i usually want to make sure that my tracks in whatever Playlist play 'shuffled' - and sometimes, depending what i am using, they do, and sometimes they don't.
in the past few days, when i copied a new enhanced curated PL to an SD card i use in a MP3 Player, it stopped playing 'shuffled, and reverted to alpha (for some reason) - which is so annoying to listen to.
anyway, i have tackled this issue before, manually using Bulk Rename Utility to add numeric prefixes, and then manipulating them until they sort in 'random' groups
in my latest example, it is selecting and creating groups of every 100th track.
which gives more than adequate variation (randomness)
[btw, ''randomness', as in random numbers, is very different to the method and the purpose of 'shuffling']
so depending just how large your sample size is ie the no of tracks will determine how many tracks are in each group; but regardless, every track in each group will be 100 tracks apart in your track library.
now, my question for MP3Tag users is -
would you find an app that does this automatically for you on the tracks in any number of selected Folders useful?
btw, i speak as an (ex) statistician and survey designer, and 30+ years of IT and Web/UI design experience.
I would think answer to this could be very different by user. Although considering you are refering to...
...the idea of shuffling said curated list seems to oppose the concept.
Almost every modern player already has some sort of built in random or shuffle option that probably satisfies the needs of most. This is probably the method used by the majority of users.
To get back to the question posed in your original post, there is always more than one way to end up with the desired results. Randomizing the track order by adding preceding tracks counts to the filename is certainly an option. However I would caution to only do this on a copy of the file, perhaps only once written to a SD card or USB drive as you have suggested. @ohrenkino has already posted a couple of easy options for doing this right from mp3tag. I am sure you can find other tools and resources to accomplish something similar, but these would have no relevance to the file's tag data, if that matters.
Motley, hmmm, i am not sure what you are reading into 'curated', but it is a totally separation concept/effort to wanting to ensure music VARIATION by Artist primarily (and inherently therefore music type)
'Curated' to me (and others) would simply mean a hand-picked list of Artists and tracks (by Genre Categories if the user wanted to - i don't, except for the very broadest, eg Classical - that is in fact the very point of wanting artist/Track/music variation in the 1st place. :-)); along with such big tedious effort to do things as CONSISTENT organised populated Track, Title, Artist, Album, Track, Artwork data, Bit Rate, Sample Rate, and normalised, to the degree desired/relevant/available.
as noted, there are many ways to probably achieve a similar result - which to be clear - is to ensure a wide variety of music when the tracks are played in sequence, without a separate Shuffle function (which, by definition, is not available in this Use Case)
for example, i could append as a prefix the track length to the file name, and then truncate that to just 2-digit seconds, and when sorted, the ensuring track order, from 00-59, would ensure that (music) variation.
(and once sorted, you could then delete the seconds prefix, but leave in same order)
but as conceived, my app was to do the equivalent through all folders/subfolder, which i understand that many users have folders by both Artist and Album (i don't, as a Primary source) - which is a LOT of Folders to do.
Sorry, I have to disagree with you here. If your player of choice does not support some kind of playback shuffling, then that is unfortunate. But certainly this is not common. I’ll stand by my previous suggestion that MOST players do have a random play or shuffle option. But again, opinions vary.
Any player I have used so far, does not look at the filename as soon as tags are filled with data.
MP3tag loads as many folders as you like and treats the files, regardless of the folders. So if you have to add some kind of indicators to the file data to ensure that your player acknowledges that and takes it as ordering criterium, then MP3tag can do that.
That is why I would not need a dedicated shuffle app.
I was quite surprised and disappointed to find MP3tag's always on icon (filetype) field did a random shuffle. I really hoped to use it to sort by filetype without taking up space in the column display or using a filter.
After looking up why it didn't sort as expected the demand for a music shuffle is understandable, if it is used only for music. (Even if this didn't seem the right app... but does do cue files, eh?), However, the idea of a metadata/media organizer having a feature for disorganizing data almost knocked me over!
The icon shows the icon of the linked default application, the one that is opened if you select "play".
It does not reflect the filetype as such. And as it is related to "playing" I do not find it too far fetched to lead to a random playing order.
If the default application is also default for other filetypes, then the same icon would appear although it is a different type of file. AFAIK this icon is taken from the OS:
Please note also that the randomizing function was attached to that column header long before it was finally added to the column menu:
[2020-10-20] NEW: added option to randomize sorting via menu "View > Sort by". (#11763, #50519)
and for backwards compatibility reasons that special column header still behaves in the old way.
To sort accurately by the filetype, you would still need a dedicated column.
The "randomize" column shows the default icon of the file type.
Selecting "play" may open the default application, but a file can have any icon desired by manipulating the registry.
I have several different audio file types (flac, mp3, ogg,...), each with a different icon. They all open the same application when selecting "play".
The random function has been a part of mp3tag for a long time and is helpful when creating a playlist for legacy players. I don't see any reason to change how this works just for the sake of change.
Most modern players are more than capable of doing this function on their own, which can reshuffle any list as desired on the fly. If your current player doesn't have a random/shuffle feature perhaps a change of player is due.