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Questions about queue and shuffle


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TL;DR - 

1. How do I just queue up a playlist and have it shuffle only that playlist?

2. Does PA have a "Now Playing" list where I can easily add/remove songs?
3. Why are queue management and shuffle options so unintuitive?



Hi all.  I recently switched to Poweramp, coming from streaming services like Grooveshark.  I manage my music library on MusicBee on my desktop, then sync it with Poweramp, which is working better than I ever could have hoped.  I'm so glad I decided to ditch streaming services, and get back to my mp3 collection.  Loving PA so far, but the queue and shuffle are confusing me.  I've searched, and read about my questions, but I'm still not quite clear on how PA handles queues and shuffle.  It seems to be more complex than it needs to be, but I feel it will be really powerful when I learn how to use it.  I hope?


Here's what I did on Grooveshark, and what I'd like to do with PA:  On GS, I would queue up songs from a playlist, or my favorites, or wherever.  Then that queue of songs would never change unless I added or removed songs.  I could play that queue forever, on shuffle, repeat, or just straight through.


When click one of the playlists I have on Poweramp, it starts playing the first song from that playlist.  When I click shuffle, it starts shuffling every single song in my library.  Why doesn't it just shuffle the playlist I selected to play?  When I click the song title to return to my queue, it has every song from my library loaded into it!  If I wanted to shuffle my entire library, I should be able to queue my library, then hit one shuffle button. Why are there half a dozen shuffle options?  If I want to shuffle a playlist, I should be able to queue a playlist, then hit one button to shuffle the currently queued songs. How do I select a playlist, and have it shuffle it?  That's all I want to do.  Queue a playlist, and hit a button to shuffle only the playlist I just queued up.


Also, I don't even know if the queue is what I'm looking at.  When I have a song playing, and I click the title of the song in the main window, does Poweramp take me back to the queue?  Is that the "Now Playing" list I'm looking at?  Does PA even have a Now Playing list?  I just want to be able to look at my Now Playing list, and have the option to easily add, remove songs, or just clear the entire queue and start over. It feels like Poweramp developers got a little too fancy with how the queue list and shuffle works, and made the learning curve a little too steep for something that should be universally simple.


Any advice is greatly appreciated.  I'm a few days into my trial, and really want to stick with Poweramp.  The crossfade feature is what sold me on it, and I love the look and feel of the app.  I just need to figure out how to manage the queue and shuffle features without wanting to throw my phone out the window on the highway.

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Poweramp is very powerful, but you're right that there is a slight learning curve.

First, you should understand that a 'List' in Poweramp is the term for the current playback grouping level which contains the songs you are listening to - this could be an album, an artist, a genre, folder contents, playlists, etc. Which mode is currently in use depends on which library view you were using when you started playback in the first place. The icon to the left of the song title in the player screen confirms the current mode.

When playing tracks normally, shuffle mode can be enabled by tapping on the Shuffle icon which is located in the lower-right-hand corner of the album art area. Shuffle mode can be cycled through several choices:

  • Off: Play all the contents of the current List (current album, folder, playlist, etc) in order. Then, as long as Repeat mode (lower-left-hand corner icon) has been set to 'Advance List', the next List (i.e. next album, next folder, next playlist, etc) will be played in order, and so on. Basically, just play everything from start to finish according to the user's required Sort Order.
  • Shuffle All: Completely randomised playback of any available songs, anything at all could be played next.
  • Shuffle Lists (Songs in Order): The contents of each List (i.e. an album, folder, playlist, etc) will be played in the correct order, and then a new random List will be chosen and all of its songs will be played in order, and so on. For example allows you to listen to a random album from start to finish, then chose another album at random and listen to that from start to finish. Great for concept albums, stories, audiobooks, classical music, gapless tracks, etc.
  • Shuffle Songs (Lists in Order): The contents of the current List will be played in random order, and then the next List in order will be played (also with its tracks in random order) and so on. This allows you to listen to an album's contents played back in random order, and then the next album in sequence will be played with its tracks randomised, etc.
  • Shuffle Songs and Lists: A random List will be chosen and played randomly, then another random List will be chosen and its contents played in random order, and so on. e.g. choose an album and random and play all of its tracks in random order, then choose another album at random and do the same, etc.
The short answer to your main question is for you to start playback of your chosen Playlist, and set the Shuffle mode to "Shuffle Songs (Lists in order)".

The queue, on the other hand, is just a short-term sequence of songs which are meant to interrupt normal playback, and once all of the queued items have been played, Poweramp returns to where it left off in normal list playback mode. Think of it as pausing normal playback for a short time while you listen to a few specific songs, before going back to what you were doing before.

The normal sort order can be adjusted for various the List types independently, and also for their contents, via the menu in the Library view. Playlists, and the Queue, can be adjusted manually, allowing you to drag tracks up and down within the playback order as you wish (drag using the slider thumbs on the right).


I hope this now makes some sort of sense for you anyway, it's quite logical once you understand the basic principles.



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andrewilley, thank you so much. I see you all over these forums going back years, and I hope the developer appreciates all the help you provide to the users of their app.


Thank you for the detailed explanation of the queue and shuffle features.  That is a huge help. I'll work with Poweramp more tonight and get more familiar with how they work.  For now, I found that long-pressing the playlist and selecting "Shuffle" from the menu that pops up will start just that playlist in shuffle mode.  That will work well for now.

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