Smart Shuffle in the Works? Also: Low-Power Wifi
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://gizmodo.com/363819/next-gen-zune-could-have-smart-shuffling' target='_blank'>http://gizmodo.com/363819/next-gen-...smart-shuffling</a><br /><br /></div>"<em>At Microsoft's Techfest, a researcher was showing off a smart shuffle system that uses tags and meta data like tempo and genre to direct playlist creation in a portable music device. The demo was being done on a first generation Zune. The system is being developed in direct response to the huge number of songs people carry around on their media players, and specifically the millions of songs a Zune library can stock using a Zune pass. The system automatically recommends new songs based on songs played, and the logic is continuously "steered" by voting tracks up and down.</em>"<br /><br />I've been hoping for something like this for a while, but recently I've started to see how much I need it. More and more I've been using my Zune to deejay parties or as background music, and I'll often take the easy way out by putting it on random. The downside of course, is that <a href="http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!550F681DAD532637!3460.entry" target="_blank">inappropriate </a>or poorly timed songs might pop up, killing the vibe. Typically I wouldn't worry about this, but lately my Zune seems to have a penchant for playing every bad 80's pop song I have. With such a system in place, I would be able to trust that my Zune could keep the party going, and that I wouldn't have to try to manually create my own quickmixes.<br /><br />In other TechFest news, Microsoft researcher Thomas Moscibroda <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/030408-microsofts-cutting-edge-on-display.html?page=2" target="_blank">showcased</a> technology that would allow wifi to dynamically resize its width on the wireless spectrum, conserving power when used for only a specific purpose. The disadvantage of using a smaller width is slower throughput, which is where the software comes in. "<em>Typically Wi-Fi devices use a 20 MHz-wide channel. Microsoft’s software, however, can dynamically adjust that down to 5 MHz or 10 MHz, depending on the application</em> ... <em>[A] Zune, for example, might use a very narrow channel to look for other nearby Zunes. When a user decided to send a song via Wi-Fi to a friend, the Zune could automatically switch to the full 20 MHz channel to speed up transmission of the song.</em>"