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Shuffle weirdness with albums


ThomasMP3
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So, I love the idea of shuffling music. I select a track to listen to, and if I forget to select something else before the end of the track, it just picks something else for me. I love it! It's like listening to the radio, you never really know what's coming next.

However, I do notice that the player might make 5-6 completely random song choices, then it gets stuck in a single album and won't advance to something different until it goes through every song in the album. Then, it may jump to another album and go through all of those tracks, before giving me 4-5 more completely random tracks.

Maybe it has something to do with how I store my files? My music is sorted into folders like "Pop", "Rock", "Punk", "Heavy Metal", "Country", etc. Inside those folders are a hundreds of tracks for that genre. However there are also folders holding complete albums, inside of these genre folders. So like, in the "80's Pop" folder are hundreds of singles from the 80's, but there are also folders of complete albums like "Michael Jackson - Thriller" and "Madonna - True Blue", etc. Does this have anything to do with why Poweramp is getting stick inside albums?

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Are the four to five 'completely' random tracks singles on their own? (Each may be single tracks that by themselves and their tags Poweramp treats as an 'album'). It sounds like you're shuffling by albums (Category, not songs). Poweramp (by design) is choosing different albums to shuffle, but the playback order is sequential per the tags and chosen shuffle mode.

Shuffle mode "category and songs" should get what you want.

There's also the adjustable "randomness" slider to factor in as well.

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12 minutes ago, Fitzian said:

Are the four to five 'completely' random tracks singles on their own?

Yes, they are just random singles inside the genre folder. If Poweramp then selects a track inside a "complete album" folder (which is a sub-folder within the genre folder) it gets stuck in there until all the tracks are played.

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(Each may be single tracks that by themselves and their tags Poweramp treats as an 'album'). It sounds like you're shuffling by albums (Category, not songs). Poweramp (by design) is choosing different albums to shuffle, but the playback order is sequential per the tags and chosen shuffle mode.

That makes perfect sense, I agree, Poweramp may be treating each single as a one-track album, and thus when it hits a multi-track album it wants to play the full album before progressing.
 

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Shuffle mode "category and songs" should get what you want.

There's also the adjustable "randomness" slider to factor in as well.

 

Yep, I made sure I'm on "Category and songs" for the shuffle mode. I played with the randomness slider as well. The problem still persists: Poweramp gets stuck inside album folders and won't advance until all the tracks have been played.

I feel confident that it's not a bug, but rather a bad setting. Any other suggestions..anyone?

 

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I may have been mistaken or wording my thoughts poorly before..

Are you viewing from Folders or Folders Hierarchy ?

If you go into:

Settings -> Library -> Shuffle

-> Category Items Shuffle-> <select> Shuffle Songs/Categories (default), Shuffle Categories, or Shuffle Songs.

-> Shuffle All Songs In Folder Hierarchy -> <toggle on/off>

If I am in Folders category and click the list header Shuffle button, regardless of what options I have set above, a small toast message reading Shuffle Songs And Categories appears, and playback of a random track from a random album begins. Subsequent track advances shuffle to another random track# from the same album until all album tracks are played 1x. After that last remaining album track is played, this behavior repeats for the next random album.

If I am in Folders Hierarchy category, clicking the header shuffle button follows the toggle setting from above. If that toggle is on, playback begins of a random track from a random album. Subsequent track advances shuffle to a random track from a different album.

Once you navigate to the genre folder you want shuffled, hitting the list header Shuffle button from Folders Hierarchy category might be your answer?

Though I expect it to work for you regardless of folder structure, my library is in two top level folders:

Audiobooks\Author\Title\Chapters and Music\Artist\Album\Songs.

Edited by Fitzian
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For more information about how the different shuffle modes work, please see:

Shuffle Songs/Categories (which is the default used by the Shuffle icon in the header section at the top of lists) is designed to behave exactly as you indicated, where one category item is chosen at random (a folder, album, artist, etc depending on what you are viewing) and then all the songs within that category item are played at random. Then a new folder/album/etc is randomly picked and its song are played in shuffled order, etc. This functionality can be changed to use a more fully random shuffle (picking any song from any sub-item each time) by adjusting the options in PA Settings=>Library=>Shuffle.

However if you simply select the 'All Songs' shuffle mode from the Player screen, you will get a completely random selection of music from your entire Library, where each song could be picked from any folder, album, artist, etc. Playback will continue until every song in your library has been played once; there will be no repeats during that session unless you change the shuffle mode again. 

Andre

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@andrewilley Thanks, I think I understand now. I appreciate the link to the shuffle information, that helps.

So I have one other question about song selection to be shuffled. Is there a way I can select songs from, for example, the "Soft Rock" genre, with tracks from the years between "1975" and "1985", and add those to a playlist or cue, to be shuffled around?

Or how about "Alternative Rock" but only the years "1992" through "2005", essentially making a classic Alt-Rock radio station? 

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@ThomasMP3 You can multi-select items from any category list and then add them all (and thus all their contents) to a Playlist. Long-press on the first item, then long-press on another item to select everything in between. Or continue to toggle (select/deselect) items by tapping on them.

How easy that would be to achieve your goal depends on how well you have curated and organised your song collection though.

So for example you could go into the 'Genres' list and choose the Soft Rock section. Normally that would be sorted by Artist and then by Album name, but you could use its List Options menu to set the sort order to 'By Year' instead. Assuming all your music is properly tagged, it would be trivial to select a block of years and then use the '+Playlist' button to add them to a playlist.

Here for example I chose a genre Pop, and selected everything in that sorted list with a 1980s year. Then I deselected the Kate Bush entry (sorry Kate!) and by tapping on '+Playlist' I could add all the songs within the selected item into a playlist.

image.png

Note: the contents of the resulting playlist would be static, and would not change dynamically as you add new songs to your collection.

Andre

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