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The constant confusion with playlists

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I know this topic has been discussed a few times, but I would like to reiterate a few points here.

First of all, the point of creating a playlist is that when I play it, I want to listen exclusively to the tracks it contains and nothing else (selecting a genre/album/artist is the same, of course).

That is, I expect the following behavior:
1. in the view of the selected playlist I can start it - either in sorted order or in shuffle mode.
2. in shuffle mode the playback doesn't start with the first track, but with a random track from the playlist
3. when all tracks are played, playback should stop - and not jump to another list
4. when in shuffle mode, skipping the last track will cause playback to stop - and not continue with another list
5. if I start shuffle mode again in the list view, a new random order will be created

I believe this behavior is what most of all PA users want.

Unfortunately this is very difficult to implement in PA, because the two upper buttons in the view of a single playlist (Shuffle/Play) do NOT create the desired mentioned behavior, but what only makes sense in the overall view of ALL playlists: There it is ok if Play starts the first playlist and then jumps to the next, and there it is also ok if Shuffle means that afterwards any other playlist is played - but not in the view of a SINGLE playlist. There it should generate the behavior as in 1.

I know that the user can still influence the behavior of the playback in the view of the currently played track with the corresponding buttons - but who wants to (have to) do that? As I said, when I start a playlist, I just want it to play the way I want it to and that's it.

I think the GUI should first and foremost accommodate the average user's behavior. 95% of the users use 5% of the features and only 5% of the users use 95% of the features. If there are too many knobs to change things on, and then they are in the wrong places, then the whole thing becomes unintuitive, irrational and quite annoying. Right?

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I'm not sure I agree with the fact that an average user only listens to one thing (e.g. one album) and then stops listening. I suspect most listeners have more musical stamina than that. :)

However whichever type of listener you are, just set the 'Repeat' icon (on the main player screen) as per your listening preferences:

  • If you are the sort of person who normally wants to carry on listening after the current thing is done, set the Repeat icon on the Player Screen to 'Advance Category'. That's for folks like me - and I suspect for many of the general userbase, so it's the default setting.
  • If (as in your case) you want to stop listening after the current album, folder, playlist, etc has finished, just set that icon to 'Repeat Off'.

Once that's done (you only need to do it once, it sticks) then pretty much all of your points are covered:

  1. Yes, just tap on the 'Play' or 'Shuffle' button when viewing a particular playlist and that's what it will do.
  2. That's the default behaviour for the Shuffle button anyway, whatever the repeat mode.
  3. Yes, that's what "Repeat Off" does.
  4. If you tap the 'Next Track' button, that's what the app will do - it's kinda what it says on the tin really. If you'd prefer to loop back and listen to the same session again though (i.e. same playlist but with a new shuffle sequence), set the Repeat mode to 'Repeat Category'. But Next Track will still take you to a new track, that's why you press it.
  5. Yes, that's the app's default behaviour anyway, whatever the repeat mode.

Poweramp is a power application, that's why people choose it over more basic manufacturer-supplied music players. But I agree that all the feature can make the learning curse a bit steeper than something more basic.


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Thank you, Andre, for your detailed answer. Of course, the behavior of a "normal" user is pure speculation, however, I write not to be the only one who has problems with the program logic here. My main concern is intuitive operation - and I just find it irrational that Shuffle in the view of a single playlist also forces to continue playing and shuffling to a random next list. From my feeling it should not be like that, but the shuffled list should just end. If someone does NOT want that, he can change that in the setting of the current title. As it is now, just YOUR normal behavior is made the default - and as I said, I just doubt that this is the same for most users.... ;)

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  • Solution

Intuitively, if I'm listening to albums and I've just finished Adele's "21" then it would seem logical for Adele's "25" to be next up, and then "30". In the same way that if I tap on a playlist song to start playback, I would expect the player to continue on with the rest of that playlist (or folder, or album, or whatever) afterwards, rather than just listening to that one song and stopping.

However it's entirely up to you. You can configure PA to automatically advance to the next album/folder/playlist after the current one is done (set 'Advance Category') or stop afterwards ('Repeat Off'). Or just play one song if you wish ('Single Song'). That's what user configurability is all about, make the app work the way you want it to rather than the way most people might want.

I would agree that the terminology of that control is a bit confusing for new users though. The wording "Advance Category" is a bit of a legacy hark-back to Poweramp v2's "Advance List" mode, and I fully accept that new users may not quite understand what it means.

In fact, I've been asking for a while if that control's wording could be updated a bit. I may be sounding a bit like a broken record on the subject by now (sorry @maxmp ) but I strongly feel that a simpler and more intuitive set of options would be more user-friendly. So without changing anything in the actual underlying functionality, the current potentially confusing wording could become:

        Play One Song | Play Category | Play All Categories | Repeat Song | Repeat Category | Repeat All Categories


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2 hours ago, Marinorama said:

As it is now, just YOUR normal behavior is made the default - and as I said, I just doubt that this is the same for most users....

There are millions of users, and plenty of them here on the forums that would suggest this isn't just a single user's preference!😉

Regardless, as @andrewilley has already confirmed above, this is a single setting to apply and have it stick. Given the huge number of other settings available, I doubt that this is one that will have the current default changed. 

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