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Random which is actually random?


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Not sure if this rant belongs to BUGS or NEW FEATURE REQUEST...

Anyhow - random playback has been getting on my nerves more and more lately...
To be perfectly clear - I'm always in the direct files mode.
-Suppose, I have a folder full of files, so from the browser I'm taping "random playback".
Here's the thing:  every time I do that in the same folder, the so-called random algorithm follows the exact same order.  Where is RANDOM?
-Now, let's push it a step further.  I have a folder full of folders and files.   I want the whole thing played RANDOMLY.  So from the folder list, I press the same "random playback" button with the "random" settings set to "shuffle every damned thing"...  And it does exactly that (not forgetting the previous example) for a dozen or or so songs, until getting stuck in some random folder indefinitely.    WTH happened to RANDOM?
Now, before the developer claims that I'm a moron who doesn't know how to enter into settings - I've tried every possible setting combination available -  the ones on the main playback screen and these buried deep down in settings - and all of the above to not much avail.
Thoughts?  Or is it just me
Observed this behaviour over 2 different handsets and 3 full handset resets.
Edited by alexeyga
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20 minutes ago, andrewilley said:

On your screenshot, you have 'No Reshuffle' enabled, have you tried turning that off as that would cause the results you describe?


Tried everything in every possible combination.  Have been dealing with this for a good while...

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One way to see the results of any re-shuffle by the way (and continue to see each new shuffled order) is to navigate to a folder for which you want to shuffle some files and tap the three-dots menu icon, choose List Options, and set the Sort order to "By Shuffle Order". That will display PA's planned shuffle order in the library view, rather than showing the songs by Track#, Title, etc. Each time you tap the Shuffle icon at the top of the folder a new song should start playing and the planned order should be re-randomised. This may be easier to review if you change Settings > Library> Lists > Show Track Number to "In the Title (everywhere)".

Don't forget to change the List Order back to your normal mode again after you've tested the results, or PA will continue to play in the shuffled order all the time, even when you turn Shuffle off.


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  • 2 weeks later...


I've been testing it slowly over the week.  The gist of it comes down to:

-Disabling the "no reshuffle" seems to help to randomise things, so I don't get the exact same random order in the exact same order again and again.

-However, when I'm in a folder with files and multiple sub-folders in it -  and I want to play the whole thing randomly - it still does so perfectly for XX number of files until getting stuck in one single folder. Just yesterday while training i re-shuffled twice the same huge folder and although the initial order was different - on both occasions it ended up shuffling files in the exact same folder.

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If you do anything that triggers a track in the list to play as an independent song, such as tapping on it from the library list, it will continue in that folder only (as you will have overridden the original multi-subfolder shuffle request). You need to let playback continue through the original shuffled list (pause, and next/prev track are fine).

Assuming you have Settings > Look and Feel > Player UI > Show Track Counter enabled, keep an eye on the numbers displayed between the Timer and Repeat icons. These two numbers show the currently playing item within the total scheduled number of tracks.


The first digit should keep incrementing until it reaches the total number of tracks in the list (as shown above from 1/151 up to 151/151) at which point the shuffle list is considered done and playback will do one of three things depending on the Repeat mode that you are using: Repeat Off will just stop playback. Repeat Category will start the same multi-subfolder shuffle again, but with a newly reshuffled order. Advance Category will exit the multi-subfolder sequence and continue playing songs folder-by-folder (still used normal 'Shuffle Songs' mode). I suspect the third option is what you are experiencing, keep an eye on what those two numbers show to confirm.


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