Ever since Christmas ended, I’ve almost exclusively been playing my ipod at work. Before, iHeart radio was my preference for listening to music, but I was beginning to get very bored with it. Even though you can pull up an unlimited number of stations or select music from a specific artist that would also yield music from other artists of the same genre, it just seemed like iHeart radio had a limited number of songs. Even when I chose a different artist, if they were in the same genre as another of my favorites, the same songs would play on both.

While I don’t have the largest capacity on my ipod, I figured at least by throwing it on shuffle, it would randomly select songs from the 800 I do have. What I didn’t take into account is that my ipod has a mind of its own and apparently has its own favorite songs from among my list.

I’m not talking about certain artists, either. I know that based on percentages, with the 10 albums I loaded on it from Bon Jovi, they obviously are going to be played more frequently than the one “Greatest Hits” album from The Police. But it goes beyond that. For some reason, for example, my ipod really likes a couple Aerosmith songs that seem to get played on a daily basis.

Sure, I can easily tap to jump to the next random song. But to me, that defeats the purpose of the shuffle feature. It’s supposed to allow me to automatically listen to a randomly selected song, not constantly have to switch songs on my own.

I do have a bit of a fix for this through what I think is a goofy glitch. I have found when I power my ipod off at the end of the day and then turn it on the next morning, if I don’t hit shuffle and just hit play, it will start playing songs in alphabetical order, starting from whichever song was playing when I turned it off.

This does produce some interesting tidbits about my music preferences. There are certain words that many songs start with, for instance. Some of the common words are predictable. “I” is the first word in a whopping 30 songs. Conversely, “you” comes in a tie for second with “love” at 12 songs. For some reason, “don’t” is a popular word, with 11.

Even with these “interesting” observations, I just don’t like doing the alphabetical playlist too often and go back to the shuffle. If I’m in the mood for a specific artist, I will go to just their songs, but even then, I will hit shuffle for some reason, which increases the likelihood of hearing a song multiple times. 

I’m really not sure why I have a preference for shuffling. Maybe it’s because I grew up with cassettes, which didn’t allow for any convenient way of playing an album besides in order. And even though some CD players featured a shuffle function, I never really utilized it back then.

Either way, I guess I can chalk this up to another one of those “modern problems” and just enjoy whichever music my ipod chooses to play. I just hope it doesn’t decide to drive me crazy and start playing the same song over, and over, and over again.

BILL STICKELS III is editor of the Isanti-Chisago County Star. He can be reached at editor@countystar.com or 763-689-1181 ext. 107.

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