Shuffle problem

I have approximately 40K tracks in my collection (Synology NAS, mostly FLAC), and I like to listen by going to the “Tracks” link (which lists all the tracks in the collection) and then hitting “Play All.” This purports to randomly play through all the tracks in the collection. However, there are certain albums (and a few tracks) that Roon keeps preferring. Roon is, far and away, particularly fond of playing tracks from The Vines’ “The Runaway Found” album. I like that album, but I’m starting to get sick of it.

The problems is exacerbated if I start skipping songs a lot. Roon is much likelier to pick a song from that album (and it’s other favorites), if I keep skipping tracks. If I just let it shuffle, with no skipping, it will play its favorite albums and tracks every 10 tracks or so.

Is there a way to address this that does not involve “disliking” those albums/tracks? I like to shuffle through the whole collection, because it is a way to reacquaint myself with forgotten favorites and, frankly, to hear some stuff that I haven’t heard before (I will buy an album just for a few tracks - even only one track).

Thanks for any help you can provide.


I have noticed this. Click play all tracks and I often have one particular album that regularly reappears.

In my case its ‘The Vaselines’ - Maybe Roon likes bands with the letter V :grinning:

Thanks for reporting your experience. I was worried that I was the only one.

A few days ago, I uninstalled Roon from the NUC connected to my DAC (uninstalled the program and the preferences - I wish I had saved my favorites and playlists). I then rebooted and ran CCleaner to wipe the registry of Roon’s footprint. Then I installed the version of Roon that only runs in the background with no GUI (RoonServer?). It took a while to read my NAS (still on a wireless network), but, after it was done, the same behavior continued, with the exact same music being “preferred” by Roon.


Yep, the Pretenders Learning to Crawl is the bane of my life on Radio and shuffle.

A mighty strange algorithm indeed.


The Bridge: A Tribute to Neil Young (1989) here.

I speculate that Roon’s randomizing algorithm includes a process by which it picks those tracks/albums when it runs out of processing power or bandwidth. The loose evidence for my speculation is that Roon “goes runnin’ home to mama” more often when I skip several tracks in a row, and I’m on a wireless network. Also, stuffing my NUC into a fanless case made wireless reception worse because the case it came in had a better antenna mounting solution. Random number generators have been around for a long time, so it’s hard to have much confidence in the processing-power part of that hypothesis.

I will try to focus my remodel project on running ethernet where needed, and I will report if that makes a difference in the behavior. If it continues, but with less frequency, then I will have more confidence in my hypothesis, because the NAS that stores my music is not exactly outfitted with a blazing fast processor and has less memory than Ozzy Osbourne.

That this is happening is fascinating for this old pc user.

Ghost in the machine.

“goes runnin’ home to mama”


It’s a minor annoyance for me. Now that I know other’s are experiencing it, I have a weird ‘Felllowship of Roon’ moment when it happens. Thinking, it could be worse. It’s not weird Al Yankovic repeating over and over. (I don’t have any of his recordings. Not that there’s anything wrong with him.) What would be more annoying is if the fix doesn’t get explained. From a documentary standpoint, I mean. Very curious.


huh – the last reply to this topic is over 230 days old (the forum tells me as I prepare to post).

Given what I’m posting, that’s a bit like rubbing salt into the wound, but whatever.

I selected ~40 of my favorite artists and then hit play/shuffle. All the music is on a NAS – not Tidal. I’ve had this running for ~3 days now, pausing overnight or when I’ve not been here to listen.

Among the artists I highlighted:

Arthur Lee (148 albums)
Kevin Ayers (141 albums)
Hendrix (204 albums)
Kinks (202 albums)
Beatles (136 albums)
Stones (116 albums)
Bowie (80 albums)
McCartney (68 albums)
Fleetwood Mac (43 albums)
Love (41 albums)
Geo Harrison (35 albums)

I’ve probably played ~20+ hours of this on shuffle over the last 3 days. There are probably ~2000 albums that constitute the group I told Roon to play.

In each case, Roon continues to re-visit the same album (from an artist) again, and again. And again.


Not only that, Roon plays the same song from that album – in some cases 3-4 times during this span.

In all of the cases listed above, there are not more than ~3-5 albums from each artist that Roon has chosen to play.

In addition, there are ~20 artists in this group, each with >= 30+ albums, that haven’t even been played once.

I know this has been mentioned before…

…but really…

I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s unfair or overly-melodramatic to say that Roon’s shuffle algorithm (not Radio, which has its own similar problems) is easily the worst I’ve ever experienced.

So infuriating I had to turn off Roon & switch to Sonos. Sonos’s algorithm has always sucked as well, but it doth sucketh much, much less.

Ugh – just had to get that off my chest…


Thanks for posting your experience. I continue to have the same problem, even after moving my library from a NAS to a local drive, then uninstalling Roon from all devices, and then reinstalling Roon on all devices and repopulating the library (from a scan, not from any previous settings - those were also erased manually).

Roon stopped being chummy with the Velvet Underground album it previously “liked,” but the most frequent repeater, Guiding Light by the Vines, still holds that title, and by a wide margin. Roon just cannot get off that album. A few of the tracks (not albums) that were prior favorites of Roon’s random number generator also continue their reign. So weird!

I would like to speculate that the behavior is the result of design elements incorporated into the software that are there to prevent playback from pausing while Roon “thinks” about what track to play. You’d think that would require some algorithm based on the content of your library, but my library grew (Grimes kicks ass!) and shrank (I just couldn’t stay with Mose Allison, I’m sorry) in between the above-described re-installs, and that same damned album is still at the top of that speculative algorithm.

My most frequent manner of listening is to shuffle through the entire library, so it’s a bit sad to think that some music in the library has no chance of ever being played through a shuffle.

BTW, trtlrock, does your name refer to the Turtle Rock at Vedauwoo?

Agreed. Getting this right is a priority for us, but that work will happen after some of the metadata improvements we’re working on now.

We hear you guys loud and clear on this, so you can expect this to get a lot better once that work happens. Thanks for the feedback guys!

Thanks for chiming in, Mike. I am glad to hear from you that the issue is in your radar. Given the importance of metadata to Roon’s awesomeness, I completely agree with the emphasis on that work.

Thanks, again.

I like the RNGs that give the user a modicum of control in the settings.

I.e. Check boxes for, “Avoid repeating artists”, “Only shuffle tracks with play counts < n”, “Preference​ towards genre X during shuffle”, etc

This sounds promising. What is an RNG and where do I find these settings?

“Random Number Generators”. Just a loose term to broadly reference all random algorithms.

If Roon’s Shuffle algorithm incorporates any of these parameters, they certainly aren’t exposed in the current version.

I’m a long-time user of Plex and I’ve grown accustomed to having their amazing Plex-Mix algorithm​ only a click away.

But with only 14 days to trial Roon, it’ll never be enough time to dig into all the quirks and make a decision. Bump the trial period up to 90 days and let us really compare your system.

Such a short trial period makes it seem like you’re trying to hide your shortcomings.

+1 for Ian’s suggestion to have selectable parameters for the shuffle. The ones he mentions alone would solve all the problems I have with the Roon RNG. I would only add the ability to “avoid repeating artists within x number of tracks played.”

For more info and discussion on the random shuffle issue please have a look at: