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Shuffle play is not random


Shuffle play is not random

Shuffle play was bad before the update and now its worse. On my 442 song playlist, the same 30 or 35 tracks play over and over again and the other 400 songs I have barely heard once. I have had to delete songs because shuffle play was choosing them everytime I would listen. Spotify developers say shuffle play is random but how is repeating the same 35 songs over and over random. For some reason there is a higher probability of certain songs playing than others. This is a major flaw in the system. The shuffle play programs needs to be totally overhauled, it is awful

523 Replies

Exactly, affects us all, premium/nonpremium. Thinking of switching to Google Music now. Super tired of hearing the same songs in 4 of my playlists with 500+ tracks. Will be canceling today.


See my thoughts here:

I do not have this problem.  Then I do not listen to anything that would be considered remotely "popular" (big band, standards, Great American Songbook....big Mel Tome'  fan) ..... I seem to get a true shuffle on my has to wonder if there is not some payola going on here. 

Was just listening to my 641 song playlist on my iphone 5s. Same problem. Certain songs are playing almost everytime I hit shuffle. I also noticed that two different songs were repeated in the span of about an hour. On a playlist that is 39 hours long, this should never happen. It seems like nothing is being done to fix this problem. I don't think it is that complicated to come up with a new shuffle program. Lets get it together Spotify!

Hey friends, I am just confirming that with Premium acct the same non-random behavior for the shuffle function in Spotify as for the Free acct: it is never random and repeats tracks often. This is unfortunate and has been an issue since I started using Spotify in 2010.


I make yearly pool playlists with hundreds of tracks to avoid the radio-like repetitiveness, it doesn't work with Spotify. The only way I have found is to listen to entire albums serially. Also, I tend to have a lot of more obscure music, new releases and very little mainstream in my playlists.


On another note, i should think complaining on social media, especially twitter, will get attention more readily than the Spotify forums.


That said, I do love Spotify and utilize it a daily, often all day long.

Got the same problem right here, playlists wth over 200 tracks usually play the same everytime, it's getting so annoying. Random isn't random @ Spotify HQ. Especially while on the go this **bleep** annoys a lot. Nowadays I don't shuffle it anymore so I know I'll hear some songs I usually never hear. 

I have over 1800 songs in a playlist and I'm getting the same problem, the same songs keep coming back around, sometimes it's even during the same "session" and about 10 songs apart, it's a joke.

I have a playlist of over 2600 songs (a bit excsessive I know) and I have exactly the same problem!! Yesterday I heard the same song 3 times in an hour (the song is only on the playlist once!) I have had this problem since I started using Spotify and it is very annoying!!

I just tried using the web version to see if that would help but that wouldn't let me play anything!!


Think I might have to go back to using least I didn't have any problems with them!!

Yep, I canceled my premium subscription and switched to Songza. When canceling, I told them the reason and they tried to "help" by sending the ever old article that their shuffling IS random. Such BS.

i have same issue with spotify premium and I am considering cancelling due to this. Nothign worse than being at the gym having to continuously skip tracks when trying to run. So incredibly pants.

I've canceled by now. Using Google Music and could not be any happier.

Add me to the list of people who have noticed the problem with the shuffle feature.  It tends to prefer a small subset of songs out of a larger playlist.  Out of a playlist of a thousand songs, it is surprising how many times the same songs will reappear.  But I may have found a workaround.  


I haven't done a statistical analysis (and don't plan to), but it seems to me that whenever I have completely powered down my mobile device and restarted it, the songs chosen by the shuffle feature are completely new.  If the playlist is reshuffled without powering off the device, many of the songs that were recently played will still be near the top of the list.  It's as if the randomization algorithm is flawed in some way.  But when the device is powered off and then on again, whatever seed it used last time gets changed, and the shuffle feature chooses brand new songs for the top of the list.  I would like others to try this and let me know if they are getting similar results.


One other effect I have noticed relates to the crossfade slider.  If this slider is set to anything other than 0 seconds and the shuffled playlist is paused for a long time (e.g. several hours), then sometimes the playlist will "reset."  What this means is that the playlist will have to be restarted in shuffle mode.  This gives the algorithm a chance to replay a song that has recently played.  It seems that the program cannot hold its place in the playlist when the crossfade feature is activated.  When the crossfade slider is set to 0 seconds, though, the playlist will almost always hold its place, and when you start playing it again, it will continue without having to refresh the playlist.  This has the effect of preventing the same song from reappearing too soon.


Thanks @gtyellojacket I will try this on my mobile device and hopefully it will work, but this doesn't resolve the issue I'm having with desktop Spotify. Back to the drawing board I go!!

*edit* user error. Not Spotify this time.

No, Spotify, I don't want to listen to "My heart is broken" by Evanescence for the fifth time today.

This in a solid 5 hour period (left playing) with a 200 song playlist.

Same problem using android device and windows app. tired of listening same songs over and over. i justa have to change it directly on queue.SFMBE.

I've got similar problems.

I don't use playlist, I go to Your music/Songs and shuffle that. But Spotify is playing a couple of same songs again and again and some songs from my collection are not being played at all (I got over 1300 songs).


I'm switching pages and sometimes adding songs to queue, but on my iPhone i don't do that often and I'm experiencing same behaviour (I'm plugging my iPhone into car radio if that's relevant). Even when I click repeatedly on "Shuffle play" button I'm hearing the same songs

I've had this problem since the moment I got Spotify. 1000's of songs in a playlist and it plays the same exact 50-100 songs over and over again. Same exact songs, whether I'm on mobile or desktop, same exact songs no matter how many times I restart/reboot/log out/reinstall/whatever. One thing that no one else has mentioned, and I think it's very important to, the songs that it hasn't "picked", NEVER get played. No matter how long I keep the shuffle going, no matter how many times I hit the next button, those songs never actually get played. This isn't just some algorithm problem, this has gotta be some kinda bug. But then why has it been happening for years? I've seen posts describing this issue since like 2012. I'm guessing most users just don't notice it's happening. Is this some kinda royalty conspiracy? Either way, very lame Spotify.

Sill doesn't work (and neither does Google Play) - subscription cancelled again. Currently testing Tidal, which is doing very well so far with the same number of tracks favourited.

I've considered switching from Spotify several times. The way it "shuffles" tracks is still absolutely terrible.


The easiest, best way to shuffle songs (like almost every other music player does): assign each track a number. Randomize that list of numbers. Done. You won't have any duplicates and the order of everything would actually be different each time.

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