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You'll get a song with 30 million plays in 3rd place and a song with 17 million in 1st. Trivial but it annoys me
They do it by 'current' popularity.
I don't know what the time-frame is. But you'll see it when a band releases a new album, a few tracks will usually bubble up to the top of the list as they're getting lots more plays than the old stuff...