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Subject: RE: randomness and playlists
From: Justin Fisher (JustinF_at_valvesoftware.com)
Date: 2002-05-02


>> * What are you planning to use as the entropy source for the random seed?
>> The least significant digits on keystroke timing and hard disk spin-up
>> timing is sometimes used in crypto circles. Also there are the A/D
inputs
>> (that go somewhere, and may not be usable, I'll check this).
>
>I don't think we need a very complicated way to get a seed. We can get it
>from a timer or whatever.

(Disclaimer: I'm not a programmer, so I'm talking conceptually, not
practically)

Wouldn't it be useful to have something like just a 3 digit number for the
seed, that starts off at 0, and simply gets incremented by one each time you
re-scramble the tracks? That way, not only do you get the functions
previously mentioned (no repeats, can jump back to the previous track, etc),
but you could (at some later date perhaps) apply those functions to
scrambled playlists also - eg select the random selection you were listening
too yesterday, or scroll back to the one before it. Ok, most people who
would use random play are not interested in listening to the same randomised
order twice, so it's not that useful, but... :)
At any rate, however it is done, if the seed is small enough (ie a few
integers), you could have the option of entering your own seed, and having
the unit display the seed it is using, so that you can effectively "Save"
random playlists you like writing down the seed number.



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