Request for feedback: Shuffle


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Hello. My name is Ben Smith and I head up Product Management for Experience, Software, and Developer Programs at Sonos.

I wanted to get more feedback from you all on your expectations for Shuffling tracks in your queue. I have reviewed the feedback on ask.sonos.com and received e-mails from a few of you (via our CEO John MacFarlane), but I wanted to get a better sense from those of you who use Shuffle, how your really want it to work.

When you select shuffle what do you want to happen? What don't you want to happen?

Thanks!

Ben

205 replies

Userlevel 1
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I only have 1 requirement:
A different random order of the songs is created each time I turn on random, or create a new queue. So if I turn random off and then on again, Sonos creates a new random order.  I would also expect Sonos to play the entire queue before playing a song a second time.  I personally don't care if Sonos generates a new random order when playing the queue again.

Two desired features:

1. Be able to ask that either albums or songs be randomized.  For albums, Sonos would generate a new random order of the albums in the queue, but then play all the songs in an album in order.  The randomized song method would be equivalent to the current offering (with a new random order of course).

2. Show the queue in the order the songs will be played.  Currently the list is in the order added to the queue, and not the order the songs will be played it.  Others might prefer the current display.  Since I know Sonos doesn't want to make the interface complex, I would suggest a poll for which way the queue should be displayed.

Thanks for asking
Ben, 1 question. Why do you not have the "Official Rep" title like all the other Sonos employees? It certainly would add more weight to your question.

Anyway, I think User500327 above sums it up the best.  New random order each time you play a list or press the random icon, shuffle albums, and (not as important to me) show the queue in the order it plays.
Ben, 1 question. Why do you not have the "Official Rep" title like all the other Sonos employees? It certainly would add more weight to your question.

Anyway, I think User500327 above sums it up the best.  New random order each time you play a list or press the random icon, shuffle albums, and (not as important to me) show the queue in the order it plays.


He's actually a spy for Denon HEOS and he's here to steal our ideas! I think shuffle should play the same song forever with no option to stop it.
Userlevel 5
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Ben, 1 question. Why do you not have the "Official Rep" title like all the other Sonos employees? It certainly would add more weight to your question.

Anyway, I think User500327 above sums it up the best.  New random order each time you play a list or press the random icon, shuffle albums, and (not as important to me) show the queue in the order it plays.


While Ben is a Sonos employee, his account wasn’t flagged as such. We’ve changed his account to reflect that. Thanks for keeping an eye out.

To avoid confusion, we’re also going to direct the existing threads on this topic, here.
Userlevel 6
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"shuffle play" is exactly what it sounds like - the playlist is shuffled, just like a deck of cards.  a playlist should NOT play in a random order, that could allow the same song to be repeated forever (although highly improbable).  the playlist is your deck of cards...  it should be shuffled in a RANDOM ORDER, and shuffled randomly EVERY TIME shuffle is selected.
Userlevel 1
Also, it should be possible listen to however much of one's shuffled music as one desires in one 'sitting' and be able to return to it, the next day or whenever, and continue from where one left off.
It should play song in a random order. I have noticed when you uave a few speakers grouped and you ungroup them the 'main' one remains where you were in the queue but the others revert back to the first song played when the queue was loaded and will play through them again in the same order. This is what I would like to have happen. When I go to load the queue ,for example from one of my Amazon playlists, I would like to be able to choose "shuffle and play" or something like that and it would load that play list into the queue in a totally random order. I would be able to see the queue in the order in which it will play so I can see the upcoming songs and the ones that have previously played. It would continue playing in that order until it gets to the end of the queue and then loop back around. If at that point I want a different order I can go back to my Amazon list and choose to "shuffle and play" again. This os how listening on Amazon's player works. That to me is "shuffle". Random is different. In Random one song is selected randomly from the entire queue. Then another song is randomly selected. The first song could theoreticaly be selected again since each time every song has an equal probability of being selected.
Userlevel 1
I know this is asking a lot but beyond the shuffle's functional features already requested previously, would it be possible to roll this update into the 4.3 controller also? Thanks.
Would also be great to have a way to re-shuffle an already shuffled queue on command.  WMP used to have this feature when I used it years ago, and it was a nice feature to just randomize a queue if you added a few additional tracks to it.
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Hi Ben,

It is great to hear that Sonos are now looking at this.  Please keep us informed of progress.

1.  If I have a queue of songs I would expect there to be a 'master' randomise button so that the queue gets properly randomised each time the button is pressed.  By random I mean that a song is played at random and then is not played again until the whole queue has been played.

2.  If I add songs to the queue while it is playing in a random order then I would not expect the whole queue to be re-randomised automatically.  Otherwise, you could easily hear the same songs multiple times if songs are added while the queue is playing.

3.  Tied in with this.  It would be essential to have some kind of sort functionality on the view of the queue.  I should really be able to click and see the randomised queue in play order and I should also be able to sort by title/artist so that I can weed out duplicates.

4.  When saving a randomised queue of music it would be great to be able to 'save' the position of where you have played up to even it was a simple marker or similar.  This is similar to Dave's post above.

I'll keep thinking and add any more I think of.  Feel free to post back if you need any further detail.

Stuart

 
Userlevel 1
Hi Ben,

When I first raised this issue well over a year ago, my main issue was not that songs get repeated when on random play. Given the nature of 'random', this will of course happen. I understand that this is an issue with smaller playlists where the problem will be more apparent.

However, I do have an issue with the shuffle play being a set order. When I turn on my CR100, it has 'forgotten' where I was the day before. So I load up the queue and hit play. Given the same starting point (e.g. track 1), the shuffle will play the same sequence of songs. They might appear random on first play, but the order is pre-determined somehow, and therefore I have to select a different starting point each day.

I just want to hit play and be done with it.

thanks
Ed
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
I agree with much of above.  As T00LF00L says, consider the music queue with the deck of cards analogy where the queue is the deck and each song being the card.  The deck is initially shuffled so cards are put in a random order then listed in that (new) order in the queue.  The cards are played one at a time working through the deck so cannot be used again once played and can be paused ad resumed without any impact on the sorting.  Next time a game is played (new queue) the cards are shuffled again into a totally random order which is different to before (except by chance) and this is the order they are shown in the queue.

New tracks should just be added to the end of the queue.  There should be an option to manually 'reshuffle' all tracks in the queue into a new order at any time.  The tracks should always play in the order they are shown in the queue, its only the initial loading into the queue which is either from the order given in the music source (album/playlist/top tracks) OR in a random order if shuffle is in use ('Shuffle & Play' as mentioned previously).   Its then clear to know where you have got to in the queue - what has been and what remains.  The queue in its 'shuffled' order can then be saved as a new playlist if required.
I agree with much of the earlier feedback; it is fairly consistent since the concept of shuffle is not a novel one. When I pull out my iPod from 2007, I can click shuffle songs and it will put my tracks in an order that is brand new. Every time I hit shuffle songs, there is a brand new order. With sonos, if I load all of my tracks in the queue and hit shuffle, songs play the same order. Every single time, songs play in the same exact order. I should absolutely be able to reshuffle at any time. To work around this I have to scroll through the play list and start at different point every time. If WMP shuffle tracks and Apple shuffle tracks, I'm not sure why the long drawn out debate, dicussion and investigation is needed. But, I hope this helps.
Userlevel 6
Badge +11
I agree with much of above.  As T00LF00L says, consider the music queue with the deck of cards analogy where the queue is the deck and each song being the card.  The deck is initially shuffled so cards are put in a random order then listed in that (new) order in the queue.  The cards are played one at a time working through the deck so cannot be used again once played and can be paused ad resumed without any impact on the sorting.  Next time a game is played (new queue) the cards are shuffled again into a totally random order which is different to before (except by chance) and this is the order they are shown in the queue.

New tracks should just be added to the end of the queue.  There should be an option to manually 'reshuffle' all tracks in the queue into a new order at any time.  The tracks should always play in the order they are shown in the queue, its only the initial loading into the queue which is either from the order given in the music source (album/playlist/top tracks) OR in a random order if shuffle is in use ('Shuffle & Play' as mentioned previously).   Its then clear to know where you have got to in the queue - what has been and what remains.  The queue in its 'shuffled' order can then be saved as a new playlist if required.


@NickA. ..of course, if you save the shuffled playlist as a new playlist you'll just be duplicating the current behavior! 😉
Simple overview: All songs in the queue should be played at random, but each played track should be flagged so that it doesn't get played a second time. Clicking shuffle a second time, or replacing the queue should clear the "already played" marker
Hi Ben. At last this has been picked up by SONOS! Please see it through!
I know there are many ways the 'shuffle' can be done and in truth almost any change would be better than what we have at the moment.
The simple analogy of shuffling a deck of cards as described above sounds fine to me then after that how you save it, delete it, reshuffle it is just refinement.
Ben,

I would like to add a few things to this list.

While shuffling having the "deck of cards" displayed is essential so that I can see what is coming up next. I should like to be able to weed out or remove certain songs from the list at this point. (Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for certain songs in my playlist). Thus setting up my shuffled playlist for the next few hours, so that I may then walk away.

I too would also like to be able to add/insert a song from another playlist to this playlist and not change the order. And I would like the list to remember where I was after each session.

It would be nice to be able to do a "Favorites Shuffle" where if I have my playlist of 1500 songs that it plays the songs marked with a higher ranking first, then plays the lower ranks, so that if I am playing a party it plays our favorite music.

Would also love to see "Genre shuffle", so that if I want to hear songs of a favorite Genre for a themed party or have certain friends that don't like Metal for instance I can play only a certain Genre in my list. Possibly a checklist of the Genres that I would like to include in the list.

Also an "Album Shuffle", basically the same thing but exclude certain albums.

Also an "Artist Shuffle", basically the same thing but exclude certain artists.

---
And while I am at it. A playlist building feature that allows me to Sort by Artist, Album, Genre, Song etc. with checkboxes that allow me to check either individual songs or whole Albums, Artists or Genres. Basically the name of the Song on the Left and pertinent info to the right. Then beyond that to the right several columns that have the Playlist name at the top and checkboxes at each song, Album, Artists, Genre so I can create several at the same time. Just check the appropriate box.
I'd love to have something like an easy to access Quick-Mix button, where you can set it to draw from (or exclude) particular genres (most important to me) or could do the same with artists/playlists/etc.  Would be great if I could pre-set what I want to include/exclude and then just push the button and have it assemble a random shuffled list of what fits those criteria.  The random shuffling is important, it can't get hung up in certain folders like the current system seems to where it draws heavily from a particular subset and ignores most of the rest.  Ideally, I should be able to add songs I want in as "play next" and not have it disrupt the overall queue, it'll play what I want then return to the shuffled mix.  Squeezebox had a nice feature where it would develop a perpetual window of 15 songs (you could see the next 15 songs it was going to play), once one was played, it drew a new (unplayed) song from the criteria established.  If you added more songs manually, it would play until it reached less than 15 songs, then start drawing from the criteria again.  Something like that would be nice (rather than actually making a full queue of thousands of songs if I choose to shuffle all of one type of genre).
Thanks for getting feedback, and I hope we can see some elements of this quickly.  This is the one thing that prevents me from fully enjoying our Sonos system and makes me pine for our old Squeezebox.
Userlevel 1
Ben, 1 question. Why do you not have the "Official Rep" title like all the other Sonos employees? It certainly would add more weight to your question.

Anyway, I think User500327 above sums it up the best.  New random order each time you play a list or press the random icon, shuffle albums, and (not as important to me) show the queue in the order it plays.


As much as I like the idea of being a spy, sadly my life is not that interesting. 🙂
Userlevel 1
I only have 1 requirement:
A different random order of the songs is created each time I turn on random, or create a new queue. So if I turn random off and then on again, Sonos creates a new random order.  I would also expect Sonos to play the entire queue before playing a song a second time.  I personally don't care if Sonos generates a new random order when playing the queue again.

Two desired features:

1. Be able to ask that either albums or songs be randomized.  For albums, Sonos would generate a new random order of the albums in the queue, but then play all the songs in an album in order.  The randomized song method would be equivalent to the current offering (with a new random order of course).

2. Show the queue in the order the songs will be played.  Currently the list is in the order added to the queue, and not the order the songs will be played it.  Others might prefer the current display.  Since I know Sonos doesn't want to make the interface complex, I would suggest a poll for which way the queue should be displayed.

Thanks for asking


I would like to see the que show in the order that it will be played... selecting "Random" would shuffle the que - then play in that order.  I don't want to try and guess what song will come next.  If I don't like the order - I can re-shuffle and see the order that songs will be played.
Userlevel 1
I agree.  If for some reason the que resets itself - I'd like to be able to move down the que and start in the middle and see the songs that will come up next.
Userlevel 1
Simple overview: All songs in the queue should be played at random, but each played track should be flagged so that it doesn't get played a second time. Clicking shuffle a second time, or replacing the queue should clear the "already played" marker
I'm not sure what kind of internal storage the unit has... but a number of times played and also a date last played would be nice to see.
Userlevel 1
Maybe a staged approach to implementing this SuperShuffle feature would get us certain features faster than others. 

Priority for me would be:

1) the que show the order songs will be played

2) there be a way to reshuffle the que (or deck as it may be)

3) the que remember were I was and start again from there

4) allow for a song to be removed from the que after it is played

   a) allow for the last entry in the que to select another que

   b) there could be many options here on what to do with an empty que

5) allow for a last played date

6) song play counter

7) select random music within certain other meta data (like artist, album, genre, "like" titles, etc.)

Thank you for the opportunity to help shape this feature...
Userlevel 6
Badge +11
Simple overview: All songs in the queue should be played at random, but each played track should be flagged so that it doesn't get played a second time. Clicking shuffle a second time, or replacing the queue should clear the "already played" marker
You guys are asking for added features that should be in the other thread. Let's just give feedback as to how to improve the shuffle play here...
We use Sonos in our open format office space. Sometimes we want to play a song already in the queue next, but there's no way to do that. You have to wait until the song is almost finished, find the song in the list (annoying if you have a ton of songs in the queue) and double click to play it. Another way is to go to your Spotify, find the song that you want to hear next, and choose Play Next, but it adds it to the queue again, and end up with multiples of that song in the play list. Very annoying.

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