Most likely in the glorious tradition of helpful misclicks, Mike clicked iTunes’ Duration column header and discovered that playing your songs ordered by their duration actually gives a pretty decent mix. I keenly tried this all day, getting me from songs of length 3:00 to those of length 3:15 and I can’t complain so far. I did limit iTunes’ playing to the ‘Alternative’ section of my music library, slightly over 50% of its contents, though.
Doing this made another obvious thing apparent: With a huge music library you’ll end up having many songs of the same length. So that’s the time for some fruitless statistics I guess… listing all songs in my iTunes library with lengths between a single second and ten minutes. There we go:
A fun note with respect to this graphic is the following: To gather the data for it, I wrote a simple AppleScript which basically counts the
file tracks whose duration is i 600 times. This seemed the easiest way to get hold of the data – most notably one that means I wouldn’t have to do any
real programming or stain myself with other script languages I don’t know to read iTunes’ XML database. It surely was the easiest way for me but not the easiest way for my Powerbook as running the script took about two hours (seemingly because iTunes is slow – as most programs are with AppleScript
whose filters). A period during which iTunes became rather unresponsive, I might add.
Times on this page are still summer time… which is going to leave us soon :(