Truly random shuffle

I like interdependent smart playlists that we can use to cobble together the behavior we want - in this instance, rules =

time is 00:30 - 9:59
plays in the last 72 hrs = 0


I’m not Roon Support, but I referred to Shuffle in the second post in this thread. Familiarity issues are things that users can help each other with. Support is best deployed to help people with technical issues.

Good point on the location of this thread - i think the conversation has changed from software related help to feature request.

Regarding the 2nd thread on how to use the shuffle button - i think that is clear. The bigger issue is functionality - when you create a Focus, which is a GREAT and well used feature, you can select Radio or Play All. If Radio, the program chooses related music (not Random). If you chose Play All, you don’t have a choice to press the shuffle button AND the play back is definitely not Random. I begs the difference between Radio and Play All to me and potentially other users with my level of experience.

I will post request for Random Play in the proper area of this appreciated and useful forum.

Agreed: the issue here is about what happens when you press “Play all”. What you get is definitely not random. Is there any doubt about that? For me the process of creating a playlist, adding it to the queue and shuffling that is a workaround. It seems at least to be “more random” than “Play all” but whether it is “random enough” is still a question. But the main point is it would be good if “Play all” was actually “more random” or, better, provided options.
By the way andybob as a paying customer I want user support no matter how trivial it might seem to you.

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I created feature a request under “Random Play for Focus set of music…”

If you support, appreciate if you voice on that thread.

Sorry, but I use this function Play All from the Albums screen all the time and have never once thought of it not being totally random. Maybe because I have a large library of 134,000+ tracks. Has just never crossed my mind… the radio function on the other hand needs major work as it’s very limiting and does repeat only a few artists.

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Just as a follow up and to keep this critical issue in view, today I tried the method of going to Tracks, then focusing on a Tag within tracks, then adding to a playlist and shuffling the playlist.

It is striking how much more random this is than “Play All” from a Tag, It very much highlights that “Play All” from a Tag seems to follow a pattern or formula that is not only not random, it doesn’t dig very deeply into my collection at all.

For example, I have something like 8 Massive Attack albums within a Tag of mellow music. Play All from the Tag played 6 tracks from one album and ignored all other albums.

Point being, Play All needs work. Needs to be more random, less predictable, and leverage a larger/deeper portion of our collections. It really does not “Play All” by any means, but rather it gets focused on a subset of albums/tracks.

I agree, James. I have a few tracks that seem to come up a lot and had a look at the most irritating one, which comes from Vashti Bunyan’s ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ album.

The title track has been played 35 times according to Roon and these are all generated through random ‘Play All’ (a saved Focus of everything minus classical). The third track on the album has been played 24 times. There are also 9 tracks that have either 1 or zero plays. Minus the two tracks mentioned each track on the album has been played an average of 2.5 times (against 35 and 24).

No wonder that I feel like I’m hearing Vashti sing her title track every time I sit down to Roon.

Exactly! My guess is that if you leave a “Play All” session going long enough, it will dig into deeper tracks. But if you listen to a “Play All” for a few hours, and then change to something else, and then go back to that same Tag and “Play All” again, it kind of starts over with its analysis. It is kind of like my 93 year old mother - we have a conversation for 3-5 minutes and then she forgets and we start over…

Right on cue, there it is again! Oi! Vashti! Nooooo!!!

Thanks for bumping this issue.
Play All is not random. As you say, it doesn’t dig deeply into the collection.
Please can this be fixed?

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Not that I have a vote, but I do vote that Roon 1.4 include improved shuffle functionality as a high priority. This is 90% of how I listen - I’ve been putting up with shuffle following the same, now predicable patterns, but that is on the faith that it won’t be like this forever. If it were the case that Roon would only shuffle like this forever, I’d have stopped using it, despite the other fantastic features. In the end, it’s about listening.

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I don’t have a timeline to share yet, but this absolutely a priority for us.

I discussed this in some more detail about 6 months ago here:

Ok Radio is a priority to fix.
But isn’t Play All something else, and if so does that mean fixing Play All is not such a priority?
Why is that? Please can Play All be fixed?

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Under the hood, these use the same engine and suffer from some of the same weaknesses.

When we make this functionality better, you’ll see the improvement across the board.


I’ve realized that while I can get better random play by moving tracks into the Queue and using the shuffle function than I can from using the Play Tag function, I have also figured out that doing this does not accurately capture only tracks that correspond to a Tag.

Here’s what I mean: from the menu, click Tags. Then select a Tag to play. From here, one would assume there is a way to choose every track associated with a Tag so that you can Select All those tracks and add them to the Queue, in order to Shuffle them.

But that assumption is incorrect: if you use the pull-down menu to select View Tracks, you only get tracks to which the Tag was directly applied. If you applied the Tag to an album or artist, and not to the track, the track doesn’t show up there. If you instead choose to View Albums, all of the albums whose artists you Tagged do show up. But if there is a compilation (various artists) album that has an artist who you tagged, it also shows up - that’s fine, but when you select all albums to add to the queue, it adds tracks from artists from those compilation albums but which are not Tagged.

So that means I Tag mellow artists, some of whom have songs on compilations, and when I try to shuffle them using the above method, I get an Ozzy song. Not mellow.

Back to Play All Tags. While the engine isn’t particularly random, at least it does capture the correct tracks.

I understand this may be inherent in Roon’s data model. But it does limit the way one can use Roon as an auto-DJ.

This sounds wrong. Can you post some screenshots?

Mike thank you so much for the quick response! I realize that I mischaracterized the issue – there is something – but not exactly that. Give me 24 hrs to see if I can figure it out to describe it better. Also, should we move this somewhere else so as not to derail this important Topic?

[Maybe we should move this support thread elsewhere…]

OK Mike, let’s start with this:

(1) Here’s a Tag I created – all the music from the artists on the Valley Girl Soundtrack. I should explain that generally my method of Tagging is to Tag artists, but I will also include Various Artists compilations Tagged as albums if they fit in.

(2) Notice that the Plimsouls are Tagged as an artist. Here is the Plimsouls Artist Page – you can see the Tag:

Under the artist banner, I have 5 Plimsouls albums plus the VG Soundtrack:

(3) So, back at the screen under #1 above, I click on “View All” and select “View All Tracks” from the menu. I’d expect every track from the artists or on the albums within the Tag to show up here. But it doesn’t – this is scrolled down to where the Plimsouls should be alphabetically but they are not:

Oddly, some tracks from artists that are tagged, where albums are not tagged, are represented here. But not the Plimsouls or most others. This Tag should have about 500 songs, but only 92 show up here.

Even stranger still, I cannot for the life of me figure out how a single Pop Will Eat Itself song is showing up here. They’re not on the soundtrack, not in the Tag, and there’s nothing differentially tagged with this one song. Just doesn’t fit at all.

I thought maybe I had some other Focus characteristic in play, But I reset that and still get the same results. And that would still not account for why PWEI shows up in a Tag for the VG Soundtrack.

Finally, if I “Play Tag” from the Tag screen under #1 above, then I do get plenty of Plimsouls. And the Plimsouls are just an example - this is across a number of artists.

I’m confused.

I’ll bump this since I think it really does identify a good question about how Roon Tags work and I did go to the effort of posting screen shots and to clarify my questions…