Wishlist for the ultimate music phone

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/19/wishlist-for-the-ultimate-musi.html


Thats a lot of “stuff,” I’d just like one with a built in tube amp that’ll drive planar magnetic phones.


A whole phone? Here I am willing to settle for a music manager that isn’t shit.


A headphone jack?


Is it going to look like The Homer?


Yeah, a decently random shuffle would be nice.


File App Pro (iPhone) + iMazing (Windows) $35

flat file of a hundred or so of the a-lot-more-than-that CDs that i’ve ripped to my preference (192k vbr) over the decades, uploaded in a few minutes

playlists? bah - gapless? haven’t found that setting yet - eq? nah - just all the stuff, right there, organized my way - ahhh : )


I think all shuffles kinda suck inherently, at least in my experience.


I’d settle for a phone that doesn’t have that 4-prong dongle plugged into the wall

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Rockbox on my very old now Sansa doesn’t have shuffle but random list generation… you pick a song and it will make a shuffled list of the entire library so no repeats till it plays through everything.

ETA of course it isn’t a phone so all it does is play mp3s and it is tiny so having it around is never an issue.


Sansa is what I use too; cheap, but fairly reliable.


A (decent) equalizer.
Logarithmic volume control (So that the volume doesn’t jump from 0 to 50 when trying to listen in quiet environments)
ID3 tag editor.
Would default to directory based navigation, ID3 tags optional.
Actual file management system where I can actually see and move the files around as I wish.
Ability to play music files from the phone’s memory when connected to a computer.
CODECs should be handled at the OS level, (What do you mean insert_app_here won’t play wav files?)
A reliable standard for lockscreen music controls.
Drag and drop playlist creation.

That should do it.


Years ago when I used a iPhone and had all my music local to the phone (or at least the music I would listen to) I opted to listen to some tunes instead of NPR on the commute in.

Shuffle was my defacto listening mode. So I hit play and start the drive.

Jocko Homo - Devo comes on. A good tune. I’m happily driving along and when it changed to

Jocko Homo - Devo (Now It can be Told album) It took me a moment to realize it was the same song as that is such a different version of it.

Third Song…
Jocko Homo - Devo (From some Bootleg) At this point it begins to dawn on me that my phone may not be on Shuffle.

Fourth Song…
Jocko Homo - Devo (From some other Bootleg) Now I’ve decided it must be just going alphabetically, but I’m jamming so what the hell.

Fifth Song…
Jocko Homo - Devo (From yet another bootleg) and with that I pulled into the office

So my commute is 5 Jocko Homos long.


i.e. one standard In A Gadda Davida



IME, the larger and more diverse the playlist, the worse the shuffle.

If there was some kind of algorithm for determining the shufflability of two songs, based on tempo, genre, etc, I’d be all for that. Even factor the title into it so we don’t get the same song twice in a row.

I’ll add that to my ever-expanding algorithmic wishlist. I have no audiophile smartphone* wishlist to speak of.

*[cringes audibly at the concept]


Did you say music phone?

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Album shuffle.

That is:

  1. Select an album from the list of albums on the device.
  2. Play through that album from beginning to end, in the same order it was released.
  3. Remove the album from the list of available albums that can be randomly selected.
  4. Repeat Steps 1-3 until all albums have been played.
  5. Once all albums have been played, allow all albums to be randomly selected again
  6. Repeat Steps 1-5 ad infinitum.

I love album shuffle, but it’s so hard to find anything that supports it (my phone has about three music apps on it, and none of them do it).

I can get my iPod Nano to do it, but not through selecting anything on my actual iPod: I have to hook it up to my Mazda using Bluetooth, choose “Folder Random” using my car’s stereo, and it’ll actually do a decent album shuffle even after it’s disconnected.

My only complaint is that it performs Step 5 every time it powers off (and it powers off after 24 hours of inactivity, or when the battery gives out). So unless I keep it active and charged, it’ll lose my place, and I’ll have to put up with listening to some albums I heard a few days ago, and not hear others for weeks.


I’ve never really understood the appeal of shuffle, but I knew a couple of people who were so fond of the ‘Genius’ shuffle that they wouldn’t even consider non-iTunes players.


I am in the squeezebox ecosystem, all open source. I love shuffle. I like that I can get weird genre and artist juxtapositions, and if I find one glaring, I just hit the next track button.

I have about 7000 tunes I think, all perfectly legally obtained, all ripped to FLAC at 1411.2 kbps.

So my ultimate music phone would have Squeezeplay capability. Easey peasey, it’s open source.

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