I don’t know how well this works with other people’s iPods but it often works very well for me. Maybe my old 3G iPod has a crappy shuffle algorithm or maybe the shuffle isn’t as random as Apple has sometimes claimed it to be. Either way I know that my iPod the vast majority of times prefers to play the songs it’s already played a million times from the same album. So one time I left shuffle off by accident and it was the first time it felt like the songs were really random. Then I realized they were playing in alphabetical order which if you think about it is pretty random if you have enough songs.

Since my battery is old (on its 2nd battery) I’m often trying to conserve power. The best ways are to turn off the backlight, “sound check” and shuffle because then songs are loaded into RAM which means the hard drive can stop spinning which takes battery power.