Is there a LMS-style Random Play feature?

I am new to Roon. Just got it working last night and I am impressed.

In the midst of my Roon-inspired blissful listening, I began to wonder about how I might be able to play random tunes within a set of selected genres (or within a set of genres with specific ones excluded).

As a chronic LMS user (more than 10 years), I become accustomed to the (not so much) “Random Play” feature which provides this capability. This has made a lot of music playing experiences with friends “peaceful” because (as is often commented) music that is disliked is easily ignored with the awareness that in a short time, something else will be played.

The Radio feature seems to be something that would constitute a “worst nightmare scenario” for these people, unless I developed a playlist (I am really hoping not to do that) that it would work off of. If they don’t care for something, they can expect to hear more of the same.

Over the years, “Random Play” has become a method of listening to music that I use the majority of the time. Not only does it promote peaceful co-existence, it often selects albums, tunes, and bands that I don’t think of often. Listening to some tunes outside the usual context of their position on an album/CD often gives them a fresh listen.

Is there any feature in Roon which allows for the specification or exemption of specific genres that the Radio feature would play?

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Try using focus to select a subset of your music you want to listen to.

Then press play and the radio function will take over, the beauty of rron is you can in advance give the thumbs up to songs that will appear or thumbs down and they are skipped.

Roon is aware its radio function does have some issues and improvements will occur in 2017 (but not with 1.3)

I find it works best in the scenario I outline above.

focus is very powerful, take some time to acquaint yourself with it.


The radio feature is what we have so far. Devs have mentioned that they are going to revisit the feature in the future. Currently you can down vote songs which will scratch them from Radio inclusion of that current Radio session, or, if you ban a song I think it will not be selected by Radio.

You could make a huge playlist that encompasses all the albums you would like and then shuffle that playlist’s playback.

John, I don’t think Radio obeys Focus. In my tests, I have made a focus of two albums, played a track, set Radio and it immediately draws from options outside of the Focus.

You could still use focus (on tracks or albums), click play all and then set shuffle in the now playing window

Hi John,

This KB page describes the various play options in Roon.

Daniel, I think if you select those 2 albums and select play all then play rather than radio It will randomly play from those 2 albums, similarly with any focus.

@John_Roberts, here are screen shots of what I’m suggesting.


Thanks for the suggestions. I think I can make a playlist of all of the albums that have not been banned/panned by one friend or another. It should be a rather large playlist (I have over 30K tunes) and the Radio. It sounds like there are a couple of things to try.

LMS’ Random Play function was not all that random. There was always 10-12 albums that it frequently sampled from. I ended up rebooting LMS to refresh the “re-runs.”

I did put in a bug report about 8 years ago. About 3 months ago, it was closed because they considered it impossible to rectify.

“Randomishness” seems like a reasonable expectation. I hope that Roon finds a way to provide that option.

Thanks, again, for your help. While trying this out, I will keep monitoring the blog to see what else is suggested.

The devs have said that Radio is not where they want it to be, but 1.3 has changes to various things under the hood that would have made earlier work on Radio obsolescent. So they will give it further attention once 1.3 is released and bedded in.

I have found that banning a particular album can avoid Radio getting stuck on it. For me this happens with albums that have a wide variety of genres or artists. “The Bridge” Neil Young tribute album is one such album in my collection. I like it, but I had to ban it in order to stop Radio getting stuck on it.

Go to Tracks, select the favourite Heart then play those random. It only plays your favs then.

For the past month or so, I have been using the Radio function, sometimes unintentionally. At times, I thought I was going to play an album but Radio had a different plan. After a track, it shifted to another band. It was kind of funny and a bit frustrating at the same time. Trial and error a fun way to learn.

I like a lot of things about Radio, especially when I am able to figure out how some (or all) of the Radio selections resemble the tracks I was playing (and it analyzed). I am still struggling with getting past the Random feature (on LMS) which picked out stuff that I hadn’t thought of for a while. With Radio, you kind of have to have a general idea of what you want to hear and, if/when you do, Radio will follow.

I have learned to create a pretty varied playlist before turning it over the Radio. Over the week-end, I got captivated by Santana’s Abraxas album and, after it played, Radio seemed to toggle through maybe 5-6 other albums (interestingly, none by Santana – but all from about the same year of release and in the “classic rock” genre). I am going to play around with it before I get “too judgy.” It is probably more about learning to use the tool than expecting the tool to read my mind.

Radio does a pretty good job, however, of finding similar music. At several points, I got distracted by something for a moment and it actually took me a while to realize that “we weren’t in Abraxas anymore.” It kind of reminds me of how my lab was when he was a puppy – he did a good job of doing what you expected, that is until he didn’t.

I haven’t become acquainted with Focus yet. It will probably be one of the next things I will try.

Thanks for the suggestions.

If you have any questions while exploring the Radio feature please ask. Also, if you have any suggestions, please add them to the Feature Request section. There have been many threads in Feature Request about the Radio already. You might want to give that area a search and read what other users have requested concerning the Radio Function.

The devs have mentioned that a re look and update of Radio is in their sights. Here is a link to a post I think you’d find interesting/informative:

When you Focus, you can only select Play All or Radio. Unfortunately you do not have the option to chose shuffle once you select Play All.

One would think Play All would be random but it is not. Radio is not random either as it attempts to find albums or tracks some how related to the Focus group.

When I choose Play All, I get the same 8-20 albums appearing. It just does not work - at least as a means to randomly play a set of music.

I would vote for being able to select Random Play, by track, work or album, once you select Play All.

If you select Shuffle play after you choose Play All, it starts Radio - as if it had been selected instead of Play All. As a result, the music played is definitely not random.

Hi @hshrader,

I was curious with this behaviour so did some testing on my system. This is my workflow (in this case Roon is on Windows 7 Laptop):

The starting point is with nothing playing:

Radio Mode Disabled

  1. From the Album Browser, Focus on a some albums

  2. Click the blue “Play All” icon.

  3. Click the “Play Now” icon.
    Roon flashes up:

    @support I think this maybe misleading, as it’s not really radio play as we now it, it’s shuffle play. Perhaps it should flash up "Started Shuffle Play"
    Roon now starts playing random tracks from the albums that were focus upon.

  4. Looking at the queue screen, it reports:

  5. Clicking the shuffle icon:

    As expected (as we are in shuffle play mode) does not appear to affect the play order, … and Roon still reports

  6. Clicking the blue X (above), cancels shuffle mode and displays:

    Then once the current track completes, Roon stops playing.

So other than maybe an adjustment of some prompts, this to me is working as expected.

Radio Mode Enabled
1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 same behaviour as above.

  1. Clicking the blue X (above), cancels shuffle mode and displays:

    Then once the current track completes, Roon switches to radio mode (seeded from the focus) but not constrained to it.

Again other than maybe an adjustment of some prompts, this to me is working as expected.

@hshrader, does your workflow differ from what I did? Can you try out my work flow and see if your results differ.

hi @Carl, Firstly, big thanks for taking this on.

From Step 3: I get the notice Started Radio. In fact, no matter what is selected - Play Now or Start Radio, i get the Started Radio message. @support This is an issue since there is no reason to have choice (Play Now or Start Radio), unless the Start Radil label is incorrect and should read something like random play enabled, as Carl suggests. I don’t think it is mislabeled.

Step 4- Like you - I have Nothing Queued on the left and Shuffle Continues on the right (in the Radio window).

Step 5: I click the Shuffle icon. Here i may have a variance from your experience. Since there is no queue, there is nothing to shuffle. In fact no play order is evident. I only see the next Album up from the Radio window on the right. If there were tracks lined up on the left and i hit shuffle icon, they would change order.

Step 6. I see this step a little differently than you. Clicking the blue X cancels “Radio” mode (not shuffle mode). And when the track ends, Roon stops.

But it is not working as expected. After clicking Play Now, i get the same 8-20 albums all the time (in a 700 album focused set of music). If one clicks shuffle icon after Play Now (without selecting any tracks from the right using the thumb up/down icon) there is no way to tell if any shuffling is happening and play remains distinctly un-random in any case.

If you do select suggested tracks in the Radio window via thumb up/down - say five - and then hit shuffle icon - it does shuffle the queue. But this is not a fix - if i get the same 8-20 albums all the time, why would any one care what order they are played in?

For Radio Mode Enabled - i agree with what you see but interpret it differently. Here we have simply switched on and off Radio Mode and the click of the shuffle icon makes no difference to the order of play, since a) their order is not revealed or chosen and b) because we have always been in Radio mode (Step 3 notification).

Your work has made me look at this more carefully and i am thinking now that Random play from Play Now is just not yet activated. I am thinking you need a queue for the Random icon to work. With no queue, are we in Radio mode. Would love to see a queue generated randomly after pressing Play Now.

If this is so, i think this is a legitimate functionality issue. If it will get fixed, then it would be great if at the same time, new Random icons were created: one representing Track, one for Album, and one for Work or Composition. They could sit besides each other. I probably have gone too far in this thread - key issue is to figure out if we are defaulting to Radio and bypassing a Random play mode.

Again, thanks for opening this discussion so constructively!

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Carl –

I have been trying this suggestion and it seems to work as far as playing a random selection of music is concerned. Thankfully, it also seems to avoid the “hidden music” I have.

I agree that it looks like Roon might have the “randomness” of random figured out, at least well enough for our purposes.

I would like to have several options for random play:
(1) I would like to select specific genres, artists (even from different genres), years (or individually selected groupings of them), and composers.
(2) I would like to be able to select all of the above and then “unselect” specific ones (for gatherings with people whose tastes are pretty eclectic, up to a pretty strongly drawn point).
(3) I would like to review the list of selected tracks as a whole and be able to easily remove ones that I don’t want to be included. This is where the radio function is a bit kludgy – it does a great job, with the thumbs up/down feature, but it is more time consuming than it should be.
(4) The playlist should have a significant length (at least 50 tracks – 100-200 would be good) so that it can be curated once and early and not be “tended to” when music is being played for a number of hours.
(5) I’d like it to also be able to access Tidal – although I do not currently subscribe to it, I imagine that folding in Tidal “random” tracks into the playlist would be fun.

As a new user of Roon, I don’t really know as much as many of you about how Roon functions or is put together. However, given what I have said, it seems to make sense to have Random or Radio added to the first screen (with browse, library, settings, etc). Whenever Radio is activated, there should be a menu for selecting/deselecting the parameters of what Radio will play (as described above).

I do think these enhancements would be attractive to a lot of Roon users. For me, the random feature of LMS, as imperfect as it was (in terms of randomness), was how I listened to music with friends most of the time.

Oh, please. I would love that.

I have a couple of additional suggestions:
(1) include an option in Random (or Radio, if that is how Roon ends up doing this) that allows for the inclusion of music that selected artists perform on other recordings (e.g., John Mayer recently did some work on Melissa Etheridge’s latests album). It would be great to be able to turn on or off that feature.

(2) Add an option for choosing music by date it was added, or how recently it was played (or, conversely, music that has not be played for more than “x” number of weeks, months, years, or whatever).

There may be some additional tag information that Roon collects that could also be indexed to specify a range/s for Random play.

I appreciate the fact this is being discussed and considered.

Seeking feedback from our Roon @support team please.

Can you review and validate the discussion above? Are we doing something wrong to access a true random shuffle from Play All? Is this type of functionality of interest or concern for the design team?