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Shuffle options for playlist: shuffle only songs as the default


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Hi All,

I apologise if this has been asked before, feel free to link the existing thread if it exists already.

I am trying to get the shuffle option to shuffle only songs whenever I pick (or resume) a playlist.

I went to the shuffle options and these are my settings:
 

image.thumb.png.84f648e8f7bceaa4b6ee45e0159ad640.png

From my understanding, now the header shuffle button above my playlist, when pressed, will shuffle only the songs in the selected playlist, right?

 

However, it does not seem to work. When I pick a playlist and tap the shuffle button in the header, it will always default to "Shuffle songs AND categories", giving me random tracks from my music library. I must manually go through the shuffle options to get "Shuffle only songs".

While that works, if I stop playback and disconnect from Bluetooth (car/headphones), when I resume playback of that playlist (by just tapping play on the player UI), the shuffle mode will revert to "Shuffle songs AND categories" so again I need to pick the playlist again, go through the shuffle options etc. etc.

Am I missing something?

See below, how do I get that shuffle button in the header to shuffle only the playlist?

image.thumb.jpeg.8147bc3308b077a505fbaa4539120052.jpeg

 

Thank you for your help

 

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'Shuffle Songs and Categories' means that first the currently chosen category (in this case, a playlist) will be played in its entirely, in random order. So you'll hear the whole playlist, shuffled.

Only once the current playlist has been completed does the "and categories" bit come into effect, and rather than continuing to play the next playlist in order, it will pick a new random playlist and play all of its contents shuffled. And so on until it runs out of playlists.

The only Shuffle mode that will pick songs completely at random from your whole library is 'Shuffle All Songs', which is never used by the icon at the top of category lists.

Andre

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Category Items Shuffle > Shuffle Songs settings what does it do then?

Also, It looks like the "Category" part kicks in after I kill the player and resume playback at a later time, I'll try to reproduce the exact steps. Is this a bug?

 

Anyway, I am trying to do something really simple. Pick a playlist and play only that, in random order. When the last song is played, repeat the playlist.

Is this possible? 

 

 

 

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From the thread @andrewilley posted:
 

Quote

Tapping the top Shuffle Icon by default sets the Shuffle mode to 'Shuffle Songs and Categories', meaning it will play the current Category in shuffled order first, then pick a new Category at random and shuffle that. The specific shuffling mode used by that icon can be customised using Settings=>Library=>Shuffle=>Category Items Shuffle. 

Well, this does not seem to work as I always get "Shuffle Songs and Categories" despite selecting "Shuffle Songs" in the Category Items Shuffle settings

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Please see the FAQ I linked above, which explains what each of the five Shuffle options does, and also the Repeat options.

The only difference between 'Shuffle Songs' and 'Shuffle Songs and Categories' is what happens after the current playlist has been completely played. In the first case, the next playlist will be chosen in order, but in the second case a new playlist will be chosen at random.

If you don't want playback to continue with a new playlist once the current one is complete, change the Repeat mode on the Player Screen from the default of 'Advance Category' to 'Repeat Off' (which will stop at the end of the current playlist) or 'Repeat Category' (which will repeat the current playlist again, in a new shuffled order).

If you kill the player (i.e. force close as opposed to simply closing the interface by using the Back or Home buttoms) then yes, you might possibly lose the current shuffle session. Otherwise the current session should be continued when you next return to Poweramp and press Play on the Player Screen. To check this, take a look at the numbers on the track counter (between the Timer and Repeat icons) which should show numbers in the format nn / xxxx, meaning song nn of a total of xxxx planned songs. If nn ever goes back to 1 again, a reshuffle has occurred and a new order is being played. (Note: the track counter display is optional, if it is turned off you can enable it via Settings=>Look and Feel=>Player UI=>Show Track Counter)

Andre

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Thanks.

Again, see my settings:

image.thumb.png.d628da0d62647c19e60786dc2fdd26ff.png

 

Now, when I tap the shuffle button in the playlist header, I always get "Shuffle Songs and Categories".

image.thumb.jpeg.f04511bf9b1609adbe97041b02b148f3.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.a4d4c6894b624dddc447a6950e3687f6.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.dc86d39a6d28d39eaedd7f1a0af3ec2f.jpeg

 

I cannot make it default to "Shuffle Songs", what am I doing wrong?

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As noted in the setting description, the options in 'Category Items Shuffle' in Settings=>Library=>Shuffle apply to the shuffling of sub-albums when you are browsing in various Category views - such as the album view in the Artists, Album Artists, Years, Genres or Composers categories. It controls how the sub-albums are shuffled - e.g. do you hear all of one album shuffled first and then move on to another shuffled album, or do you hear random songs one-by-one from any albums by that artist. Categories that do not have any drill-down album layers (such as Folders, Playlists, Top Rated, etc) are not affected by that setting.

Using the Shuffle icon at the top of any songs list will always start playback in Shuffle Songs/Categories mode. During playback of the current shuffled list there is absolutely no difference between 'Shuffle Songs' and 'Shuffle Songs/Categories' - you will hear the whole Playlist, played in random order. Whether playback then continues on to another Playlist (either in order, or shuffled) after the current one has finished, or playback stops/repeats at the end, is dependent on how you've set the Repeat mode on the Player Screen.

Andre

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I selected Dream Theater as Artist and still "Shuffle Songs and Categories", see the notification

image.thumb.png.0e7b43ef473ff68bbcc3adca39791ecd.png

 

I selected their album "Awake" and still "Shuffle Songs and Categories", see the notification

image.thumb.png.e2be8f7d8fc5f90ae53a4eb5a98fffad.png

No way to shuffle only songs. 

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Both of your examples are songs lists, so yes they would use Songs/Categories for shuffling. Is that a problem in some way? The whole list of Songs will be shuffled.

For that setting adjustment to kick in, go to a level that shows a list of album titles and tap on the Shuffle icon.

Andre

 

 

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I cannot believe I am the only one having this issue.

Whatever I select, whether is Album, Artist, Playlist etc, if I tap shuffle on the header bar, it will always "Shuffle Songs and Categories", despite having a setting to avoid exactly that.

Can you post a screenshot or a gif where I can see you tap the shuffle button in the header and you get the "Shuffle Songs" by default?

 

Thanks

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Any Category list level that shows a list of Albums. With 'Songs Only' enabled, you won't hear your music album-by-album, but instead you will hear random songs from any album in that list until the whole Artist has been played:

Screenshot_20230303-145039_Poweramp.jpg

Andre

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Posted (edited)

To me, this default "Shuffle Songs and Categories" is counter-intuitive, since Poweramp is the only one that shuffles that way, as far as I know. For any other player I tried, when you select a playlist, tapping shuffle will just shuffle the selected playlist, no questions asked. Not sure why Poweramp has to be different, but I am almost 50 so probably too old school.

However, I found a workaround that might work. I hide the header buttons since they do not work for me anyway. I tap a song on the playlist and it looks like that shuffles only the songs in that playlist, and the shuffle mode persists across app restarts or changing playlist.

Fingers crossed

Edited by mirko77
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2 minutes ago, mirko77 said:

 when you select a playlist, tapping shuffle will just shuffle the selected playlist, no questions asked.

That's what Poweramp does, all of the songs in the current playlist will be played in random order.

The 'categories' bit only comes into action to define what happens after the current list is finished.

Andre

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Quote

The 'categories' bit only comes into action to define what happens after the current list is finished.

This is the weird part, which cannot be disabled. Not sure why the "Shuffle Songs" default cannot be applied to playlists. Go figure.

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1 hour ago, mirko77 said:

This is the weird part, which cannot be disabled.

Sure it can be disabled. Just turn the main Repeat mode to either 'Off' or 'Repeat Category', and it then makes no difference whatsoever what Category the Shuffle process might want to play next, as it will never get played anyway.

Andre

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  • Solution

I guess it might be easier to go back to basics here, although much of thus is covered in the FAQ anyway. One of the perennial problems of "power" apps is that there can be a ton of detailed little options and variants, and sometimes it's a bit of a learning curve to find your way through them.

Poweramp has several Repeat and Shuffle modes, all of which operate based on the concept of a current playback 'Category' - which could mean Playlists, or Albums, or Folders, etc depending on what type of list you originally start playback from.

Lets take Playlists as an example, and look first at the Repeat modes:

  • Play Single Song ---  Play current song only, and then stop.
  • Repeat Song --  Play current song, and then repeat the same song forever.
  • Repeat Off ---  Play all the songs in the current Category (i.e. Playlist) from start to finish, and then stop. This wording can be a bit confusing, so just think of it as really meaning "Play Current Category".
  • Repeat Category ---  Play all the songs in the current Category (i.e. Playlist) from start to finish, and then repeat the same Playlist forever.
  • Advance Category ---  Play all the songs in the current Category (i.e. Playlist) from start to finish, then move on to the next Playlist and play that, and so on until we run out of Playlists. Again, the wording is a legacy thing and can be a bit confusing, but all it really means is "Play All Categories" - or perhaps more accurately "Repeat All Categories", as it wraps round at the end and starts again.

The Shuffle options control the ordering of the actual songs within each Category (i.e. Playlist in our example) and in what order those Categories (Playlists) are chosen. Obviously if you are using Repeat Off or Repeat Category, just the current Playlist will be played or repeated, and we'll never move on to hear another Playlist (Category):

  • Shuffle Off --- Everything is played in regular unshuffled order, as per the List Options menu settings for the Category type that we are listening to. So first all of the songs in Playlist1 are played in their normal order. Playback will stop (or repeat) at the end, unless Advance Category is in use in which case all the songs in Playlist2 will then be played in normal order, then Playlist3, Playlist4, etc until we run out of playlists.
  • Shuffle Songs --- All of the songs in the current Category (i.e. Playlist) will be played in shuffled order until every song in the current Playlist has been played. Playback will stop (or repeat) at the end, unless Advance Category is in use in which case Playlist2 will then commence and all of its songs will be played in randomised order, then Playlist3, Playlist4, etc until we run out of playlists.
  • Shuffle Categories --- A Category (i.e. Playlist) will be chosen at random and all of its songs will be played in regular (unshuffled) order. Playback will stop (or repeat) at the end, unless Advance Category is in use in which case another random Playlist will be chosen and all of its songs played in normal (unshuffled) order, then another random playlist, etc until we run out of playlists.
  • Shuffle Songs/Categories --- Combines the above two actions. First a random Category (i.e. random Playlist) is picked and all of its songs will be played in shuffled order. Playback will stop (or repeat) at the end, unless Advance Category is in use in which case another random Playlist will be picked and all of its songs played in shuffled order, then another random playlist, etc until we run out of playlists.
  • Shuffle All Songs --- Ignores Categories completely, and just picks a random song from anywhere in your Library, then another random song, then another, until your whole music collection has been played.

So if you are using Repeat Off (basically meaning "Play One Category") or Repeat Category, the Shuffle Songs and Shuffle Songs/Categories modes are the effectively the exact same thing - play all of the songs in the current Playlist and then stop (or repeat). It's only if Advance Category (aka "Play All Categories") is in use that Poweramp will move on to a new Playlist when the current one is finished. So as long as you don't have Advance Category enabled, it makes no difference at all whether Shuffle Songs or Shuffle Songs/Categories is used.

Finally (if you're still reading!) there was some debate a while back about how the Shuffle icon at the top of album lists should work. If you are viewing a particular Artist who has (say) ten albums for example, how should those ten albums be shuffled? One way would be to just pick completely random songs from any of those ten albums, so you get a completely shuffled series of songs by the same artist. Another way would be to select one random album and listen to it from start to finish, in the order the artist intended. Or you could listen to random albums one by one, but with the individual songs within each of those albums shuffled too.

This dilemma was solved by providing the user with a choice via Settings=>Library=>Shuffle=>Category Items Shuffle. However that option is only intended to be used in that one specific instance of playing from a list that has multiple albums within it, and it does not (and could not) apply when viewing a simple song list. There is also a separate control to provide similar functionality for Folder browsing too, by the way.

Phew, I hope some of the above helps. Might take a couple of reads through, and even some trial sessions in the app, to get fully familiar with all of it though.

Andre

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Thanks for the detailed answer. 

That seems to work, I just need to ignore the notification and the icon.

However, it happened a few times but I still do not have the exact step to reproduce it, I got random songs from another playlist being picked. What could cause this? Sometimes I delete a song (and its file) from a playlist while listening to it, could that somehow affect the playing queue?

Or pausing and resuming playback across Bluetooth devices? I usually resume by opening the player UI and tapping on the play button. 

it's a mystery, I'll try to pay more attention and I'll report back.

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Once a shuffled songs sequence has started, PA will play the whole of the current Category (e.g. Playlist) in random order. You can pause and restart if you want. Unless you trigger a reshuffle in some way, which will cause the track counter to go back to "1 / xxxx", so you can easily see if that has happened. If you think something incorrect has been played, press the << button to go back a track or two to find the culprit, and check to see if the song really is in the current playlist.

One other possible cause of unexpected songs being played is if you've left something in the temporary Queue that hasn't been played yet. PA should notice and try to interrupt regular playback to go through the remainder of the Queue before it carries on with normal playback. If there's anything left in there, just clear it via the menu in Library=>Queue.

Andre 

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