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Music is repetitive in shuffle mode

lreinhold
Local Performer

Why is my play list so limited? I have been thumbing songs for 2 years and in the last several months, I am hearing the same thing and I have the station set to shuffle?  There are many songs that I have not heard in months!

 

Moderator Edit: Edited title for clarity

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Accepted Solutions

AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@lreinhold Nice to see you around the community. 👋🏽

Sorry to hear our shuffle feature hasn't been working the way you'd like. I do have some suggestions that may help:
 
1. Create a custom shuffle mix. If you haven't already, try making a custom shuffle. You can include any station you'd like, and this set of stations will be saved as My Shuffle (or QuickMix) on all your devices. Let us know if you'd like the steps for that. 

You'll then be able to check the boxes next to the stations that you want to include in your custom shuffle, and this set of stations will be saved as My Shuffle (or QuickMix) on all your devices.

2. Avoid including several stations based on similar artists or songs. Choosing several stations of a similar style will create a repetitive shuffle mix. When selecting stations for shuffle (or when creating any new stations in general) consider selecting artists or tracks that musically contrast. This will yield a broader playlist.

3. Put tracks on the shelf. If you get sick of a track but don't want to completely ban it, you can put it on the shelf for a while by selecting I'm tired of this track/song.

4. Edit individual stations. In some cases, it might actually help to remove Thumbs up ratings from your shuffled stations to mix things up. If there are any Thumbed up songs you used to love, but have grown tired of, try removing those ratings.

Hope this helps! 😄

Adam | Community Moderator

Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

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32 Replies

AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@lreinhold Nice to see you around the community. 👋🏽

Sorry to hear our shuffle feature hasn't been working the way you'd like. I do have some suggestions that may help:
 
1. Create a custom shuffle mix. If you haven't already, try making a custom shuffle. You can include any station you'd like, and this set of stations will be saved as My Shuffle (or QuickMix) on all your devices. Let us know if you'd like the steps for that. 

You'll then be able to check the boxes next to the stations that you want to include in your custom shuffle, and this set of stations will be saved as My Shuffle (or QuickMix) on all your devices.

2. Avoid including several stations based on similar artists or songs. Choosing several stations of a similar style will create a repetitive shuffle mix. When selecting stations for shuffle (or when creating any new stations in general) consider selecting artists or tracks that musically contrast. This will yield a broader playlist.

3. Put tracks on the shelf. If you get sick of a track but don't want to completely ban it, you can put it on the shelf for a while by selecting I'm tired of this track/song.

4. Edit individual stations. In some cases, it might actually help to remove Thumbs up ratings from your shuffled stations to mix things up. If there are any Thumbed up songs you used to love, but have grown tired of, try removing those ratings.

Hope this helps! 😄

Adam | Community Moderator

Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

View solution in original post

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JGeo
Local Performer

I have over 100 stations based on individual artists.

Example of problem: Shuffle play on, two stations selected; Leo Kottke and St Germain. 

More than half of the tunes played are Miles and Coltrane and few other similar artists (some being my stations), this seems strange, as traditional jazz would not seem to be directly related to either Kottke or St Germain. 

In addition, generally Shuffle Play seems to only play a very limited mix of the possible choices!

I have been listening for some time to Pandora and now it seems to have put me in a rut and only play the same stuff no matter how setup the streaming.

What gives?  How can I refresh or renew my preferences?  I normal do not give thumbs up or down.  I am using the web app (on Firefox latest) and have cleared all history and caches.

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@JGeo I moved your post to this thread since you have similar feedback.

I've taken a look, and I'm not seeing that you're rating songs with Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down on either of those stations.

Pandora stations adapt with every song to try to find the right music for your stations. Without Thumb info, however, Pandora has to guess what songs you like or don't like, which can often lead to the problem you've described.

Keep in mind, Thumbs are station specific, so please feel free to Thumb up and down accordingly. Giving a Thumb rating on one station will not affect any of your other stations.

This also means that you can use Thumbs to craft the sound you are trying to achieve and vary the playlists from station to station. For example, you might want to give a song you like a Thumb Down if you think it will bring in a certain type of music you'd prefer to not have on that station (ex: Miles and Coltrane). Don't be afraid to rate songs (you can always edit your stations later if you don't like the direction your station is going or if you'd like to mix things up).

Additionally, you can use Pandora Modes to customize your station experience when you're listening from a computer, mobile device or the Sonos app. You can pick different modes like Crowd Faves, Discovery and Deep Cuts. Be sure to Thumb Up songs you liked to inspire similar songs to play.

Finally, you can check out the accepted solution to this thread for tips on combatting repetition when streaming your collection in shuffle mode (mainly steps 2-4 since you already know how to customize your shuffle mix).

Hope this helps!

Adam | Community Moderator

Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

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mettler
Underground

Please have to pandora programmers re-write the code for 'shuffle play'..  It doesn't work.  It should be very similar to a random number generator.  For me to hear the same song 8 times a day is ridiculous

 

thanks

AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@mettler I moved your post to this thread since you are running into a similar issue.

Check out the accepted solution for tips on how to prevent repetition in music when listening in shuffle mode.

Hope this helps! 😎

Adam | Community Moderator

Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

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Playsinthedirt
Underground

Adam, I have had the same complaint for years. I have had paid Pandora since you were brand new.  I thought it was just because the company was starting and couldn't afford royalties so I gave it a pass. But this is years down the road and if some group, say the Beatles or Sting have lots and lots of recordings, why is it that my stations only play the same 20 songs? Long ago I gave up single stations even though I selected expanding variety and went to shuffle.  I got sick of hearing the same songs.  I am still sick of hearing the same songs. I play Pandora about 6 hours a day and should not have repeats in that time with 30 stations to shuffle, yet I do.  I have tried deleting and readding stations but you stick to the same few songs per artist!!!! OLD.  Please look into a better algorithm.  I am worn out with groundhog day. 

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@Playsinthedirt I moved your post to this thread since it sounds like you are running into repetition when listening in Shuffle Mode.

Check out the accepted solution to this thread for some tips on how to combat repetition. 

Hope this helps! 

Adam | Community Moderator

Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

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Playsinthedirt
Underground

solution accepted by whom? Certainly not the audience because we would not continue to have the same problem.  thanks for actually changing the shuffle selection code.

I use the desktop version and there is no longer "I am tired of this track" that I can see.  The range of an artist's songs is at issue here not how to use shuffle.  I have used Pandora all day for years so please....  I thought when you were new you couldn't afford a broad selection but now it is about time.  Earliest online music was on 2 hour loops and unfortunately Pandora is sounding too much like that.  Please use a new algorithm for shuffle songs.  I know how to select artists for shuffle and do a mix and also expand variety with similar artists so do not offer those as answers to this.   

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alexfoundabuck
Local Performer

While this post is helpful as starting steps, the effect of "thumbs up" itself is very bothersome. Every time you thumb something up on default station tuning, you are sentencing that song to be played ad nauseam until your playlist prioritizes all your "thumb ups" and there is much less room for new music. I had to remove every single thumb up because I'm using Pandora to discover new music, not to hear the same songs over and over again. It would be nice if you could tell Pandora to "play more things like this" without that being tied to "I want to hear this song a lot".

The problem is that every station gets stale eventually. You can set this clock back by using shuffle, or laboriously telling Pandora "I'm tired of this track" every time it comes off of its cooldown period, but it still ends the same way. The station tuning options help a lot, but unfortunately it only works for a single station, so you can't use it if you want to listen to more than one genre/station at once. Enabling station tuning for shuffle would be a huge improvement.

I've been using this service for a very long time, and these issues have been persistent since very early on. It would make me really happy if Pandora reached its potential as a music discovery service. 

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webjeff
Local Performer

Not true.  I am very frustrated by this and I am playing on an iMac at all times.

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@webjeff I moved your post over to this existing thread: Music is repetitive in shuffle mode

The original thread you posted on was for a specific issue with tracks repeating on playlists for Pandora Premium users.

I took a look at your account and see you are currently upgraded to Pandora Plus, so it sounds like you are running into repetition when shuffling your regular radio stations.

Check out the accepted solution to this thread for some tips on how you can prevent Shuffle mode from getting too repetitive.

Hope this helps!

Adam | Community Moderator

Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

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mackysorts
Underground

I have close to 100 stations that are all selected as shuffle stations, but Pandora plays the same songs over and over. It's getting old. With 100 stations selected for shuffle, I shouldn't hear the same song again for months?

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@mackysorts I moved your post over to this existing thread: Music is repetitive in shuffle mode

Check out the accepted solution to this thread for some tips on how you can prevent Shuffle mode from getting too repetitive.

Hope this helps! 

Adam | Community Moderator

Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

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mhkidd
Underground

Is it possible to avoid repetition of artists across stations? I have over a hundred artists in my shuffled stations, but the algorithm does not draw from them evenly and there is a LOT of repetition. Seems like it would be a simple thing to create an option like "Maximize diversity of artists in shuffle mode." I could probably code that myself.

By the way, I have no thumbs-up songs (only thumbs down on a very few), so it's not repeating those artists because I've liked them.

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@mhkidd I moved your post over to this existing thread: Music is repetitive in shuffle mode

I recommend creating a feature request for your suggestion here - this will give others around the Community to upvote your idea and express their interest in getting it added to the service as well.

In the meantime, check out the accepted solution to this thread for some tips on how you can prevent Shuffle mode from getting too repetitive.

Thanks for being a part of the Community! 😎

Adam | Community Moderator

Let's share music in the Playlist Swap

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wayne2i
Local Performer

I've been a paying member for less than a month and will likely drop the service. While Adam the "Community Moderator" is trying to be helpful, his suggestions seem half measures requiring labor on the part of the paying customer.

When I shuffle play 25 or so artists I should not be hearing the same half dozen or so songs each time that artist is played. There are artists like Tommy Petty, John Prine, David Bowie, The Eagles, Steely Dan as well as newer artists whose catalogues of good songs are 20, 40, 60 tunes deep and I never hear 75 to 90% of them. It would take an algorithm reprogramming investment on the part of Pandora to eliminate the shallowness and repetition of this problem.

Does anybody know if Spotify does it better?

 

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Majorbuzz
Underground

I agree Alexfoundabuck with what you wrote. For example, as I write this I'm listening to "Classic Hard Rock " station. I'm only on my fifth song and its played AC/DC three times, Foghat once, and Aerosmith. Where's the variety?

Same happens with other stations I've selected by artist. I select "April Wine" and in a period of 1½ hrs, I heard Boston 3x, Scorpions 2x, 38 Special 2x.

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lschafroth
Underground

I can add a specific country artist or band as a station. It will play 1 maybe 2 songs from that band and never do it again. 6 months later and it has yet to ever play another song from that band.

I added Bluegrass station and it plays Led Zepplin, 5 Finger death punch and other hard rock. What is going on? 

When I use shuffle I would hope it would randomly play new songs from the stations I have added but it never does. If I choose a station it will only play the songs i the order I added them. Never play new songs of that band.

So far Pandora is useless as a service to tailor to my likes because it just DOESNT do it.

The only way to get it to play songs I like is to search for that exact song and add it. I should not have to search for hundreds of individual songs. I thought that was the reason for stations?

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tcavana55
Local Performer

I'm totally with you, I may not keep Pandora for much longer!  The shuffle isn't working correctly on my IOS.  Turning on and off channels in the shuffle seems to have no effect.  Still getting all the same old stuff!  I turned off the Beatles channel but the Beatles songs keep coming.  Same ones too!

Pandora, if you're listening, please correct your algorithms. 

"Stations", not  channels, sorry.

Update: Yes, even when the originating stations do not exist, shuffle plays the thumbed up tracks.  I think I might scream if I hear some of those songs AGAIN!

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