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Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:36 am
by olivechicago
I must have started this post a dozen times over the past few months. but I've never clicked submit. I always stopped short because it felt like I was unnecessarily ragging on a product that I truly love.

Despite my fanatical support for MediaMonkey (Android in this case,) the shuffle feature is truly miserable. In the past, using MMA as I have been, it'll play for 30 minutes up to maybe 90 minutes before it's turned off. Hours or days later it'll be used again, so the shuffle function never really had a chance to dive into my entire library on my phone and/or it was never used long enough for repetition to be noticed. Recently though I've had the opportunity to let MMA provide me five plus hour of audial entertainment a day for weeks on end. The shuffle feature seems to fall really short.

Things I've come to notice, which are all interconnected in one way or another:

-Either shuffle cannot/does not play the entire music collection on my phone, or shuffle is a hidden playlist of sorts, grabbing X number of random tracks. This "shuffle playlist" only changes when content on phone is changed or the content of "Now Playing" changes.

-Once the "shuffle" has been established, it feels like it is 95% predictable. At least if repeat is enabled. I know that song "whatever" by artist "whoever" is following the current track more often than not.

-Shuffle has NEVER played the entire library on my phone.

Perhaps I'm using it wrong. I suppose from time to time I'll want a certain artist with several albums to be shuffled, but usually I'm just hitting "tracks" then the icon for "add to now playing" and I expect all 2600 tracks to be shuffled.

Perhaps 2600 tracks to too much.

All too often though I end up hearing the same 20, 30, maybe 50 songs several times, and never hear any of the other 2550 tracks on the phone. While my numbers may be off, they cannot be off by that much. I'd think that with 2600 songs set to shuffle, I'd hear repeats a lot less frequently. Some level of repetition is expected and probably appreciated. Most certainly though, I'm hearing many songs over and over, and some never.

I know I'm not the only one who has noticed this. During one of my attempts at bringing this up before, I searched the forum for posts about shuffle before clicking submit, and someone else had an identical experience. "It was brought up already, I'll leave well enough alone." These past two weeks though I had to live through the "shuffle playlist" (as I've come to call it) and my searching this time around fails me.

Send help. Or an explanation. Please.

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:35 pm
by Lowlander
a) Shuffle will randomly pick the next file from the full list, thus repeats are expected.
b) Use Random Play instead to add files in a random order to the Now Playing, then let it play unshuffled.

It does feel too repeated, but I generally use Random Play which doesn't suffer from this.

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:04 am
by olivechicago
Lowlander wrote:a) Shuffle will randomly pick the next file from the full list, thus repeats are expected.
b) Use Random Play instead to add files in a random order to the Now Playing, then let it play unshuffled.

It does feel too repeated, but I generally use Random Play which doesn't suffer from this.
b) Do you mean the "Quick Shuffle" icon as it's referred to here? ... :_Playback
That's what I do. From the home screen I select "Tracks," then i press "Quick Shuffle."

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:21 am
by Lowlander
Yes, are you saying it isn't random enough?

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:39 pm
by olivechicago
Lowlander wrote:Yes, are you saying it isn't random enough?

I currently have 2618 tracks on my phone.

Repetition is to be expected, and I am 100% in agreement with that. I have no qualms with hearing one track a few times more often than another. However, there are blocks of tracks that never get played while at the same time there are blocks of tracks that really appear to be the only ones played.

I meant what I said about it feeling like a hidden/theoretical playlist. Visually there is nothing hinting this. But it really feels like when I press Quick Shuffle, despite the fact that Now Playing has 2618 tracks listed, MMA grabs X number of tracks, X being considerably less than all, 500 perhaps, and those X (500 for the sake of discussion here) tracks are what makes the current iteration of Quick Shuffle/Now Playing. The only time that list changes (now playing tracks that appear to have been ignored previously, some that played before don't ever again) is if I pop out to the home screen, tracks, quick shuffle.

To be honest, I didn't realize that button we speak off was supposed to be "Quick Shuffle." I thought it was an "add all" of sorts. In my mind, I was viewing the entire library if tracks on my phone, adding all of them to Now Playing, and would then engage the shuffle and repeat icons.

So just to be clear, and so we're both on the same page... Is there a limit to the number of tracks that Quick Shuffle will use?

Here is another interesting thing I just noticed in trying to make sense of things and make sure I'm not over thinking this.

Home screen. Tracks. Long press one track. Hit the select all button at the top right. All 2618 tracks get a check next to them in a second.

Home screen. Tracks. Press Quick Shuffle. Back to home screen. Now Playing. Long press one track. Hit the select all icon. (I wanted to make sure Quick Shuffle was sending 2618 to Now Playing.) Now... track currently playing or not, it takes 14 seconds for them all to get their checks marks and reveal that 2618 tracks are indeed on the Now Playing list.

I can imagine scenarios in coding where one portion of the app may take a bit longer than another to perform what is essentially the same function due to various lookups. But from one second to fourteen seconds... Is a 1300% increase to be expected? If it is, cool. If not, maybe there is something wonky with my MMA install or it's contents, which in turn could be the source of my randomizing woes.

Is there somewhere on the phone where I can view the current play count of the tracks? I could do a before and after? I thought about sectioning off a portion of tracks on my PC to do a before and after, but I'd hate to forget that a certain album or artist was "reserved" and screw with the stats by playing them for a whole weekend on my PC.

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:53 pm
by Lowlander
Now Playing in MMA (like in MMW) can contain non-Library files, this is likely why it lasts longer.

I do feel that Quick Shuffle is not mixing files enough, but you can enable Shuffle in the Player. Then you're Shuffling through a Randomized list and should see better results (but also can see more repetition of certain files).

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:02 pm
by timepiece
I have to admit, in an effort to make sure I get to hear everything eventually (if I own it, I want to hear it), I have a super-complex nested playlist assigning different Last Played thresholds to different star ratings.

So for instance using this playlist, I won't hear a 5-star song more than once every 2 weeks, 4.5-star: 4 weeks, 4-star: 2 months, etc. You have to create a separate auto-playlist for each star rating, then a master list that contains all the others. You have to choose random sort or it will pull alphabetically, though (I have it pulling a max number for each sub-list instead of everything so I don't have a 2000-item Now Playing list. It's 500)

I highly recommend it to anyone who feels like they hear the same songs too often.

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:25 am
by BTJ
Very True. I have suffered the same agony. In shuffle mode the next song can be predicted, despite trying normal play and shuffle over and over again, so that I really have a new set of songs, but after few songs it is back to the repeats, and predictable.

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:30 pm
by oblivioncth
I do notice the shuffles tends to avoid some areas of my playlist more than others, though it's fairly mild so I never bothered complaining about it. I almost always play using the Quick Shuffle button thats on the top right.

Sounds like it's a lot worse for you. The playlist I usually shuffle is ~800 tracks.

Eventually it will seem to "like" a different section on the playlist more so overtime it does hit the whole list evenly. But day to day it seems to prefer certain songs a tad more than others.

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:20 am
by dkstott
My biggest complaint is the poor function of shuffle. There are huge chunks of my music that are completely ignored by MMA in this function. :o

LG V20, beta user of MMA, I whatever the lastest version is.

I'm not sure of exactly how many tracks are on the SD card, but I know that my music takes up more than 15G of memory on the card.

My initial process is to select "tracks" & then I hit the "triangle shuffle" function for my 5 mile jog exercise. When I'm driving, I'll just hit play to continue the process. (My phone gets connected to the car audio via the earphone jack.)

I can almost guarantee each day, quite a few of songs that were played yesterday will be played again.
Another glitch is that this process will play 2 songs by an artist back to back. Followed by 2 songs by another artist back to back.

I've resorted to occasionally deleting those artists that have songs which tend to repeat from my SD card to try and force MMA to play the rest of the collection.

With 15G+ of music, I would expect to occasionally hear some repeats over a period of time. But certainly not on a daily basis.

The fact that MMA shuffle function somehow chooses to ignore huge chunks of the music is very perplexing.

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:07 am
by TroubleClef
I haven't necessarily noticed the same songs being repeated (maybe because I re-shuffle before it happens), but it definitely seems the shuffle isn't very random. I have 5000+ songs in my playlist and when I shuffle it there are repeat artists and albums even within the first 10 or 15 songs. By the time I get to the first 100, I would guess as many as 15 or 20 of the songs could be from the same few artists or albums.

Re: Auto DJ

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:22 am
by Stigg
Auto DJ also repeats a lot of my Library far too soon in MM4.
I haven't tested it with MM5. Is it the same algorithm?

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:13 am
by dtsig
Seems to be same problem with mm5

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:58 am
by Peke
Instead of using entire library I always used Playlist with criterias:
- Not Played past 7 Days
- Limit 1 track
- Random Sort

That worked flawlessly.

In addition I sometimes use additional criteria to refine result for less listening tracks
- Play count <10
- Rating NOT BOMB

Using few of these can greatly improve Auto-DJ experience and not ruin listening.

Re: Better Shuffle Formula

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:10 pm
by Lowlander
That won't help MMA's shuffle capabilities. I too feel that it isn't random enough and seem to hear the same songs more frequently despite a large list.