iTune Weirdness

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iTune Weirdness

Postby JoeKoomen2011 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:14 am

One of the old features in iTunes (a few whole number of updates ago) was to play a bunch of songs by the same artist when you were listening to random tracks. There was a slider for this in one of the preferences tabs.

Now many iterations later, this feature is gone - but - on my home computer the setting still seems to hold true. I can't get a truly random playback happening like I can on itunes at work. I've got to assume this is a preference I can set by editing a text file somewhere... I'm wondering if anyone knows how to do this.

I'm trying to avoid just deleting a pref file because I don't want to lose my ratings or anything else associated with the song on my machine.

Thanks.

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Re: iTune Weirdness

Postby Scott » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:50 am

In my mind's eye it has been a long time since iTunes actually got better, but if you are referring to "Genius" mode for creating a related playlist around the tumes your listening to... it is still in the current version.

But you may need to turn it on from the 'Store' menu before you can activate the checkbox in the General tab of iTune's prefs panel.
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Re: iTune Weirdness

Postby JoeKoomen2011 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:06 am

I agree with your assessment of iTune, Scott, but I've never used the 'Genius' mode. The preference I'm referring to was in version 7 or so and it was in the preferences window probably under the "Playback" tab. It was a slider that was labeled something along the lines of "Songs by the same artist" and the extremes of the slider were 'frequent' and 'never'.

My home computer still seems to hue to this setting even though it's gone from the prefs window, while my machine at work is truly random using the exact same settings.

Weird huh?
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Re: iTune Weirdness

Postby Scott » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:38 pm

I have no recollection of this 'feature'... obviously something that was added after Tiger, and removed before Snow Leopard. But with that said, all of iTunes' metadata is stored in the Library and not the prefs files, so tossing them should not affect it.

With that said you can simply move your prefs and restore them later if that was not casing the issue. You can also move your entire iTunes Library and it will ask to create a new one to see if it is some glitch in your library file. Again, you can always return the Library back to the default location to restore everything.

G'luck
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Re: iTune Weirdness

Postby Mike » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:03 am

I remember this preference and also watching Steve Jobs explain it during one of his keynotes. It came out of the fact that some users complained to Apple that "random shuffle" wasn't random to them because some times one or more songs by the same artist or even the same song might play in a row. I guess the same people also believe if they play Yahtzee that all five dice should ALWAYS be different from one another since that is their definition of "random"?!?

Anyway... Steve explained that Apple decided to add a slider to the preferences to control how "random" behaved... you could set it anywhere from wanting the same song and/or artist to be grouped together more often... to true "random" which is what Apple had actually done prior to that (despite the user complaints)... to wanting iTunes to avoid the same song and/or artist when picking songs at "random".

I'm afraid I can't help though with what the pref was called or which .plist it would have been in. I just looked at a couple of iTunes .plist files with Xcode and I'm not seeing anything obvious... so Apple might have removed it, or I'm looking at the wrong .plist files, or since I never actually touched that slider when it existed it never wrote out anything to any of the .plist files?
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Re: iTune Weirdness

Postby vinnie-bob » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:53 pm

Mike is exactly right! And so is Joe...
http://www.macworld.com/article/1055239/marchplaylist.html

Can't seem to find anything in iTunes 11 for this though... I suppose you could use Applescript to simulate this feature, if you were highly motivated.
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Re: iTune Weirdness

Postby JoeKoomen2011 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:54 am

Thanks everyone. I followed Scott's advice and dumped a bunch of pref files (about 10 of them) and now things are working the way I want.
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