What’s Your Choice?

iPod Family

Please excuse the blatant rip off from apple.com of the above image … I feel like a criminal … anyway, after I posted my iShuffle thoughts yesterday I got a comment that talked about how important the shuffle feature of the iPod is. I have never been a shuffle kind of guy — just too much junk on my iPod (TV themes, audiobooks, podcasts, and my own awful garage band songs come to mind) that end up getting in the way. I do use a ton of playlists, both smart and unsmart (I guess even though those are the ones I built myself … hmm?) on all my Macs.

My questions for all of you are … what iPod (or device) do you use to listen to music on, do use a shuffle feature, and do you spend time building playlists? This is the first time I am asking for real feedback and I am probably setting myself up for a very disappointing set of results, but go ahead and comment. It might be interesting.

7 thoughts on “What’s Your Choice?

  1. Primary listening is on my 3G 20GB iPod. Extensive use of Smart Playlists and Ratings (and “Last Played”) to set up grooves. “Good Reggae/Caribbean Not Heard in Last 2 Weeks” – Shuffle mode is always on unless I’m listening to my podcasts, which are in their own smart playlist (genre = “podcast” and play count = 0)

    Occasionally, I’ll listen to music via iTunes at my desk – but even when I’m there, I’m ususally listening to my iPod through the big speakers via the dock’s line out.

    Screenshot of most of my smart playlists at http://homepage.mac.com/dnorman/images/smart-playlist.jpg

    My most commonly used playlist is “Good, Unplayed Recently”, which is:
    “My Rating > 2 stars” and “Last Played is not in the last 1 month” – this gives me the top ~3GB (out of ~16GB full) of files on my iPod without hearing the same stuff over and over again. Shuffle works awesomely for that – I really don’t believe it’s truly random, though. The mixes it comes up with are often way too good to be random.

  2. Almost forgot – the only time I manually build a playlist (i.e., non-smart) is when I want to listen to just an album – easier to pick a playlist than Music > Albums > scroll-through-1000-albums. Oh, and NetNewsWire and iPodder create plain old manual playlists for artists on downloaded podcasts. But I never use those. Must be a way to turn that “feature” off…

  3. I use my iPod almost exclusively to listen to podcasts. I created a smart playlist in iTunes for Recent Podcasts (podcasts less than a week old) – and that’s usually enough audio for the amount of time I’m walking and using the iPod. I don’t use shuffle that much because I listen to live shows that really should be played through in their entirety., I use playlists MOST frequently when surfing other people’s iTunes libraries at work. Going to a co-worker’s “Recently Played”, Top-rated, or “Recently Added” smart playlists can really open your eyes to some interesting tunes, as well as give an insight into their mood or personality. Everyone got on the bandwagon with sharing playlists pretty quickly within our group..

  4. what iPod (or device) do you use to listen to music on, do use a shuffle feature, and do you spend time building playlists?

    I use a 20GB iPod, which has maybe 17GB of music on it. Like you, I tend to avoid the Shuffle feature because I have some weird stuff mixed in with my music library like audio books, speeches, etc. This happens a lot when I listen to my Purchased Music playlist, which has all kinds of weird stuff from the iTunes Music Store. Also, I listen to a lot of music that have multiple movements like Beethoven symphonies/quartets, so its more desireable to listen to those in order.

    I live off of playlists. Rarely do I find a song by artist or album on my iPod. I have a ton of playlists that pretty much have everything I normally feel like listening to. Occasionally I have to dig for an album. I like to hit play on my iPod before I head to class or for a drive – and then not have to touch any controls again until I want to turn it off.

  5. My primary listening device is my IPOD 15 gb. I will occasionally use playlists when I want to tailor my music to a particular theme. I for one enjoy the shuffle feature as I really enjoy being surprised with what music comes on next. There are plenty of times in which music comes on that I forgot that I even owned. There is also the occasion when a song comes on and it makes me wonder why I own it…such as “Who Let The Dogs Out.”

  6. I think we all know why you own that song … you are a trend setter … unfortunately, not all trends end happily I must admit. Thanks for the post, Kelvin!

  7. The Stub’s portable jam station is a 40g iPod, and I use it everywhere. With the imense number of songs I have on it (3000+) and the variety of settings and moods I listen to music in, playlists, both smart and prefabricated, are a must.

    I use prebuilt playlists largely to satisfy my desire to listen to the “best of” a genre or artist or feeling of music. Sometimes simply playing every song by Dave Matthews gives me more than I am looking for. Playing every rap song I own is too cluttered. Jazz is too versitile to be grouped together into one genre. And to try and classify all my good workout/ Adrenaline rush music into one group without a personally designed playlist is all but impossible.

    Because I use MyPod in so many situations, playlists are also important so that I can just listen to music without the need for any intervention on my part. When I am driving, cooking, or working I just want to hear the music I want to hear. I dont want to deal with sorting through songs to find my favorites. Playlists give me all of my favorites on command.

    The smart playlists are also nice so that I can find the new songs I’ve added to my library or songs I must listen to at least once a day that may not be part of any logical grouping. Though more often than not I prefer the premade lists to anything else.

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