt getting rid!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Not having an iPod, I honestly do not see the advantage....Better to have CD's or TAPES...and you just change them, as needed and wanted....It seems kind of crazy to me to have so much stuff downloaded that you could never even review it all....2 1/2 days to just get through the "A"'s???
HELP ME!!! (lol)

RFM said...

This happens to me a lot - mine defaults to Tift Merritt singing "Sweet Spot". It's not first alphabetically by artist, title, or album, so I just don't know what's going on.

I prune my 'pod by using the rating system, Anything 4 stars and above gets on. Anything that annoys me or plays too often loses a star or two. I also limit the number of tracks by telling it to choose the least-often played of the highest rated songs. This means it would only take two hours to get through the 'A's.

The 'I's, mind you, are a different matter. The egotistical nature of most songwriting means it would take me nearly 6 hours to get through my already-pruned I-tracs.

Even with just an 8GB nano, there is too much to play on even the longest journey. Even taking into account the 2000 miles or so we drive every summer, there's not enough time to get through more than a fraction. On a 10-hour drive, I could get from A into the Es.

I think, taking into account needing to rest ears, and other reasons why the music might not be on, I would be lucky to get through even half of what's on my iPod over a two-week holiday.

Which does make you wonder.

rashbre said...

All It seems my experience isn't unique. I must confess to having one of those iPod 'classics' in the car, which means it can contain pretty much my entire digitised music collection.

It sounds good in theory, but I reckon there are drawbacks to that much choice.

And yet I get regular repeated tunes!