I often listen to music on my computer. No, not often, nearly constantly. I have a large collection of MP3s and usually have a semi-random selection of songs in the playlist in Winamp. I let them shuffle at random and I have a plugin that removes the song once it plays, so nothing plays twice.

My first thought would be that it would play songs that don’t go together very well, clashing styles and tempos, but most of the time, it doesn’t.

First of all, it’s mostly all music I like in the first place. So just the fact that it exists means I probably like the song. But my tastes vary widely and according to mood, so that covers a lot of ground. And there are a lot of reasons I might ‘like’ a song or artist. Just because I ‘like’ surf music, doesn’t mean I always want to listen to it.

While it might seem like it goes against the odds, most of the time Winamp (the player I use) comes up with some amazing song combinations. I have always suspected they have some kind of analyzer that chooses the next song by some parameters, tempo, maybe, but have no evidence to support that except my hunch. Given a sufficiently large selection of songs, Winamp seems to find a pleasing mix.

But, what I just heard seems like it goes way beyond that. How could a computer program understand the meaning of songs? It can’t, yet it just played these two songs in a row: Kings of Leon – Knocked Up folowed by Faith Hill – A Baby Changes Everything. Coincidence? Probably, but eerily appropriate!,