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Please explain shuffle options


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If I repeatedly press the Shuffle icon on the player screen while a song is playing, it cycles through the following shuffle options:

Off - I think I understand this one

Shuffle All Available Songs - also clear

Shuffle Songs, Lists In Order - ?

Shuffle Lists, Songs in Order - ??

Shuffle Songs, Shuffle Lists - ???

If I long-press the shuffle icon, I am offered the following options from a pop-up menu:

Shuffle Off - understood

All - all available songs?

Songs - what songs?

Lists - what does it mean to shuffle lists?

Lists/Songs - no idea

I don't know what the difference is between these options, except for Off and Shuffle All Songs. Can someone explain?

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Yeah, this concept of 'lists' is confusing a few people - it's a kind of generic term to cover folders, albums, artists, etc - basically whatever you've currently got requested as your 'top-level' sort order.

I use folder mode, and the Shuffle terms translate as follows (but the same idea applies if you categorise by abums, artists, etc):

Off - No shuffling. Play all files (tracks) within the first folder (or album or artist) in order, then play the next folder/album/artist in sequence, etc.

All (aka Shuffle All Songs) - Completely random, any file/track from any folder/album/artist can be played next.

Songs (aka Shuttle Songs, Lists In Order) - Folders/Albums/Artists are chosen in the correct order, but all the files/tracks within each folder/album/artist will be randomised.

Lists (aka Shuffle Lists, Songs in Order) - Folders/Albums/Artists are chosen at random, but the files/tracks within each of those folders/albums/artists are player in the correct original order.

Lists/Songs (aka Shuffle Songs, Shuffle Lists) - A folder/ablum/artist is chosen at random and then all of the files/tracks within that folder/ablum/artist are played at random, then a new folder/ablum/artist is chosen (at random) and its contents are played in random order, etc.

At least, I think that's how it works!


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Thanks for the tips. I also use folder mode, and my playlists are file-based playlists sync'd over from iTunes. File-based playlists seem to be pretty clunky in Poweramp. It often forgets where in the playlist it last was, and scrolling through a file-based playlist is pretty sluggish. So what I do now is select a file-based playlist, do a random sort on it, then Enqueue it. Now I can play the Queue with shuffle off, and Poweramp can remember its place in the queue from session to session. I can also re-shuffle the Queue if I want to hear some songs already played, repeated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And how do I shuffle the queue so that the songs within the queue are randomly played without repeating any song, so that it is shuffled until all songs are played once and then it stops - was working brilliant before 2.x was released :(

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I also found this confusing, and it needs to be simplified. I want to shuffle all songs or the currently playing playlist... that's it.

That's EXACTLY what I want to do also. I've about 50 albums on my phone all of which appear as "Folders". I also have one "Playlist" for when I'm out running which is also a "Folder" i.e. it's an actual folder with MP3 files in it, not a virtual list drawn from songs in other folders. All I want to be able to do is have the songs in the "Playlist" folder shuffle constantly but I don't see an option for doing that. The closest I can find is "shuffle songs, lists in order" which means when all songs have been played once it moves onto the next folder. I don't want it to move onto the next folder I want it to keep randomply playing the songs I have in that one specific folder.

I'm sure I could do this in previous versions but I can't in this current version and it's craking me up. Just as I'm losing energy and need a bit of ZZ Top or Guns and Roses to push me to the finish line I'm getting Neil Young's soothing ballads in my ears!!!!

Can anyone help with a workaround for this???


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My #1 reason for looking at different music players right now is the horrible shuffling options in the stock android music player. I have many albums, and many singles in my library, and had originally tried to organize them in folders on the memory card to organize them better but that turned out to be a waste of time since the stock player couldn't deal with it. I tried other players that could play folders, but I hated the rest of their features so eventually went back to stock and dealt with its playlists.

I need a player that can do these 2 things for me:

1> reshuffle. Has anyone noticed that the stock player only shuffles your list once? No matter how many times you go into and out of shuffle, it ALWAYS plays the songs in the same order from the first shuffle. I want to keep playing the same playlist (or folder or whatever) but in a different random order.

2> remember where I was in the playlist. When I leave the player and come back to it the next day, I want to pick up where I left off. This is the same problem we had when CDs first came out. You'd turn the car (or portable player) off and it would start at the beginning of the first song (or reshuffled list) when you turned it back on.

Is Poweramp the player I'm looking for?

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Yeah, this concept of 'lists' is confusing a few people - it's a kind of generic term to cover folders, albums, artists, etc - basically whatever you've currently got requested as your 'top-level' sort order.

OK, that's what I guessed it meant, which is great because I've been wanting to shuffle by album.

But it took me a while to figure out how to do it (I hadn't when I first started writing this). For anyone else: I had to go to library -> Albums -> long press on any album -> play. Then, in the player, step through the shuffle options until you get to shuffle lists.

What doesn't work is going to Library -> Albums -> Menu -> Shuffle -> change to shuffle lists... if you do that it doesn't remember that you were browsing by album - when you select shuffle from the menu while in the Library it seems to reset your 'top level sort order' to all songs.

It might be nice to have a way to select the different shuffle options directly from the library view.

EDIT: OK, my method for shuffling albums doesn't quite work, because although it will go to another randomly chosen album if you do a "big" skip ahead, if you just let the album play out it stops. So I still don't know how to really get it to continuously play random albums.

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  • 1 year later...

OK great so here I was thinking I was all alone by not understanding this Shuffle menu list "AT ALL" and I still don't get it. 


Perhaps someone can help me. All I want to do is shuffle a playlist (of which I have many). The songs in that playlist refer to mp3's located in numerous folders normally arranged by Artist. So please please can someone tell me which of these "Shuffle" settings will allow me to shuffle just my playlist regardless of where they are situated on my android harddrive.


I would appreciate that.


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  • 1 month later...

What would be the difference between "Shuffle all songs" and "Shuffle songs, Shuffle lists"? When would I need to use one over the other? 


See post #2 above.


Basically, "Shuffle All" can play any song at all from your library, in any order. "Shuffle Songs, Shuffle Lists" first chooses an album or folder and then plays that album's entire contents (in random order), then it randomly chooses another album/folder and does the same again, etc.



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  • 7 months later...

... sorry, but I think I have to move this age-old thread back up, again, as I don't think it answers my specific question:


I usually don't want to shuffle over my ENTIRE library of music, but only a number of albums.

What do I have to do?


When I want to listen to the albums in order, I go to my library, select the ones I want to listen to and queue them up.

This creates a Queue list with for sake of example 50 songs coming from 4 different albums.

Normal playback will now play all songs in the order they appear on on their respective albums, albums in the same order as I queued them up.


Which shuffle option should I use to just shuffle this queue?

When I initially installed Poweramp, I was coming from Winamp, which was ALWAYS shuffling the current playlist (it did it very poorly, which is one reason I left Winamp behind). I seem to remember that my first naive attempt was successful with Poweramp, too - i.e. I simply tapped the shuffle icon (once, for the very first time) and it shuffled my queue.

A little later, I lost interest in the current queue and was selecting a number of different albums.

That's where things started to go wrong for me:

it either shuffled the complete library, or was playing the same songs over and over, again (that is, it started to show very similar misbehavior as Winamp).


And with me not understanding what the shuffle options and tapping wildly away on the shuffle icon, I finally gave up and am now playing the queue in order.


So, my question(s) would be:

- how do I correctly queue up a number of albums (and along with that: how do I reset the queue and start a new one with a different set of songs/albums)?

- which shuffle option should do the trick and what am I doing wrong if things aren't working, correctly?


Any help greatly appreciated,

thanks, luki.


PS: I am using 2.0.9-build-541-arm-play on Android 4.0.4 (older Sony Xperia Ray).

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, Luki! I'm still kinda new at PA so I'm learning too. I don't know whether you can shuffle the queue. I've never tried but I did learn something else that's helpful to me. So hopefully it'll be helpful to others as well.

After you create a play list & while you have it open for viewing, press the Menu button. Press the AZ List Options. You bring up a list of sorting options like Random Sort & by Track #, etc. Then when you're in playback long press Repeat & select Repeat List then long press Shuffle & select Songs/Lists & you're all set.

I've been listening to the same list for nearly 3 days & it hasn't played the same song in the same day yet.

Maybe it's my settings but I can't shut Poweramp down. Whenever I start it up it picks up right where I left off. Even when I "end this app" it doesn't really shut down. I haven't gone to the extreme & stopped it in App Manager, just via the normal end apps by long pressing the Menu button on my S4.

Hope this helps.


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  • 6 years later...

"SHUFFLE SONGS IN PLAYLIST" ..........People have been wanting this option for years.....How freaking hard is it for the Poweramp creators to just simply create a "Shuffle songs in Playlist" option......apparently really hard.......MAKE IT HAPPEN ALREADY Poweramp CREATORS!!!!!

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@Hank_Shanez It might be an idea to do some investigating for yourself, or read the in-app help or the Knowledge Base/FAQs, before joining a forum and immediately posting such a belligerent comment in CAPITALS. You may not make many friends that way. Anyway, as it turns out, doing what you ask is not very "freaking hard" at all:

If you just want to play an existing Playlist in a random order, start playback by tapping the 'Shuffle' icon at the top of that playlist's song view:

Or if you are already playing a Playlist and don't want to bother going back to the list, just tap the similar Shuffle icon on the main player screen a couple of times so you activate 'Shuffle Songs' mode.

Neither of the above modes physically changes the source Playlist's contents though, so the original defined order is retained safely in the list for later use. However if you do want to alter the actual song ordering within the Playlist, go into the Playlist songs view, tap the menu button (three-dots icon at the top) and choose 'Re-Sort'. There are about a dozen ways to permanently re-order the songs in a Playlist, one of which is Shuffle:

For lots more discussion on the various Shuffle and Repeat options, please see the Knowledge Base/FAQ article:



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  • 3 months later...

I think I get the shuffle\ repeat options available, but what I want is to be able to randomly play any song within an Artist's list of albums (without having to make manual playlists for each artist).  Basically, I don't want the possible selection to be from just one album at a time but from all the albums for the artist.  So I 1st song might be from 1987 album, and next song might be from 1995 album, but only for this artist.  With the available options, the closest thing I can do is randomly play songs in an album and then continue randomly playing songs in the next album until all the songs in each category are finished.  But I'm wanting to randomly play any of the artist's songs.  Other than making this into a playlist, is there a way to do this?  In the older Poweramp version, I could do this by long clicking on the artist name and selecting the Shuffle option.  This seems to have disappeared in the new version.


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Just click on the 'All Artist Songs' link at the top of any Artist's list, then tap the Shuffle icon.

There is also an option (Shuffle Category Songs) in Settings > Library > Lists to make this the default behaviour for the main Artist view, if you never want artist album shuffling.


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