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

Music Fan
I have been using AA for a while but I haven’t noticed any difference in behavior...but I sure wish it were true.


IMHO Spotify is a great offering to me.  However, not having shuffle working is driving me nuts in that I am continually stopping and starting my subscription due to it not working.  I go months without a subscription at times just waiting for these folks to fix, what I feel, is such a trivial problem.  Eventually something else will come along and I will just say good riddens to Spotify.   My subscription was just "paused" again and now I will wait another few months before trying it again.


This has been an ongoing issue since Spotify's inception.  What is the problem?


Music Fan
They don't care, been going on for years and they do nothing.


This has been a problem since the beginning. Starting to wonder if there's a money incentive behind this or if they truly don't care enough fix their algorithm. For the price millions of people are paying this would be a trivial fix. Shows their attitude and care for their customers....

Casual Listener

Today I noticed that if I add new songs to a playlist, then play it with “shuffle” off and then hit the shuffle button, it will start to play the first of the last songs I added.


Then, with shuffle on, it plays the following song, in the order I have added before. Eventually, when the new songs are over, it restarts to play the songs, apparently randomly.


2019 and this ish still isn't fixed? If I add 60 songs from... let's say 40 artists, I don't want to hear the only 3 tracks I added by 'Artist 1' within 5 tracks of 'random' play. If I have a playlist with 5 genres, I don't want all the 'Genre 1' tracks to play in a row... Honestly, whatever the algorithm is, it is literally the opposite of random (get your thesaurus out and pick one...).

Casual Listener

Please add a random play mode.


This is an utter joke and totally unacceptable. I'm a computer programmer and one of the simplest things you could do is write a *bleep*ing SHUFFLE routine that shuffles ALL the items in a list.


But don't just take my word for it. See for yourself. The following is an example in VB.NET code. I'm representing the N songs in a person's Library through a Dictionary with Integer keys - the <Song> is whatever Object Spotify use to represent each Song internally.

Dim dicSongs As Dictionary(Of Integer, <Song>) = New Dictionary(Of Integer, <Song>)

Simply populate that Dictionary with your list of songs, like 1 = Song 1, 2 = Song 2 etcetera ET-*bleep*in-CETERA..

And then...... blink and you'll miss it.... this shuffles the ENTIRE library.


        While dicSongs.Count > 0
            Dim sngItem As Single = VBMath.Rnd()
            sngItem = sngItem * CSng(dicSongs.Count)
            Dim intCurrent As Integer = Int(sngItem)
        End While

NINE lines of code is all it takes. Now tell me again why after 3 years Spotify STILL hasn't fixed this?

And rest assured that while I did this in VB.NET, doing this in ANY other programming language is not rocket science either.

Music Fan

I would guess the programing is intentional, and has something to do with them making more money. (maybe paying less in royalties or something)

Casual Listener
More like five years


The shuffle function on Spotify is abysmal. I get that, in all honesty, most people don't want "true" random because you might end up playing the same track twice etc. That's maths for you. However, I like to have large (several thousand track) genre playlists which I listen to on shuffle, removing tracks I dislike and adding others to more specialised ones. Increasingly I find that I end up hearing the same tracks over and over again: both ones that I have added to my favourites list (which, funnily enough, I can always put on if I want to hear) and more recently added tracks have a FAR higher chance of being played than others. Why is the algorithim determining the chance of a track coming on seemingly affected by the occurance of said track on other playlists? It has got to the point now where I can put on a list containing over 5000 tracks - of which I know maybe 10% - and regularly find myself having to skip multiple tracks in a row because I'm just hearing ones on my favourites. 

Music Fan
It appears that the software grabs a chunk of songs clustered around the first song up on your playlist and then randomly plays just that chunk - thus the repeating. Since the default first song that gets played is the last one added (assuming your list is sorted by most recent), then the group of songs it grabs are naturally going to be your latest additions. Therefore when I start the program, I’ll randomly pick a first song from somewhere else and let it go. After an hour or two, I’ll do it again. I suppose I am an integral part of their randomizing algorithm...


So exactly when are yougoing to actually fix the shuffle feature for mobile phones????I saw Merideths post.I am on right now and it is still playing the same small group from my play list.When I skip to next it still comes back to SAME small group.Please fix this as it is very anoying.

Music Fan
I don't fix it - I just posted the same question ages ago and other Spotify
users just add to the thread. Spotify haven't solved it yet.


This is the most absurd non-feature possible. As stated above, randomly shuffling a list should be child’s play to a coder. 


To replecate this issue, I created a playlist with 3 albums. No matter what I do, it will lump all the songs from each album together. It never. Never. Ever. Randomly shuffles all the songs. 




Why can't we make an option, it can be hidden, for a true random.

Casual Listener

Unbelievable that this function isn't working properly, I can't wrap my head around why such a basic thing is still broken!

Casual Listener

Are you ever going to fix this? I'm about to cancel your subscription due to this shuffle**bleep** not being random. Crazy that you idiots can't listen or can't code a randomizer appropriately. Truly unbelievable.


It acts like a randomiser

They need to impliment an actual algorythm i.e.

If it shuffples & plays artist A, then it shouldn't be playing artist A for x amount of tracks


As an example I have an almost 10k playlist and I had this happen:


track 1: artist A

track 2: artist B

track 3: artist B

track 4: artist A


All four different albums, but still annoying

Casual Listener

Literally nobody asked or cares for the current implementation. At least make it so the new track decks are made every time shuffle is toggled.