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Ghost In The iPod

I have had a 5g iPod for about 5 months now, and I have noticed an odd tendency that leads me to believe something is seriously flawed in their shuffle function. I have dumped and completely reloaded my iPod on about three different occasions, and noticed the same behavior with all three sets of music.

The behavior is this. For whatever reason, when I choose “Shuffle Songs” from the main menu, the same track will almost always appear within the first 10 percent of shuffled songs.

If I had a relatively small number of tracks on the device, I’d dismiss it. However, in all three loads, I had north of 3,000 songs. In almost every shuffle, the song appears within the first 30 songs. On only a couple of occasions have I seen it shuffle outside that, but it’s always within the first 20%.

In the case of my current song selections, that track is Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride. On the last load it was Teen Angst by Cracker. On the first go around it was I’m Money by Zebrahead.

I mentioned this to Mrs. Quip and she immediately said, “Forever Blue by Chris Isaak.” I took that as an indication that she had noticed the same behavior.

All of this leads me to conclude that Apple has an odd fluke in their randomizer that causes it to prioritize the same song every time you shuffle. I now refer to that song as the Ghost in the iPod. What’s your ghost?

Written by Michael Turk