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Album Shuffle Playlist Generator
18th February 2007
Something that has bothered me ever since I got my mp3 player was it's inability to play whole albums in "random" order, rather than individual tracks. I've often found myself playing the same few albums over and over again and it takes a conscious effort to select something different.
To solve this problem I've written a small application that lists the folders under a specified root, shuffles them and then writes out the files as a simple playlist. This playlist can then be copied to the mp3 player's playlist folder, and there you go - a "randomised" playlist of albums. It requires the mp3 player to be connected to the PC (of course).
It's not brilliant, but it does the job. I'm making it available online to download. It was written in C# using Visual Studio 2008 on top of .NET 3.5 and is only available for Windows. The list view and the previous and next buttons ( ) were put in for initial testing purposes, but being lazy I left them in when I got the rest of it working.
There are still things to do, like put in a better application icon, but my graphic design skills are virtually nonexistent so it'll have to wait until I come across a better one on the web.
So I may well be updating it at some point (but don't hold your breath) and I may even put the code online too (once I've tidied it up). The usual warnings and provisos apply to the program - use at your own risk, there's no support etc. However, if you have any comments or suggestions then I'd be happy to hear from you.
6th March 2007
I've obviously got a duff folder somewhere in my music tree because the app's just gone bang with an IOException. I've put in a try...catch block around the offending code and uploaded the fixed version.
13th September 2008
While developing the random album chooser application I found a C# mp3 tag library (TagLib#) which has let me read the necessary information from the files to generate an m3u file. This is now included. I've removed the ability to download just the .exe from the website as I need to include the TagLib dll - and it's a lot easier just to have the zip file.
25th October 2008
Version 2.0: The application is now multi-threaded. This means that you can now pressor hit to cancel the shuffle - most useful if you've forgotten to set the search root correctly. The buttons are enabled or disabled appropriately when the state of the application changes. This update means that all three applications are now multi-threaded.
(mailto: album-shuffle at forman dot free-online dot co dot uk)