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Random playlists aren't so random

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by El Presidente, May 24, 2018.

  1. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Anyone have an issue with Spotify where the playlists aren't as random as they should be?

    My main playlist has circa 500 songs in it, many of them by the same artists. I find it will clump several songs by the same artist together. Admittedly, I should hear some of the same groups on my hour cycle to and from work, but not 3-4 songs in a row.

    Does this happen to anyone else?


  2. Best Answer:
    Post #4 by Xyro, May 26, 2018 (3 points)

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  3. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42

    This is actually quite an interesting topic. What people expect when they shuffle music "randomly" is actually non-random enforced variety. This article, written by a Spotify developer, explains how people don't like a truly random shuffle as it doesn't feel random. I think I have heard the same about Apple's music shuffling making the same shift in the past.

    Randomness and probability in general is very counterintuitive. Flipping a coin is random, and so we expect that if we do it 10 times in a row we'll get roughly 50/50 heads/tails. The idea that you can flip a coin and get "heads" 10 times in a row feels wrong, but it is as likely as any other string of 10 results. If you spend 9 hours flipping the coin then it is quite likely to happen. I would wager that with 500 songs shuffled truly-randomly, depending on how many different arists you had in there, most possible outcomes would contain some degree of clumped up arists.

    So assuming that there isn't a bug or an incorrect setting somewhere, it could be that shuffle is too random for your liking.
    #2 Xyro, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    lunatic59 and El Presidente like this.
  4. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    What was the first link, it's not resolving properly.

    Do you use it? Have you noticed similar issues?
  5. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42

    Should be fixed above now, but here it is:

    I do use it, but largely either to shuffle single albums or big playlists with almost no artists represented more than once. So I couldn't really notice what you're describing.
    El Presidente likes this.
  6. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    That's a pretty good article, thank you.

    If it's expected behaviour, I'm good with that. :)
    Xyro likes this.


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March 23, 2020
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