Archive for the ‘shuffle’ Tag

Shuffla 1.1 released!

Shuffla screenshotMy new iPhone app, Shuffla, is now available on the app store. It’s a music player that shuffles your songs properly so you don’t hear the same tunes all the time.

The Music Player app has a shuffle of course, which works fine on the whole, but often a song you hear one day might come up again the next day; it’s shuffling randomly but if you’ve changed the queue by listening to podcasts or other music apps, the next day when you do a shuffle it will pick from the same songs, including the ones you heard yesterday.

Shuffla works by using a decent random number generator (arc4Random) to pick songs from the device’s library, or from a particular playlist. It will also perform extra steps to make sure you don’t hear the same artist twice in a row. It will also filter out any songs you have heard in the last 7 days, so you know that every time you open Shuffla or hit the refresh button, you will get a list of songs that you want to hear.

There are several settings so you can customise it to your needs:

1) Choose which playlist to pick songs from.

2) Choose the amount of days to filter out (from 0 to 90 days).

3) Choose a minimum length of the generated list. If you have filtered out all songs heard in the last 90 days but the resulting list only contains one or two songs, Shuffla will try again by filtering out songs in the last 89 days. It will keep reducing the days until it generates a list of songs at least as long as your minimum length (for example, 2 hours worth of music).

4) Turn off the ‘avoid repeating an artist’ filter. If you don’t mind hearing the same artist twice in a row, you can turn that off.

5) Bring back new songs. Once Shuffla has filtered out all songs heard in recent days, you will find that any new songs you have just bought will disappear from the list once they are heard, and won’t be heard again for 7 days (or even 90 days depending on your settings). As most people want to hear new songs a few times when they first buy them, you can turn this option on and any songs with a low play count (ie. new songs) will be exempt from the ‘days’ filter and stick around until you’ve heard them a few times. However, to avoid hearing the same song in the same day, it will only include the ‘new songs’ that haven’t been heard in the last 24 hours.

6) Play count for a ‘new song’. You can tell Shuffla what is classified as a ‘new song’ by setting the maximum play count. If set to 2, then a song will be included while its play count is no greater than 2. Once played three times it is no longer ‘new’.

I made this for myself, because I just want to open up an app, hit play and put my iPhone in my pocket. I don’t want to take it out again until I’ve walked to the station, taken the train and arrived at my destination, especially on a cold day. Sure I can use my headphone remote to skip songs the Music Player insists on repeating, but why put up with that? I’m sure others will find this useful too. There’s plenty of similar playlist generators on the app store but none that did what I wanted.

Great for car journeys too; choose a minimum length to fit your journey and you know you won’t have to keep fiddling with your phone to skip songs. Shuffla also has big control buttons if you do need to use them, so safer when driving.

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