Note: In the following discussion, 'Category' refers the currently selected playback mode (i.e. the Library list from which you started playback) and so could mean, for example, the current Album, Folder, Artist, Playlist, etc. The sorting order for each Category or its songs list can be adjusted by going to the relevant view and tapping Menu (the ‘three-dots’ icon) > List Options. Playlists or the Queue can also be permanently re-ordered using the Re-Sort menu option.
While music is playing, you can choose how Poweramp should behave at the end of each Song or Category by tapping on the Repeat icon on the Player Screen, which is the right-but-one icon in the row underneath the cover art / title area. Long-pressing on that Repeat icon also shows you the full list of options.
Repeat can be cycled through the following modes:
Repeat Off (Stop on the last song in a category): All of the Songs within the current Category will be played, then Poweramp will stop playback. Useful if you just want to listen to one entire album for example.
Repeat Category (Jump to the first song in a category): All of the Songs within the current Category will be played, then Poweramp will go back and play the same Category again - for example to repeat the current album forever.
Advance Category (Jump to the next category): All of the Songs within the current Category will be played, after which Poweramp will move on to the beginning of the next Category, and so on. When all of the Categories have been played, playback will commence once again from the first Category - basically a continuous repeat of your entire music collection. Note: 'All Songs' mode is currently an exception to this behaviour, and playback will stop at the end of the All Songs list rather than repeating from the start again.
Repeat Song (Repeat selected song): The current Song will be repeated forever.
Single Song (Play single song and pause): Playback will stop at the end of the current song.
While music is playing, the Shuffle mode can be enabled and cycled through its various options by tapping on the Shuffle icon on the Player Screen, which is the right-hand icon in the row underneath the cover art / title area. Long-pressing on that Shuffle icon also shows you the full list of options.
Shuffle can be cycled through the following modes:
Off: Play the contents of the current Category in its assigned order. Then (depending on how the Repeat mode is set) move on to the next Category in order and play its contents in order, and so on. Basically, just play everything from start to finish according to the preassigned sorting order for the current Category choice.
Shuffle All Available Songs: Completely randomised playback of all available Songs from any Category - anything at all could be played next.
Shuffle Just Songs (Categories will remain in order): The Songs in the current Category will be played in randomised order, and then (depending on how the Repeat mode is set) the next Category in assigned order will be played (also with its tracks randomised) and so on. This allows you to listen to (for example) one whole album of songs in random order, then Poweramp will move on to the next album in order and play its contents in randomised order, etc.
Shuffle Just Categories (Songs will remain in order): The Songs from a Category will be played in their assigned order, and then (depending on how the Repeat mode is set) a new random Category will be chosen and all of its Songs will be played in assigned order, and so on. This allows you to listen to (for example) an album chosen at random and played from start to finish, then another random album will be played from start to finish, etc. Great for concept albums, stories, audiobooks, classical music, gapless tracks, etc. where you don’t want the individual songs to be muddled up.
Shuffle Songs and Categories: A random Category will be chosen and all of its Songs will be played back in random order, then (depending on how the Repeat mode is set) another random Category will be chosen and all of its Songs played back in random order, and so on. For example, Poweramp would pick an album at random and play all of its Song in random order, then choose another random album and do the same, etc.
In normal 'Advance Category' repeat mode, playback will continue until every song in your music collection has been played.
Using the 'Shuffle' or 'Play' icons at the top of Category Lists
As well as the ability to adjust the current Repeat and Shuffle modes from within the Player screen, there are also quick-access Shuffle and Play icons at the top/left of category and song lists. These are special cases in that they enforce specific Repeat/Shuffle modes in order to achieve the desired result, which may override settings that were already in place on the Player screen.
Tapping the top Shuffle Icon by default sets the Shuffle mode to 'Shuffle Songs and Categories', meaning it will play the current Category in shuffled order first, then pick a new Category at random and shuffle that. The specific shuffling mode used by that icon can be customised using Settings=>Library=>Shuffle=>Category Items Shuffle. If Repeat was set to either 'Single Song' or 'Repeat Song' the mode will be changed to 'Advance Category'. However 'Repeat Off' or 'Repeat Category' will not get overridden and will remain the active mode.
When tapping the top Play icon, Shuffle is turned Off and playback will commence with the first song in the requested list, and playback will continue in order. If Repeat was set to either 'Single Song' or 'Repeat Song' the mode will be changed to 'Advance Category'. However 'Repeat Off' or 'Repeat Category' will not get overridden and will remain the active mode.
If you are using the Shuffle or Play icons from a higher level Category listing - e.g. when viewing a folder that contains further subfolders, or an Artist listing that contains a group of Albums - then the default action is to retain those groupings - Folders, Albums, etc - shuffling all the songs within each group before moving on to the next. If you'd prefer to listen to all of an Artist's songs as one long list, rather than sub-grouped by Albums, choose 'All Artist Songs' before pressing the Play or Shuffle icons. If you only ever want to randomise that way, the 'Shuffle' icon's default action can be altered via PA Settings=>Library=>Lists=>Category Items Shuffle. The equivalent setting for Folders Hierarchy is 'Shuffle All Songs in Folder Hierarchy'.