Why Does Apple Music Shuffle Play The Same Songs?

Are you tired of Apple Music shuffle playing the same songs repeatedly? It can be frustrating when you’re looking for a varied listening experience, only to hear the same tracks in the same order. But why does this happen?

It turns out Apple Music’s shuffle algorithm is not completely random. Instead, it favors songs with high play counts and new purchases from iTunes. It also considers your listening habits, playing songs less often if you frequently skip them. Additionally, having a smaller playlist with fewer songs can contribute to the repetition.

But don’t worry, there are solutions to overcome this issue. You can turn off repeat mode, change the playback order, remove unwanted songs, or skip frequently repeated tracks. Utilizing features like creating a radio station or using the Smart Playlist feature can introduce more variety into your shuffle.

Alternatively, you can download your Apple Music playlists as local audio files using a tool like DRmare Audio Converter, allowing you to enjoy your music on shuffle without the limitations of the Apple Music shuffle algorithm.

Why does the Apple Music shuffle play the same songs?

Here are some possible reasons why the Apple Music shuffle plays the same songs again and again

1.1 The repeat feature is turned on

An illustration of a man staring confused at his iPhone as the same song repeats over and over on Apple Music shuffle mode.

The reason why Apple Music shuffle plays the same songs could potentially be due to the repeat feature being turned on. Users may accidentally activate this mode instead of shuffle mode, resulting in the repetition of a single song.

To resolve this issue, make sure to check whether the repeat feature is on or off. If it’s turned on, simply tap the song that’s playing and then tap the Playing Next button in the lower-right corner. From there, tap Repeat One or Repeat All until it changes to Repeat Off.

Additionally, skipping songs that are repeated frequently can help hijack the algorithm and play new songs. Creating a radio station can also provide a way to listen to less frequently played songs during the shuffle.

Finally, restarting the device can resolve any glitches that may cause the same songs to be shuffled repeatedly.

1.2 You are shuffling an album or playlist instead of the library

An illustration of a woman facepalming as the same 3 songs play on shuffle. Her iPhone screen shows a small playlist titled "My Top 3 Songs" in the Apple Music app.

Tired of hearing the same old tunes? You may be mixing just one album or playlist instead of your entire library. This shuffle behaviour inconsistency can happen if you press the shuffle button on an album or playlist instead of selecting your library. When you do this, Apple Music will only play songs from that list, resulting in limited variety.

To ensure a true shuffle of your entire library, follow these steps:

1. Open the Apple Music app, tap on Library at the bottom of the screen, and then choose either Songs or Albums.

2. Finally, at the top, tap the Shuffle button.

By selecting the Library before shuffling, you’ll have a better chance of hearing a wider range of songs and breaking free from the repetitive cycle.

1.3 Shuffle is an algorithm, after all

Despite the desire for true randomness, the algorithmic nature of shuffle mode in Apple Music means that it may not always provide the variety one hopes for. The shuffle algorithm in Apple Music has certain limitations, resulting in the same songs being played repeatedly.

Here are some reasons why this happens:

  1. Shuffle algorithm limitations: Apple Music’s shuffle algorithm favors tracks with the highest play count and new purchases from iTunes. This means popular songs or recently purchased tracks are more likely to be played, while less popular or older tracks may be skipped.
  2. Patterns in shuffle play: Though shuffle is meant to be random, it can still have subtle patterns. This means that certain songs or artists may be played more frequently while others are rarely played. These patterns can be observed over long periods or multiple instances of shuffle.
  3. Enhancing music variety: To add more variety to your shuffle play, you can try deleting play counts or playing all tracks before shuffling. This can help reset the shuffle algorithm and ensure a different song selection. Additionally, creating smart playlists with specific criteria, such as songs not listened to in the last few months, can help curate diverse songs.
  4. Other strategies: Changing the playback order, removing unwanted songs from playlists, skipping frequently repeated songs, creating radio stations, or even restarting the device can also help hijack the algorithm and introduce more variety into the shuffle play.

By understanding the limitations of the shuffle algorithm and implementing strategies to enhance music variety, you can make the most out of shuffle mode in Apple Music.

1.4 Not utilizing the Smart Playlist feature

Try using the Smart Playlist feature to create a personalized and refreshing shuffle experience. This feature allows you to create rules that manage your song selection and maximize your shuffle experience.

When setting up a Smart Playlist, you can choose criteria such as songs not listened to in the last 3 or 6 months, least recently played, or least often played. This ensures that the songs played during shuffle are varied and not repetitive.

To make a Smart Playlist, you will require a Mac computer.

  • Launch the Music application on your Mac.
  • Select File > New from the menu bar.
  • Choose Smart Playlist from the expanded menu.
  • Tick the box at the top to Enable the following rule.

Additionally, you can customize other options for your playlist, such as including or excluding specific genres, artists, or albums. By creating a Smart Playlist, you can curate your shuffle and add variety to your listening experience on Apple Music.

2. Conclusion

If having a truly random shuffle is important, consider using a music streaming service with more control over shuffle algorithms.If you’re a fan of radio stations and have an Apple Music subscription, the first method can be very useful. However, this won’t be of much help to those who simply wish to stream songs that are played less frequently or those that haven’t been played recently, either from the Apple Music library or from their own personal collections, without an Apple Music subscription.

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