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Your Ideas At Work: Shuffle Improvements


The Community Ideas Board isn’t just about requesting new features. It’s also about improving the features already in Spotify.


Take our shuffle algorithm for instance.


The Idea “Implement an actual shuffle function” by Community user @RoninTheOrigina  gathered over 850 votes.  Users were vocal in their comments about what they wanted (and didn’t want) when it came to shuffling playlists.


We then passed this knowledge on and our teams got to work.


The result: an improved shuffling algorithm that avoids playing a couple songs from an artist too close together.


shuffle algorithm.png


If you’re thinking, “that sounds kind of vague, what are these improvements” then fret no more.


Spotify’s @lukasP  has written an extensive blog post on how we gathered user feedback on Shuffle, analyzed their comments, took a hard look at our previous algorithm and found the best way to bring the improvements users wanted.


We’re aware this doesn’t fix all shuffling issues forever. Rest assured we are still working on this though.  You’ll also see the new algorithm in other clients other than desktop soon.


Now go hit shuffle on your favorite playlist and reap the benefits of your hard work clicking that Kudos button.




Casual Listener

How about not playing songs with the same lead singer back to back, which happens on every playlist every single day?


The same singer in multiple bands and as solo frequently appear in close proximity (usually two tracks in a row).  This is statistically improbable from the size of my playslists and feels like poorly constructed shuffle logic.

Not applicable

I’m a programmer. I’m a mediocre programmer. A true shuffle program is computer science 101. It is 2019 and this has been a problem since at least 2014. It took years for Spotify to even agree to provide a simple sort by name function for playlists and albums and other categories. I don’t understand why Spotify cannot or will not implement these things quickly or, in the case of shuffle, at all.  But I’ve had enough. I’m closing my Spotify account. I simply do not understand how such a seemingly talented development team can be so incompetent. But I’m doing giving it any money. Good riddance. 

Casual Listener

Spotfy's ability to shuffle/randomise remains a blight on the program and doesn't work *AT ALL*.  If the post that started this thread was actually implemented back in 2014, then it's a regression.  As others have said: this is computer science 101.  Your randomisation is irritatingly bad, and like the post before me, there's a good chance if this doesn't get fixed, I'll just cancel.  I even made a video of it.


Before I knew of this "improvement" I sent (today, July 28, 2019) this complaint to Spotify Support regarding the CURRENT Shuffle feature. Frankly, the Shuffle feature is still very inadequate. (note: the email was a request for 3 improvements to their app. Following is my second suggestion only):  2) Improved ‘Shuffle’ feature. This feature does a crummy job of shuffling, it only seems to shuffle a few tracks around but leaves most tracks in sequence.



Casual Listener

Your shuffle function still sucks.


This has been a reported issue for 7 years now, and the last update was "we won't play the same author too close together."


Proper shuffle/randomisation is computer science 101. This means there is clearly some ulterior motive for Spotify's behaviour. I mean: your software sucks, but even a child can write shuffle functions.


My theory is that you get different amounts from different labels/studios for different songs, and you weight them according to the amount of money you can make cramming the same songs down our throats until we hate our own music selections.


My most played playlist has 600 songs in it.  I have heard dozens of them dozens of times.  Many of them I've never heard.  Not once.


I think Spotify doesn't actually play songs in a playlist in a random way. I have a playlist with more than 1700 songs, with hundreds of artists. Often, Spotify plays the same artist if not in the sequence (which has already happened) with few songs between reproductions. It is also not uncommon to replay songs from a playlist that have been played before. And that, if we think about a universe of hundreds of artists, as in the case of my playlist, is not appropriate. Okay, if I were to think in a random order, that means "any song", but one has to imagine a minimum "intelligence" of a random reproduction, not repeating an artist before reproducing another one that has not yet reproduced. And repeating songs, then, is ridiculous. You could associate the user who is playing the song, and check which artists and which songs have already been played by the user, to avoid repetition (just like the iPhone does, for example).


After trying every ridiculous troubleshooting option to fix "shuffle", I've concluded that Spotify plays the artists and songs SPOTIFY wants to play.  For a playlist with well over a hundred different artists and several hundred songs, I can predict which songs will play with nearly 95% accuracy.  I suppose they have valid business reasons for playing the same 3 David Bowie songs EVERY time I shuffle the playlist.  I'm sure Apple is guilty of the same, but hopefully their favorites are slightly different.  This thread is 4 years old, time to bail.

About 4 weeks ago I noticed that I was hearing a lot fewer ads, but the playlist tracks on my free account kept defaulting to shuffle.  
If this is an incentive to switch to Premium, fine. But this is quite a major shift in Spotify's working model; has this been advertised at all? I've been going loopy this past few weeks wondering why my playlists weren't playing in order, trying to work out if my devices were faulty.
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