We may change this behavior in the future or add more options, but the recent change was a simple bug fix, guys – the old behavior was carefully designed to meet all the use cases we could think of at the time, and if we decide to make changes they will be similarly thorough.
Playlists are a way for a user to save tracks in a specific user-defined order. If you have a playlist with thousands of songs that you add to every day, playing that list from the middle is a critical use case. If you want to hear a song, and you do that by browsing to a playlist (as opposed to browsing to the album or a tag), this indicates that the order and context of that song in the playlist is important to you. The thinking was that playing a song from a playlist is different, and the expectations of what happens is different, so the default behavior should reflect that.
Whether that’s wrong or right is up for debate – like I said, we are considering changes and additional options. We’ve heard questions about why Roon behaves differently on these screens but only a handful of complaints, even across over a hundred posts in the recent Playlists thread. Consistency is important and it’s possible the distinction here is driving people crazy, but the hope was that people who tend to listen to albums get the behavior they expect, and people who build playlists do too.
So much of Roon is about adding back the context that’s lost when the interface you use to browse and play your collection acts like a file manager. There’s a reason so much of Roon is focused on albums and composers, since that’s the context from which most recordings originate.
In this case, care was taken to respect the choice the user has made when they specifically play a song via the playlist screen. It’s possible we’ve missed the mark or given short shrift to the “play a single song from a playlist” case (which does currently require an extra right-click or long tap) but it seems like most people clicking tracks in a playlist are getting the behavior they expect.
The point is, this was a bug fix, not a design choice. If we’re going to change the design or add options, we’re going to carefully consider all the feedback we’ve gotten about how people expect playlists to work, and make sure we don’t neglect the “play a thousand song playlist from the middle” case, either.
As always, the feedback is welcome guys, and I hope the details I’ve provided clarify our thinking here.