Everyone around the blogosphere and the bløgösphère have been listing the next 10 songs from shuffle mode on iTunes or whatever other software there is. Usually this is accompanied by an ironic statement that the list doesn't really reflect the person's listening habits or personality, except when it does.
I have a new idea, a list that should more accurately reflect a person's taste in music. Click on the Top 25 Most Played playlist for iTunes, and list the top ten or so. Mine is:
1."Doin' What I Please" - Don Redman and his Orchestra
2."Into the West" Lord of the Rings - Return of the King soundtrack
3.Bartók's Improvistations sur les chants paysans hongrois, op. 20 - 1 Molto moderato - Claude Helffer
4.Schumann's "Prophetic Bird" from Waldszenen - Claudio Arrau
5.Beethoven's "Tempest" Sonata, op. 31/2, 2. Adagio - Glenn Gould
6."Anduril" Lord of the Rings - Return of the King soundtrack
7.Britten's Simple Symphony (arr. Colin Matthews/Simon Wright), I. Boisterous Bouree - The Wallace Collection
8.Shostakovich's Three Fantastic Dances, 1. March: Allegro - Martin Jones
9.Johann Christian Fischer's Concerto in C major, 2. Adagio - Maurice André
10.Giralamo Fantini's Saltarello detto del Naldi - The Parley of Instruments
Tied with Fantini is some Wagner (selections from Tannhauser and Die Meistersinger), Webern's "Wie bin ich froh!", and John Tavener's "The Lamb."
I only started to rip mp3's of my CDs over Thanksgiving, and I've only done about 1/3 of my collection. So symphonies and vocal music are more scarce than my normal habits would suggest. But overall, the Top 25 list (or just listing your library by the number of listenings) gets around the randomness of shuffle mode to show which tracks you found worthy enough to go back to. Unless you only listen in shuffle mode with no weighting for ratings, in which case it doesn't matter much.