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[All Platforms] Option to have a true shuffle

So I’ve been noticing more and more recently that Spotify’s default shuffle feature doesn’t fully shuffle your songs. It does some sort of grouping to try to get similar songs together based off of what I’m sure is dozens of factors. Every time I shuffle a playlist (the one I noticed this with the most is ~100 songs and 6 hours of mostly full albums) it will group the songs mostly or completely together by album/artist, and given the number of times I’ve re-shuffled and checked the order there’s no way it’s just a coincidence. They also generally seem to be in the same order as well. If I hit shuffle play on a playlist it’ll generally put the same artists at the beginning every time.


With larger playlists of albums I am really not a fan of this shuffling method. If I have 6 hours of music on a playlist I will hardly ever have 6 hours to actually listen through the whole thing, but when I do listen to it I would like to hear all of the music on it equally, and not just the artist or two your algorithm likes to shuffle to first.


Anyways, I’m a reasonable man, all I’m asking for is an option to have a true shuffle (take all songs in the list, put them in a random order, and once they’re all played reshuffle them and play them again). Make it premium only if you want. I don’t think you should scrap the current shuffle algorithm because it sucks. Looking at some of the suggestions on here it seems like some people lobbied hard to have it that way. Just add an option for a true shuffle for those of us that don’t care about potentially getting the same song twice in a row.

Updated on 2024-05-01

Hello everyone, 


Thank you for your continued engagement and valuable feedback on this idea. 


I'm afraid there hasn't been any change on the status of this idea since our last update. However, we've been reading all your comments and feedback which have been incredibly insightful. 


We’ll keep you folks posted as soon as we have any new info to share.


To CaribbeanCarlos: So they have a true shuffle? I'm guessing so. Otherwise, how is the YouTube Music Service? I'm officially planning to make an exit after I make an attempt to contact through another mechanism. Then I'm done here. 


I think the algorithm to play similar songs works great.  But, it gets caught in a loop of similar songs and only plays 20 out of 100 songs on the playlist.

If the shuffle feature was coded to

-Not repeat any song on the playlist-

I think it would play thru all the songs nicely. 

The problem is if nobody at Spotify is going to make the change what's the
use? It's amazing to me nobody is listening to this discussion. I think
that is very poor business savvy. It's for that reason that I'm not
canceled yet, but I'm beginning to put my music elsewhere.

From reading old comments (years ago) , I'm starting to see just how long this has been going on 😕


Why is this (still) so terrible?


I don't need 37,000 layers of deep machine learning to pick a random song. Any recent CS graduate can design a more "random" algorithm than the one that Spotify employs.  At the end of the day, I'm still hearing the same 20 songs on repeat when playing in "shuffle mode" a playlist that Spotify made that has over 30 hours of music on it.


To be clear, yes, I've reinstalled, yes, I've signed out/back in, yes I've cleared my cache, and yes, I've sacrificed a small animal.


Sad that this is still an issue even though people have been complaining about it since 2014.


@PrestonSale wrote:

To CaribbeanCarlos: So they have a true shuffle? I'm guessing so. Otherwise, how is the YouTube Music Service? I'm officially planning to make an exit after I make an attempt to contact through another mechanism. Then I'm done here. 


I currently have the free version, and for what you get, it is okay. The music discovery is not as good as Spotify, and they don't have native support for Lastfm, which is important for me.  Also, since I have the free version, many of the mix/discovery playlists have a music video version of the song, which is annoying. If you want the album version, you have to search it and pick it manually. On the plus side, it's free, the shuffle option is much better, and you can make your Like playlist all album version songs, so it's the same quality all around. If you decided to switch and get the premium version, then you won't have a problem. 


Just to add my voice to this list. Shuffle is not random and doesn't work, never has. Always the same few songs and mostly in the same order. There are third party tools to achieve this but at £16.99 a month I expect Spotify to fulfil this simple request!!!


'True random' doesn't actually feel like random to humans because we recognise patterns. We hear the artist several times and we believe that's intentional even though it's fully possible through fully random.  

Steve Jobs encountered this problem with the Ipod shuffle. People didn't believe it was true random and that the Ipod was playing tricks. 


In order to have shuffle that feels random, Spotify would need an algorithm that 'dodges' repeated albums and artists. Also a decay on songs that are by pure chance shuffled more than others would help. It's not truly random then, but it does make the playlists more diverse and enjoyable. 




Ivr, random might not feel actually random, but it’s infinitely better than the current method that shuffles the same few songs to the top every time.


Taking all the songs in a playlist, shuffling them randomly, playing those songs in that order, and then shuffling again when you reach the end of the list is not that complicated. Sure computer RNG is never truly random, but it’s a **bleep** of a lot more random than what we have now.

IVR, I understand your point by pulling from a graduate course I took in
research statistics and methodology. It involved analysis that could be
counterintuitive at times and often required extra mental analysis to
interpret research studies and their data-based implications or outcomes.
In other words, I'm completely open to your comment.

Having said the above, I am more than a casual listener of an iconic
singer who has more Billboard #1 albums than any other female artist and is
also the only woman on the list of artists with the most #1 and Top 10
albums. With her last release on August 6, Barbra Streisand remains the
only artist to have at least one #1 album in each of six decades and now is
the first to have at least one album reach the Top 10 in each of 7 decades.
You can imagine my playlist of hers is extensive and my attention to its
detail is too. I know when I've heard a song replay 3+ times in a shuffle
session and when every shuffle session generally pulls from the same songs.
This is a 700+ song playlist, but I find the same exact pattern in 2-300
song playlists. Unfortunately, this is an actual problem/glitch that needs
to be fixed.