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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 2021-09-14

Hey everyone,


Thanks for your votes and for bringing us your feedback in the Spotify Idea Exchange.


As this idea has gathered a fair amount of votes, we've discussed it with the relevant team once again. We actually want to take a closer look at what you're experiencing and get some of you in touch with our devs.


@jonathanleyerle- since you initiated the thread it would be great if we can have you on board.

@j4m1eb, @PrestonSale@decker12@jules99- what you mention is particularly interesting, so we'd like to have you on board as well.


We'll send you more info via Community PM, so please make sure they're enabled in your Community settings.


If anyone else is interested in participating, please let us know in this thread. We'll reach out to you, should we need more folks.




just simply jump off spotify, let there be financial damage if they don’t care about customers who regularly pay.

change to apple music, they have true random shuffle at least.


Personally, I think that's a rather naive and complacent approach to this. As much as that may even be a possibility I feel it would be irresponsible of me to simply leave the platform and not attempt to fix any grievance I may have with it which may improve not only my quality of life but of all the other users on the platform that seem to be having the same problem. If people just switch over it will not incentivize Spotify to do anything about this problem. With close to 300 million monthly users and roughly ha;f of which are premium, it would take such a large joint effort to hurt them financially for them to care about why they were losing so many subscribers and money that we are the equivalent and a mildly irate customer telling a retail worker that they are going to take that hard-earned dollar elsewhere. If you have ever worked in retail, you know that this is one of the baseless threats that mean nothing as a whole to the overall profitability of the store or on an individual level. You have a better bet of waiting for some terrible PR backlash to affect their stock prices and get their shareholders to do something rather than their customer base. What's more, is that if they lose premium users they still have the other half of users that can become premium users so no dice there. The only thing I can think of is being persistent and finding a way to push the issue on multiple platforms of communication to help spur that bad PR to get what we want.



It has enough votes already and quite some time has passed too!



I love you all, dreamers!


I would like the deck to shuffle randomly as well. It would be nice if at least the same device remembered where I left off too so it would continue the shuffle, and do it per playlist so I don't have to listen to the same songs again if I switch playlists. If it worked across devices, even better.


I also thought of True Random as a new great idea to offer to Spotify.

But seeing these 4 pages of disappointed people, I guess it's not new at all.

As J.Clarkson once said, - HOW HARD CAN IT BE?

I don't want to switch to Apple Music.


Absolutely shameful that we don't have this option. 


In my 380 song playlist, I have placed 5 songs from Group A and 5 songs from Group B. This afternoon, in 60 minutes on my Spotify for iOS app, it played 14 songs. Out of those 14:

  • 4/5 songs from Group A
  • 3/5 songs from Group B
  • 4 songs from Solo Artist who used to be part of Group B (ie plays Sting instead of The Police)
  • 3 songs not related to either of the above

Spotify's Shuffle algorithm makes me hate songs that I used to love, because it won't stop playing them.


I agree. The current shuffle frustrates me. This would be a fantastic feature!

If Spotify was a human, it would fail at a simple task such as making a grilled cheese sandwich. Its algorithm would tell it to use 5 slices of bread, 1/2 a slice of cheese and a teaspoon of butter, put it in the blender for 10 hours and give you a fork to eat it and then pay for that. Their algorithm not only repeats songs you've already heard in a span of two hours, but also picks one or two artist and plays all of their songs in between repeated songs. So in a playlist made up of 800+ songs I made last mont, for example, I've heard Dream Brother by Jeff Buckley every time I've listened to said playlist and it plays Pearl Jam every other song. And the fact that they make you beg for a solution and then wait until enough of us have begged, to consider it, is pretty sad. I am done asking and paying. It shouldn't be this hard to get a true shuffle. 


I am now under the belief that such a shuffle feature will not be implemented to Spotify as it appears Spotify attests that it has already set in a true random feature previously but people complained that the true randomness did not feel like it was random. Makes sense. There have also been arguments as to what constitutes a good random shuffle feature, e.g. wanting to have as little similarity between songs as possible or shuffling randomly within similar-sounding songs before moving onto another genre or artist. However, that being said, this does not apply to the notion that I hear the same song as a prerequisite to hearing other songs by that artist or genre.


For example, I love The Sun's Tirade by Isaiah Rashad. My favorite song on there is "Park". I have played that song a disgusting amount of times, but because I have a good bit of Kendrick Lamar and listen to him frequently, "Wat's Wrong", a track that features Kendrick, plays first before I hear "Park" despite the absurd amount of probable days I spent listening to the song on repeat. But looking at Spotify's popularity charts, "Wat's Wrong" is the number one song for Isaiah Rashad. In fact, "Park" does not appear on the top five most popular tracks. I cannot attest to the other tracks on that list being played in a particular order in relation to my interests, but something does appear to be skewed in one way or another.


Looking at some articles I see that Spotify moved away from the Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm which is approximate to true random and is the type of shuffle that someone mentioned would be easy to code in a few lines. They also attempted to adopt and modify another algorithm by Martin Fielder, which he dubs the Balance Algorithm as a place holder name, for their own uses. My criticism is that implementing said modification (dithering aside) still failed to accomplish the task that Spotify set out to do. Sure people were not satisfied with the feel of the randomness before the modification, but people do not feel randomness with the current shuffle feature now either. 


If we remove the notion of accusations that this is a way of favoring some artists over others, this attempt at randomness still falls flat, seeming to favor newer songs, songs that are universally popular on the platform, and songs heard within a specific order. I wouldn't be so upset if I heard the same set of artists within the first 1000 songs or so if I could listen knowing that I couldn't predict the general order of an artist's songs to be played in. I conceded that this issue was not as cut and dry as I originally thought, but I will not back down from stating that shuffle feature needs to be taken back to the drawing board in some way.