Shuffle albums randomly in Music apps (solution)

I posted on this a few months ago but now can’t find it, that time I was shown what I suggested was wrong, it didn’t work, just played songs randomly. So I am trying again (and tested this time around!).

On my iPhone (14, iOS 16.3.1), in Music, go to Albums, then there in upper right a shuffle icon. Press that. It will start playing some song randomly. At the bottom the song playing is listed. Press that and a Playing Next list will show up, obviously it is just going to play songs randomly. Near the top is a shuffle icon and it is selected. Unselect it. BINGO! The Playing Next list changes to show Albums, tracks played in order, then another album picked randomly! Ready for my next road trip, which is coming up soon, just had 6th grand baby, 3rd grandson, yesterday, 9 1/2 hours away! Mom and baby are doing just fine, thanks for asking. This was their first.

On the Mac, Monterey 12.6.3, I think this works. This might not be the Apple approved way. On the left under Library choose Songs (this might not be required, you might try Albums but I am to tired to try that now). Make TWO menu choices, Controls/Shuffle/On and Controls/Shuffle/Albums. Open the Playing Next panel, menu: View/Show Playing Next then the Playing Next Button. The real tricks are getting the Playing Next Panel to populate and to have nothing playing and NOTHING selected. You might try playing a song, scrub the head to the right to let it finish. The shuffle icon should be red (just to the left of the play button at top). Then hit the play button. A new album should start, the Playing Next panel should populate, showing songs grouped by album, in the correct track order. Then another album randomly shown, with its songs shown in correct track order. Whew, that took a while to get to work. I got it to work, but then couldn’t figure out how! I came up with a pretty complex way, this is simpler.

Not randomly. Look again. It is playing all your albums in sequence, sorted by album title.

At least this is why I see on my iPod Touch running iOS 15.7.3.

1 Like

Shoot, you are right. My Playing Next list only shows song title, artist, and photo of album, not album title so I did not pick that up! At least you’re getting different artists, in no real particular order. And I guess every now and then you can have it reselect the list start randomly.

I checked the Mac version and it does NOT seem to be by Album title.

I added this to Apple Feedback, hope EVERYBODY ELSE, does too.

P.S. I notice when you sign into Apple, you have the choice to use different Account or continue. The continue button you have to TYPE in your Mac’s password (maybe not if you allow autofill) but if you choose a different account, you can just use your mouse to choose USER ID and PASSWORD. I find the later easier.

My experience on iPhone SE3 with iOS 15.7.3 matches that of @Shamino.

Over many years I have sought a way to shuffle complete Albums – and never found a way to do it.

YEP, I don’t think anybody has. Much preferred mode for road trips. I really do prefer it that way, growing up playing at least a side of an LP at a time. I had a Technics SL-1500 direct drive (still have it) completely manual turntable (i.e. you couldn’t stack several LPs on the spindle, nor was the tonearm lifted after LP side completed but I got a little device that took the gentlest nudge to do that. I think the next best turntable would have been one of those linear arm models, or a Technic model with quartz servo controlled speed. Note my turntable speed control knob seemed to very erratic, I had it fixed by a shop that said the PC board was cracked, but couple more years later the erratic behavior returned, took it apart myself and saw NO crack, or repair, on the PC board. I think the speed control potentiometer is a little dirty, and bought an identical potentiometer to replace the original one (still haven’t done that project, after like 10 years). I think the repair shop just sprayed a little electronics cleaner into the potentiometer, which I paid dearly for, then made up a story to make it seem like they did a lot of work to justify the bill.

1 Like

What is this? The forever clicking at the end of an LP is one thing I would change about my turntable. (Sorry for the nontechnical tangent)

1 Like

My old (in Apple years) iPod Classic, the last model sold with an internal spinning HD, does have the ability to shuffle random albums in sequence. As far as in the current software, I’ve found the best “trick” is to use a Doug Adams Applescript that “Shuffles Random Albums”, which I then sync to my iOS devices.

I just tested this part and it works great. This is on Big Sur (macOS 11.7.4), Music version I assume that’s the intended behavior, since these are right on the menu-bar:

Screen Shot 2023-02-16 at 19.01.21

1 Like

There is an iOS app that claims to do this:

1 Like

I got it in like 1976 out of an audio magazine. Suction cup to turntable base with vertical rod, attached to that was another rod also vertical that could swing, but the heavy side up, so it’s unstable. So when the tone arm hits it, the heavy side swings down and the longer end swings up and lifts the tone arm. Sure you could 3D print that up quick.

1 Like

After my 3rd gen iPod (got it free when buying an AL powerbook for my son leaving for college, he already had a gen 1) was stolen down in Costa Rica, it was in my snorkel bag and I was out snorkeling with my BIL in a pretty deserted area, my thoughts were ‘at least I introduced Costa Rica to Todd Snider’. My 2015 Honda CR-V had an USB port so you could play and control the iPod with the car stereo, and its on screen iPod controls there was a menu button to turn Album Shuffle on, that’s how I found my iPhone 6 would not shuffle Albums. So I got another iPod classic off eBay just for this feature while on the road. You can replace the spinning HD with an SSD on those, I think a board was available for either an SD or compact Flash card.

REALLY BAD oversights on those early classic iPods were they can’t play and charge at the same time, so they die about 300 miles into a road trip. Also they had wiring such as you had to use an Apple charger to charge them, I tried to make a USB male to USB female cable with the needed wiring so it would charge and play over the car at the same time, but failed. And that 3rd gen (first color or photo, I forget) did have both USB and Firewire, but I found the FireWire interface VERY flakey. Called Apple and agent said ‘use USB’, so I had to buy a 30 pin to USB cable, one of my first ‘Grrrrr Apple’. (If you followed all that, that later need for USB cable was before the Honda CR-V was bought.)

THANKS MICHAEL! I just looked and there are also a few others. Seems to me reading what is on the App store ‘Albums’ does a few more things and is free (but has in-app purchases). There is also ‘Smart Shuffle’, which after reading its propaganda I am trying first.

Edit: ‘Smart Shuffle’ has been working over time for quite a while 'Shuffling . . ." And I did think my collection was that huge, 460 albums. Took a little while to figure out. Upper left click the box icon, new screen with all your albums click the check at bottom, click the shuffle icon (which might a long press) upper right.

Here I am disagreeing with myself. Not quite sure how I did this, but ‘Music’ on my Mac is playing albums randomly, but just one artist.

That’s all the way back in 12.8 - not that I’ve ever tried it but I will now!

What is selected in the left-side column?

Shuffling anything on Music will only shuffle the currently-selected set of tracks. If that’s your entire library (e.g. when “songs” is selected), it should shuffle them all. If it’s a playlist, it will only shuffle that playlist. If you have an artist selected, I suspect it will only shuffle that artist.

Not on MacOS (yet), but this iOS and iPadOS app is focused on the Album experience: ‎Albums - album focused player on the App Store

Like my Technics SL-10!

I AM jealous!

I have been using album shuffle for the past week on an iMac running Sierra. It’s cool but it’s really random. Some albums it seems to hit every day. Sometimes It hits an album then skips to another after the first song.

But as someone said earlier, it’s kind of like putting a stack of vinyl on the turntable….


Hopefully the Monterey Music app is better.