This Space for Rent

Random play? What’s that?

Mouse Words posted about some silly show-your-music-list.

Step (2) of the rules is Set to random play

Oh, now that's a laugh. We listen to our music collection in a variety of ways, from plugging the CDs into (what's left of our) stereo system, to using the foobar2000 windows audio player (which may do random play, but first I need to load 20-odd gb worth of .oggs into it; the copy of foobar 2000 I've got on my home workstation doesn't really want to do that, and just grinds to a stop while loading the music in), to using a nc*rs*s-based jukebox program on the oggOmatic.

None of these options do random in a particularly useful fashion.

So, to set to random play I grabbed the source for a randomiser program (one that was carefully gpled, but which intuitively picked data out of /dev/random to seed the random number generator. This approach doesn't work too well with the version of FreeBSD that is running on my home music server. But I was able to figure out a workaround) and then listed all the .ogg files, piped through this randomiser, and picked off the first 10 lines.

  1. Now She's Gone -- Steve Earle
  2. Concerto #5 BWV 1040 in D major (pt 3) -- Bach
  3. Allez-Vous -- Kate & Anna McGarrigle
  4. That's Right -- Lyle Lovett
  5. Teacher Teacher -- Rockpile
  6. Right to Choose -- David Byrne
  7. Medicine Show -- Big Audio Dynamite
  8. Music So Nice -- UB40
  9. Pato And Roger A Go Talk -- the Beat
  10. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard -- Paul Simon

Eventually I'm going to tweak the software on the oggOmatic so that I can have my music player actually do this by itself. I'll probably get this done after I win the lottery (or after the heat death of the universe, whichever comes first}.


I think your sampling program is broken. A random sample of our music should have an extremely high probability of including a Mekons song. I mean, they take up a whole shelf!!

Otherwise, looks fairly representative, though perhaps somewhat New-Wave-heavy and classical- and kiddy-light.

Julie the Spouse Mon Jan 17 16:41:28 2005

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