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Can someone explain the different play modes (like random and sorted)


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Hey guys!

I am using Poweramp Alpha (latest build) for quite a while now and I am pretty happy with it.

But I have a question about the different play modes (see the red circle on the screenshot). I use this app nearly 1 year now and I still have no idea what the different modes are about.
I understand the normal random function, which plays ALL songs randomly. But there are 3 other random functions, which I mostly do not understand. But maybe there is more which I did not understand about Poweramp.

Well so can someone explain me these modes:

  • Play songs in order, but lists random
  • Play songs random, but lists in order (I think I understood that one)
  • Play songs AND lists random (I think I understood that one too)

Is it possible to choose to play like 3 playlists out of my 10 playlists, because then I would get where the modes are for. But I do not know how, I always click on one playlist and when it ends the playlist starts from the beginning, so the other modes do not make sense to me as it is not playing a next playlist.

I do not use playlists that often, because sometimes they get deleted (when I restart the phone or something like that (I know this a more a bug/feature of android and not Poweramp, still sucks though))

And I have another question about the "Play next playlist", WHY does it not go back to my normal playlists after all songs in the queue are played and why do the songs remain in the list and not get deleted after it? This is pretty annoying, because sometimes I just want to play one special song as next song but then return to my normal order in my playlist. Is that even possible without adding the playlist I want to hear to the queue?

I hope you understand what I mean, because I use the german version and I dont quite know how things are called in english, but I hope this is the right place to ask


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First, you should understand that a 'List' in Poweramp is just a general term for the grouping level of the current playback category - this could be an album, an artist, a genre, folder contents, playlists, etc. Which one is currently in use depends on which Library view you were using when you started playback in the first place (so if you start in Artists view, then a 'List' would be all of an artist's songs). The icon to the left of the song title in the player screen confirms the current playback mode.

When playing, the Shuffle mode can be adjusted by tapping on the Shuffle icon in the lower-right-hand corner of the album art area, as follows:

  • Off: Play all the contents of the current List (the current album, folder, playlist, etc) in order. Then, as long as Repeat mode (lower-left-hand corner icon) has been set to 'Advance List', the next List (i.e. the next album, next folder, next playlist, etc) will be played, and so on. Basically, just play everything from start to finish according to the user's defined Sort Order.
  • Shuffle All: Completely randomised playback of any available songs, anything at all could be played next.
  • Shuffle Lists (Songs in Order): The contents of each List (i.e. an album, folder, playlist, etc) will be played in the correct order, and then a new random List will be chosen and all of its songs will be played in order, and so on. For example allows you to listen to some random album from start to finish, then chooses another album at random and listen to that from start to finish. Great for concept albums, stories, audiobooks, classical music, gapless tracks, etc.
  • Shuffle Songs (Lists in Order): The contents of the current List will be played in random order, and then the next List will be played (also with its tracks in random order) and so on. This allows you to listen to an album's contents played back in random order, and then the next album in sequence will be played with its tracks randomised too, etc.
  • Shuffle Songs and Lists: A random List will be chosen and played randomly, then another random List will be chosen and its contents played in random order, and so on. e.g. choose an album at random and play all of its tracks in random order, then choose another album at random and do the same, etc.

The Queue, on the other hand, is just a short-term sequence of songs which are meant to interrupt normal playback, and once all of the queued items have been played, Poweramp returns to where it left off within the original list playback mode. Think of it as pausing normal playback for a short time while you listen to a few specific songs, before going back to what you were doing before. The queue is retained as a special type of list in case you want to go back through it again, with already-played songs shown in grey. While you are looking at it you can empty it with Menu > Clear Q. Oh, and you can choose whether the queue should be shuffled or always played in the order you added the songs (you can also move songs up or down in the queue, the same way you do with playlists).

The Repeat icon (lower-left) is simpler and a bit more obvious. You can choose to repeat the current song, or the current List, or set it to Advance List which will move on to the next List once the current one is finished (and thus keep on going through your whole music collection). Setting it to Repeat Off will cause playback to stop at the end of the current List.

Memory-based Playlists (i.e. stored locally in Poweramp's database) do run the risk of being lost by a crash or reinstall, or if some songs get deleted, however you can back them up to permanent files which are saved to storage in M3U format, via Settings > Folders and Library > Export Poweramp Playlists.


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