Shuffled Playlists plays the same damn songs!

LarryJoe33

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Jul 17, 2017
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I have a playlist with over 300 songs in it that I use for the gym. I always play it on shuffle and the same 25 or so songs always come up when skipping ahead. It's annoying and been like this for a while. There are songs that are NEVER selected to play. I am not sure this specific to iOS11.

Does anyone else notice this? I tried looking for some type of shuffle selection criteria in settings and there isn't any. My guess is that shuffle in my case is working off of most frequently played, which is misleading because since these tunes always get selected they get a played count even though I skip ahead.
 
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decafjava

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Feb 7, 2011
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Is this one of your playlists from your own music? Shuffle has been broken for years, if you are using songs synced from iTunes I suggest creating a smart playlist from the 300 songs you have. What you can do is say name the playlist "workout" then create a second, smart playlist called "workout smart shuffle" and say limit it to 50 songs or however mayn you can get through in a typical workout. Criteria would be: playlist is - "workout" last played - not within - 1 week (I am paraphrasing you have to look at iTunes to see the actual criteria).

Only problem is unlike the old classic iPods the smart playlist won't update until you sync your phone with iTunes. This is one of the main reasons I stick with syncing although I use Apple music, I like the smartplaylist feature and am probably one of the few left.
 

Knowlege Bomb

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Feb 14, 2008
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Yeah, as java said shuffle has been borked forever. The only time I use music is when I'm listening to my brother's music or playing an album straight through. Outside of that I use Pandora.

Are you sure the smart playlists don't update in real time? I recall when I went through my 5k+ song library and rated everything I had a smart playlist titled "Unrated" and as soon as I rated a song it would drop off that playlist. This would happen even if it was in the middle of the track which would cut it off and start a new track from the playlist. It's possible this has changed as that was four or five years ago now.
 
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Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
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Atlanta
  1. The best way is to NOT select Shuffle on the Playlist.
  2. Scroll down and Select/Tap a track to start playing form the Playlist.
  3. Then scroll down on the now Playing track and select Shuffle
  4. This will load the entire Playlist in random order below.
  5. You can even drag/rearrange tracks in the list.
  6. Works every time
IMG_4206.jpg

IMG_4207.jpg
 

decafjava

macrumors 68040
Feb 7, 2011
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3,186
Geneva
Yeah, as java said shuffle has been borked forever. The only time I use music is when I'm listening to my brother's music or playing an album straight through. Outside of that I use Pandora.

Are you sure the smart playlists don't update in real time? I recall when I went through my 5k+ song library and rated everything I had a smart playlist titled "Unrated" and as soon as I rated a song it would drop off that playlist. This would happen even if it was in the middle of the track which would cut it off and start a new track from the playlist. It's possible this has changed as that was four or five years ago now.
I think what is broken is if the smart playlist refers to another playlist even if the second is all stored on the device. What you mentioned still works.

Otherwise, the suggestion by @Julien above sounds like it's worth trying. I hardly ever use shuffle myself.
 
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Knowlege Bomb

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Feb 14, 2008
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Madison, WI
I think what is broken is if the smart playlist refers to another playlist even if the second is all stored on the device. What you mentioned still works.

Otherwise, the suggestion by @Julien above sounds like it's worth trying. I hardly ever use shuffle myself.
I see. Thanks for clarifying. I can't recall ever needing to go Inception on my playlists so that's foreign territory to me.
 
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LarryJoe33

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Boston
Is this one of your playlists from your own music? Shuffle has been broken for years, if you are using songs synced from iTunes I suggest creating a smart playlist from the 300 songs you have. What you can do is say name the playlist "workout" then create a second, smart playlist called "workout smart shuffle" and say limit it to 50 songs or however mayn you can get through in a typical workout. Criteria would be: playlist is - "workout" last played - not within - 1 week (I am paraphrasing you have to look at iTunes to see the actual criteria).

Only problem is unlike the old classic iPods the smart playlist won't update until you sync your phone with iTunes. This is one of the main reasons I stick with syncing although I use Apple music, I like the smartplaylist feature and am probably one of the few left.
Thanks for the confirmation that it just isn't me. Unfortunately I don't sync with a wired connection. I have about 13,000 songs in my library and 10,000 are owned and 3,000 are Apple Music. I kind of add to playlists on the go via my phone. I hear something new and add it to my gym playlist (and others). I get what you are saying on smart playlists and have no doubt it could improve my experience, but it feels like too much iTunes maintenance.

  1. The best way is to NOT select Shuffle on the Playlist.
  2. Scroll down and Select/Tap a track to start playing form the Playlist.
  3. Then scroll down on the now Playing track and select Shuffle
  4. This will load the entire Playlist in random order below.
  5. You can even drag/rearrange tracks in the list.
  6. Works every time
View attachment 751857
View attachment 751856
THANK YOU! I will certainly give this a shot at the gym in the morning!
 
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eicca

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2014
504
312
The shuffle algorithm on this thing is terrible. I hope to convert my broken iPod classic to SSD in the future and have the good old reliable shuffle days back.
 
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LarryJoe33

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Boston
Tried @Julien 's workaround this morning. A much better algorithm for sure. Thank you! At the same time, as I listened to this playlist play songs that haven't come up recently, I realized that maybe I am also kind of sick of the music on this playlist;)
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,279
4,252
Atlanta
Tried @Julien 's workaround this morning. A much better algorithm for sure. Thank you! At the same time, as I listened to this playlist play songs that haven't come up recently, I realized that maybe I am also kind of sick of the music on this playlist;)
I go to the gym 5x to 6x a week. I have created 30 Playlists under a Folder called Working Out. Have about 50 to 60 tracks (3:30 to 4 hours) in each Playlist and all different. I play based on the day of the month so tomorrow (Feb 22) will be Playlist 22. This way I have different music each day and no repeats for at least a month.
 
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LarryJoe33

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
2,010
678
Boston
I go to the gym 5x to 6x a week. I have created 30 Playlists under a Folder called Working Out. Have about 50 to 60 tracks (3:30 to 4 hours) in each Playlist and all different. I play based on the day of the month so tomorrow (Feb 22) will be Playlist 22. This way I have different music each day and no repeats for at least a month.
Nice idea. I have had the same "Gym" playlist for 6 years or so. I just add to it and every few years I go through it and purge. I have about 300 songs in it. I did not realize that you could create a folder and put playlists in it. I will have to check this out. Should help with organization. Hope my cars interface can see and drill down into folders.
 

Sheldonsmith

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2011
269
48
Ive reordered the songs within the playlist. When I hit shuffle, the order is changed... Additionally, adding/subtracting songs also re-orders the shuffle..
 
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TokMok3

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2015
623
399
I have a playlist with over 300 songs in it that I use for the gym. I always play it on shuffle and the same 25 or so songs always come up when skipping ahead. It's annoying and been like this for a while. There are songs that are NEVER selected to play. I am not sure this specific to iOS11.

Does anyone else notice this? I tried looking for some type of shuffle selection criteria in settings and there isn't any. My guess is that shuffle in my case is working off of most frequently played, which is misleading because since these tunes always get selected they get a played count even though I skip ahead.

Yes, I have 2000 songs and it happens all the time, it repeats after 30 or 40 songs.
 
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eicca

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2014
504
312
I discovered another fun problem with the iOS music system: random tracks sound like GARBAGE. Any given song will suddenly sound distorted and clipped, like the gain is too high. Same track plays fine on my MacBook. Same track plays fine over YouTube or Apple Music. It just seems to randomly ruin the quality of random local files in my library at random times.
 

JoEw

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
1,523
872
Glad I’m not crazy my shuffle on my watch has been driving me crazy running 6 days a week...
 

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
2,010
678
Boston
I discovered another fun problem with the iOS music system: random tracks sound like GARBAGE. Any given song will suddenly sound distorted and clipped, like the gain is too high. Same track plays fine on my MacBook. Same track plays fine over YouTube or Apple Music. It just seems to randomly ruin the quality of random local files in my library at random times.
I am certain you checked this, but are you using EQ, Volume Limit or Sound Check? The first two can definitely result in high gain distortion for tracks that are already pumped up.
 

eicca

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2014
504
312
I am certain you checked this, but are you using EQ, Volume Limit or Sound Check? The first two can definitely result in high gain distortion for tracks that are already pumped up.
Sound check is on, EQ and volume limit are off. I was under the impression that sound check only ever reduced volume but it’s something to test.
 

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
2,010
678
Boston
Sound check is on, EQ and volume limit are off. I was under the impression that sound check only ever reduced volume but it’s something to test.
Yeah, just something to check since it messes with the actual file levels.
 

eicca

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2014
504
312
Yeah, just something to check since it messes with the actual file levels.
Nailed it. Any song that is boosted UP with Sound Check gets all clipped and nasty.

I know for a fact none of my iPods have that issue.
 

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
2,010
678
Boston
Well it keeps my classical and film score playlists from sounding like rubbish but my rock playlist has all kinds of volume inconsistency without Sound Check.
Sounds like you need one of the many free tools that can be used to batch normalize your rock music.
 
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