Shuffle/Library functions NEED fixing !

  • 28 September 2017
  • 16 replies
  • 762 views

Does it really need to suck this bad ?!?!?!?!?!?!? I'm a Sonos dealer. I love Sonos. BUT : 1. Shuffle in any playlist (larger than 20-30 tracks) is terrible !! Sonos 'repeats' tracks WAAAAYYYY too soon (should be not at all, regardless of playlist size !) !!! 2. Sonos gets to tell me, that my music library is too big !?!?!?!?????? (On-screen message : "Sonos does not have enough space to update your music library. Please eliminate unused ques and playlists". Blah, blah, blah). I don't think so !! Unacceptable !! It's the 21st century, and this is easy code to fix. I can maybe see this needing to be this way, on hand-held devices, but on the 'desk-top' controller, no way.

Moderation Edit: for profanity by Ryan S.

16 replies

So tell us, how would you "fix" the "code", since it is so easy? Details appreciated, especially when it comes to allowing for the memory limitations present in legacy Sonos devices going back to 2005.

I'm eager for your response (sans profanity, please. It is against forum TOS).
With friends like this.....
By the way (serious now), what exactly is wrong with the shuffle? It merely rearranges your queue and plays it in another order. If tracks are repeating, it has to be that you have added multiple copies of a track in the queue. That is not Sonos' fault, and those tracks will repeat as many times as you have added them to the queue (as they should).
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1. Shuffle in any playlist (larger than 20-30 tracks) is terrible !! Sonos 'repeats' tracks WAAAAYYYY too soon (should be not at all, regardless of playlist size !) !!!
Jgatie mentioned it too, but when you press Shuffle within Sonos, the player reorganizes the queue completely. The new order will show up in your app, and tracks can't repeat in the sense of a standard shuffle algorithm might. It's not running code at the end of a song, that happens when you press Shuffle and the order is changed until you remove the Shuffle flag, and then the order goes back to where it was beforehand.

2. Sonos gets to tell me, that my music library is too big !?!?!?!?????? (On-screen message : "Sonos does not have enough space to update your music library. Please eliminate unused ques and playlists". Blah, blah, blah). I don't think so !! Unacceptable !! It's the 21st century, and this is easy code to fix. I can maybe see this needing to be this way, on hand-held devices, but on the 'desk-top' controller, no way.
Again, something jgatie went into already, but just to add a bit to his answer, every single Sonos player in your household stores a copy of that index. It's not the controller that's saving your index, but your players themselves. That includes 10+ year old ZP80s or ZP100s that are still hanging around. Those players barely have the memory for new features we keep adding, but we're making sure to keep a chunk of their storage available for saving the music index file for local tracks. The suggestions to free up space definitely can help, but in the end, there are some ways to go that work out better than storing large libraries locally. Usually, I recommend going with Plex as a service. They handle storing your music index, and Sonos players (even old ones) will use that to find and play your music. You'd have to be online, but you'd be able to play all your tracks without warnings.
"Fixing this" would really mean re-working the way we use music libraries, or dropping support for all older players without enough memory, not a short or quick fix, but it's certainly been requested that we look into it though. I'll make sure to add your name to the list of those interested.
1. JohnB, I've been a dealer since the beginning. So, take your "friends like this", and.........
2. jgatie, Seriously now, with profanity aside (my apologies). Historical context : If my 5/10/100 CD changer, could 'random all discs', without repeating itself, then this simply cannot be about processing, or memory/storage, etc. These 'cheap' machines could do this back in 1985. Sonos's shuffle DOES repeat itself. I've experimented with 'Sonos Playlists' that have various sizes and absolutely have no redundant tracks.
3. Where does the Desktop Controller store it's 'table of contents' for the user's music library ? My music library is immense. (1.7T and growing. Some playlists number in the 1000s of tracks). It seems absurd to me that it would be 'stored' in the various Sonos devices, or the hand-held 'contoller'. The Desktop Controller is a mere 42 +/- MB. Why can't the Desktop Controller be 'bigger', with 'limitless' library management capabilities and a more 'true' shuffle 'algorithm' Why on earth must the user's passion for music be constrained in this way ?
4. This is not just about me. I have Sonos clients with very extensive libraries, and they too have mentioned these phenomenon.
5. Though I'm not a programmer, I have discussed these characteristics with some very talented programmers (Raven Hi-Fi's great client list always comes through). Thanks for your perspective/insights. Are you Sonos staff member ?
I'm afraid you are incorrect about the shuffle algorithm, unless you are using extremely out of date software. The new shuffle, released in version 5.4, cured it of repeating tracks by reshuffling the entire queue, instead of shuffling it at the end of each track. See this from the release notes:

SHUFFLE IMPROVEMENTS

We’ve improved shuffle so now you can see how it affects the queue. Turn on shuffle and the order of the tracks in the queue changes. Don’t like the new order? Turn shuffle off to return the tracks to their original playback order. Turn shuffle on again and get a different mix!


http://www.sonos.com/en-us/software/release/5-4

As you can deduce, if you load a playlist with no repeated tracks, press shuffle, then play, there is no way you can repeat a track, for the entire queue is shuffled, then played in shuffled order.

As to the rest, Ryan S (above) is a Sonos staff member, and has explained the reason for the limit on the track index. The index is not stored on the controllers, it is stored on the Sonos player(s) themselves.
The controllers don't store the index. How can you be selling this stuff with so little understanding of the system's architecture?
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this morning i loaded 350 songs into a playlist using the desktop app, and hit shuffle, fade in/out, and left alone.
for various reasons, i shut down the desktop app, and started using an app on my phone to monitor what was being played.
after a few hours i noticed that songs were repeating.
weird.
anyone any ideas ?
ta,
m.
Marke, johnl, brosfarq and jgatie: I know exactly what these guys are talking about. On version 8.5.3 with a bridge and two play 3 systems a playlist added to the queue on shuffle plays in EXACTLY the same order each and every time. However I have found if I open the playlist and use shuffle BEFORE adding it to the queue I can indeed change the order. If I just press shuffle once it’s already in the queue it changes nothing. This with 200+ songs in playlist. I haven’t had memory issue as described but library is not nearly as extensive. And the queue does repeat even with continuous play inactive. So...EVERYone in this thread is correct.... the playlist does not shuffle unless shuffled prior to adding to queue, it does repeat even w/o continued play active. That being said, It seems the playlist controls and the queue controls are not programmed to work exactly the same.
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Sonos has spoken out in depth on this multiple times. IF I have a playlist queued and I untoggle shuffle and re-toggle I do get different order everytime. However, the current song playing stays at top (making it look as though not reshuffling the rest).
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Here is some background as to when Sonos spent time on the shuffle function a few years ago.

https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/request-for-feedback-shuffle-6517514
I still remain to be convinced...I was reviewing songs on playlists the other day that frankly I had forgotten I had. Despite using the tips above I never get to hear these songs. I assume the software doesn't log the number of times a track is played...in order that one can shuffle by the number of plays ?
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It dos not log not number of plays. It is complete random
Thanks Chris, I thought that was the case.
I have learned that the shuffle will not work on one's music library if the total number of tracks exceeds 50. Are you kidding me? Back in 1980 when I was using Appleworks, I couldn't number my manuscript if the pages exceeded 50. I am embarrassed for Sonos.... I would have thought that a similar hiccup that existed 40 years ago would have been solved by now.
Huh, my playlist is 4503 songs, and shuffle works quite well on it. I wonder what the difference between our two playlists is?

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