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Adele gets Spotify to take shuffle button off all album pages (bbc.co.uk)
182 points by simonswords82 67 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 216 comments

On the one hand, I get it: Joe Jackson's 'Night and Day' is laid out as a work of art, and to play the album out of order would be very strange, they are even mixed to segue into each other except for the change from the day side to the night side.

But as soon as you put only radio edits on your albums and cut them off anyway between tracks that argument gets a lot weaker, and 'power to the user' means that the user gets a say in how their content is consumed. Artists that only release albums are pretty rare.

What the article isn't really clear about is whether this goes for all artists or just for Adele, it would be a lot nicer if both Spotify and Adele would respect the fact that streaming isn't vinyl (or CD, for that matter) and that end users, you know, that pesky customer, have other ideas on how to best consume the music.

There was an architect here in NL that incorporated a clause in the contract for designing a large apartment building that nobody was allowed to hang their washing outside to dry. I personally don't think artists should have any say in the consumption of their art and its eventual use once they release it. You want to dictate how it is used? Keep it to yourself.

Good points. Also worth noting that there are some LPs that are designed to be played in a random/shuffle order. The first one I heard about - although I've never heard the band confirm this - was the Red Hot Chili Pepper's Stadium Arcadium from 2006. A double CD LP designed to be played in any order was/is the rumour.

Very likely some artists have released LPs in the 'streaming era' that are the opposite of Adele's wish; that is, they have no set track listing.

They Might Be Giants, "Apollo 18", 1992.

'Apollo 18 is an unusual album, mainly due to the "Fingertips" tracks: 21 short songs which average about 13 seconds in length. The liner notes state "The indexing of this disc is designed to complement the Shuffle Mode of modern CD players."'

There's further discussion at http://tmbw.net/wiki/Apollo_18 of interactions with streaming services.

It has been a tradition for a long time for LPs to be played in order. That's why B-sides exist.

Some of the greatest bands of the past carefully constructed their LPs to tell a story.

Pretty much every Pink Floyd album is meant to be listened to in order. The cuts are so seamless you might not even notice the track changing.

I used to download singles and I never really understood non-pop music. Once I started listening to albums as a whole, I had a new appreciation for older bands. The art of making an LP is somewhat lost now with the rise of singles. But some artists, like Perturbator or pretty much anyone signed to BloodMusic, still produce LPs and even sell vinyl.

I know it may sound exaggerated, but I promise anyone who has never listened to their favorite rock and roll artists albums from start to finish, do it. You will have a newfound respect for the narrative rather than just thinking the band made good singles.

Some singles might appear kind of meh in isolation but in the context of an LP, fit right in. I honestly wish some of these streaming services had a way to turn on album radio rather than single radio. Single radio is such a destructive thing for so much of music crafted in the way I described above. Artists or users should be able to designate whether an album is a whole or a collection of singles. Then the steaming services should have some modes to interface with this flag. Otherwise, the music is just being consumed in a way it wasn't really intended. This is also why actual radio doesn't do some artists the justice they deserve.

Pink Floyd singles are good but their LPs are 100x better, even the songs people consider to not be hits, they make more sense and don't stand out as bad.

I could talk for days about how "this one trick" changed my entire perspective on music. Perhaps I'll just make a YouTube video about it and title it "Streaming services are destroying Music!"

B sides exist as an artifact of the medium vinyl. CDs do not have 'B' sides, neither did 8 tracks (but that was by design).

Reel-to-reel tape (never really used for mass music distribution) and it's smaller cousin, the compact cassette (which was) can be used both in multi-track one-way mode and back-and-forth mode, but you can't really switch around reel-to-reel tape without risk of damage so there you'll always need a reversing deck if you want to be able to do that mid-reel, cassettes can be popped out and flipped or you can have a reversing deck (either one with multiple heads or a head that flips).

Compact cassettes mimicked the 'A' and 'B' side format of the LP close enough that lots of labels issued them, usually aimed at people playing them in vehicles (much like 8 tracks) where for obvious reasons a record player wasn't an option. One interesting bit is that on an LP it doesn't matter if both sides are exactly equally long, but for a tape it does otherwise you end up with a chunk of blank tape on the shorter side. If it's just a few seconds nobody will notice but if it gets longer it can be quite noticeable, especially on an auto-reverse deck. Some labels would fudge this by editing the length of the tracks or by accelerating or decelerating fade-outs, or by tweaking the inter-song gap.

For every The Wall, there's probably a thousand albums where the order doesn't matter at all. I usually listen to albums from start to finish on the first go and then just consume them in random library shuffle without worrying about it.

I agree, that listening to a well crafted, thought out album is a great experience and something I very much enjoy.

But on the other hand, given just how much society has devalued recorded music, these days, I don't think it makes much sense for artist to produce complete albums unless they already have a very well established name and are well funded. Producing say a hour of coherent music to be played in order is significantly more effort and cost than "just" producing the equivalent length in independent songs. Also with albums you have longer periods where you don't have much to publish to gain attention vs continuous releases.

I was active semi professionally in music and we self released 3 LPs and 4 EPs. I don't think I would ever do an LP again without essentially being in a position where I don't really rely on whether it makes money or not, and have the luxury to be able to care about artistic vision alone.

Almost all LPs were designed to be played in random order to the extent that the technology allowed.

Anybody who's ever looked at LPs notices that there are smooth orbits between songs.

That's so you can pick up the needle and move it to whatever song you want to.

That does not mean that artists don't want you to listen to songs in order, but it also means that you can just listen to the song you want when you want.

In the CD era, it meant that you didn't have to listen to 12 tracks of dross to get to the one good song the artist put on the album to sell it.

I've never heard of that and I really doubt it. For example the album closer is obviously meant to be that.

RHCP is a band that back then opposed selling their songs individually on iTunes because they stand behind the (already) old school concept of an album.

But in a way, concept albums that tell a story from start to finish are rare so most of them can be played in a random order...

The article does say:

> However, the shuffle symbol - two intersecting arrows - still appears on individual album tracks.

> This means it is still possible to start listening to albums on any track and opt for songs to be played in a random order.

The difference seems to be whether the "album page" has a shuffle button on it (which it used to, but now does not).

I'm not a Spotify user myself, but this doesn't sound substantially different to what they had before anyway? As far as I can tell, all it means is they get to put out a press release about how they appeased Adele, but secretly they're still letting users do what they want.

As I recall, shuffle used to be pretty prominent on album pages. I think it's good to downrank it because personally I almost never want to shuffle an album, and sometimes I would hit it by accident. I kind of wonder if this is a change that had been considering making to improve user experience but Adelle's tweets just gave them the impetus they needed to actually launch the change.

Spot on - the shuffle button was always overly prominent and a quite annoying default. If Spotify want to spin this into a bit of PR that they support artists so be it.

Maybe in another decade I’ll finally get that ‘hide podcasts’ button I want too!

And a 'hide bad anime covers' button too, please.

At least the way I had spotify set up on my devices „shuffle“ was the default play-option on albums, i.e. pressing the play-button on an album page would start at a random song in shuffle order. I just tested it and I can get the same behaviour as i had before with 3 extra clicks, not too bad.

Yeah, frankly this makes more sense. Default play linearly, shuffle option exists for those that want it for whatever reason. I'd like this to be the behaviour on all albums.

I kind of agree with the change. You can shuffle anywhere you want, but now the default action in albums is "play" instead of "shuffle", which is usually what you want.

I don't see why you'd usually want to listen to an album and specifically have the songs be out of order.

A reason you might want shuffle to be the default is because otherwise you'd listen to the first song in the album many times more often than the last song.

Do people listen to albums like that? I usually add songs to playlists, and that's where I want shuffle.

Didn't most cd players had a shuffle button anyway?

Not originally, but yeah eventually that was a common feature.

Originally houses didn't have indoor plumbing but yeah eventually that was a common feature

There's always the possibility the button didn't get used much anyway and it's more valuable to please a pop superstar and get the good press than keep a button around few make use of.

Can't you just save the songs to a playlist and then shuffle that?

Yes, art is made to be broken (down). Agreed. But in this case, the art is starting as the artist - and Adele is an Artist - intends. An artist is not obligated to make the breakdown easy.

I think it's kind of funny how much attention this is getting. Spotify didn't remove the shuffle button, they simply switched positions of the buttons so shuffle is now the smaller one.

Like I get why this is getting the attention, but it's still a bit crazy to think that such a minute UI detail gets so much attention and article written about it.

Spotify Android here. The shuffle is completely removed for me when playing an album. It's still there for playlists.

FWIW I'm fine with this change. I can't see when I'd ever want to resequence an album, but if I do I can save it as a playlist.

You are buying access to listen to her music on one service. How it is presented to you is their choice. Netflix decides with it's content partners how they want to show you content while Amazon does it slightly different. Same here.

If you want that choice buy the album or download it.

This is hw why not create a new frontend that presents the songs the way you want.

> You are buying access to listen to her music on one service. How it is presented to you is their choice.

It shouldn't be. Pushing for that will just turn out to be an argument against streaming services.

It is completely their choice and you agree to that choice by giving money to that platform. It is a feature of a streaming service.. that's what you are paying for. It is an argument against this streaming service or an argument for depending on who you are.

It seems perfectly sane to me that album-order should be the default. If Netflix decided that playing TV series on shuffle was better for engagement, you'd really expect to hear no complaints?

The default should be in order but Adele removed the shuffle button.

I wish their was a button to allow me to play a series in random order. I throw on old star treks and have to follow seasons when I prefer random shows

I think people are getting confused, and the title of the news reports aren't helping.

Spotify didn't take away the ability to shuffle on album pages, they just changed the "default". In their mobile app the large green bottom under the album cover and to the right used to play the album but would turn on shuffle, and it now just plays the album.

If you look at the now playing song, the shuffle button is still there.

This button: https://0x0.st/-7Hd.jpeg

Yep this seems like a good thing and fixing a UI issue that was wrong in the first place.

I don’t understand the logic behind that default. Why shuffle by default rather than play in order? It’s good they’ve fixed it , though not sure it should’ve been fixed just because Adele tweeted them!

Hey, whatever gets fixes off the Spotify community forums is a win in my book.

And the answer is that it’s a consistency thing. Playlists usually make more sense when shuffled and there’s some value in making sure the big green button has consistent behavior whenever it appears. Without a good reason, like a high profile artist complaining about it, there’s not much motivation to change it.

I seem to recall it being an incentive to upgrade to the paid plan. If you were a free user you couldn't choose which song on an album to listen to, you could only kick off shuffling and hope the song you wanted to hear came up. If you had a paid account you could play the album through in order or any particular song of your choosing. I've been paying long enough now though that I could very well be mis-remembering it...

I’m guessing the logic is that having play by default (like it is now) in a way duplicates the action on the UI. If you want to play the album in order and you are already on the album page, you can simply press on the first track and let it go from there. Now, pressing on the first track and pressing play do the same thing.

Does Spotify still have 3-4 play buttons visible on the UI? Feels like the user interface isn't too well thought out.


I actually really like it when companies do this. Different people will access the same feature in different ways, from different places. Much like there are multiple ways to open a file in VSCode, it's not that the UI is poorly thought out, it's very well thought out and gives users multiple ways of doing a thing.

Two of those are just indicators of what playlist and song is playing, sort of like pwd, sure you can press them to pause but that's hidden functionality. The top and bottom pause buttons are for people who don't know about keyboard shortcuts and don't want to move their mouse all the way up or down the app.

Our product has a similar feature - several buttons in different places which do the same thing. Our UX designer explained that different users expect to find the button in different places, so they put it in all of them.

But they said in the article that it would continue shuffling on playlists, but that button does not shuffle on playlists for me either.

I seem to recall that it used to shuffle, which is why I no longer ever use it, but that does not seem to be the case anymore.

The button with shuffle set to default is still there for me on playlist, and does indeed still shuffle the playlist. If it isn't for you its possibly a bug I would guess.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like this was a planned UI change anyway but their PR/social media people seized the opportunity to make it sound like it was some coordination with Adele:

> The streaming service replied "anything for you" and took away the option for listeners to mix up the order music is played from album pages.

> However, the shuffle symbol - two intersecting arrows - still appears on individual album tracks.

> This means it is still possible to start listening to albums on any track and opt for songs to be played in a random order.

If users can still listen to albums in shuffle order then this isn’t really as drastic as the headline sounds.

I’m personally not a fan of being told how I have to listen to content, but if it’s just a UI change to how shuffle is enabled then it’s not a big deal.

Yeah, honestly it was a pretty crappy UI idea back when the big green "Play" button would re-enable shuffle rather than just playing the album/playlist.

I feel like it's just obviously user-hostile?

They Might Be Giants took the opposite tack regarding shuffle and leaned into it on their album Apollo 18 (their best, IMO):

> "Fingertips" is a series of 21 short tracks ranging in duration from four to 61 seconds, totaling 4:35. Referring to these tracks, the album's liner notes include the message "the indexing of this disc is designed to complement the Shuffle Mode of modern CD players". According to John Flansburgh, listening to the album on shuffle made a collage of songs, with the short fingertips interspersed among tracks of regular length. [1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_18_(album)

When I started using Spotify (it back then Rdio for a while) it would end an album and start playing another, and it would surface top albums easily.

This result in getting me to listening to full albums as my main style of listening to music, and growing up listening to a lot of radio I find it much better.

Sadly, Rdio closed down and Spotify changed its UI to deemphasize listening to albums. I get why, but still, it’s a shame.

My number one beef with streaming services is the difficulty of listening to full albums.

I try to spend a few bucks a month on Bandcamp.

Huh? I listen to full albums on Spotify all the time. You just go to the album, hit play or the first track and you’re done.

If you don’t like that it keeps playing stuff after turn off “autoplay” in the settings.

BTW, people should check out Spicetify [1], it's a package manager for customizing the Spotify desktop UI and adding apps/extensions/themes.

I've hidden podcasts, added panes for the latest releases of artists I follow and playlist from reddit. If you want you can also totally retheme it.

[1] https://github.com/khanhas/spicetify-cli

Next step: Adele gets Spotify to play only Top 40 hits over and over, except on College Spotify.

Times have changed. If you want an album to be played in order, number your song titles or something.

Why take control away from the user?

Not being offensive...

Because that's the difference between a "pop star" / "rock star" and an artist.

The former is market driven. The latter driven by (creative) self.

In this case the artist has an ideal about how her creativity must be communicated in order to understand the work.

Madonna? For example, doesn't care as long as the money keeps rolling in :)

Songs on albums are already numbered. By the order in which they’re arranged and meant to be heard.

I agree the default should be to play an album in the order in which it was arranged. Unless I've got my shuffle setting on.

I wouldn't mind having the option to "shuffle always" vs "shuffle playlists but not albums".

But in any case I'm a person who likes to listen to music on shuffle, whether or not its within an album. I prefer Spotify not take that power away from me.

What you describe in the first sentence is what is now true, but was not before Adele's tweet.

Spotify pays per song, versus overall time spent listening to an artist. It pisses me off that artists are forced to separate songs into separate tracks in order to maximize money. I get the incentives on the artist side, but fuck Spotify for forcing that

Wait, so if I'd put an album full of super short songs (like children's songs), it'll just go $$$?

Somewhat related:

I'd like a TUI music player that, when an artist is selected, will order their releases chronologically. So when I hit Play, it starts with the first release and ends with the newest release. Default is usually alphabetical by release-title, which is absurd.

And of course Adele speaks truth: songs on each release should be played in album-order.

While I'm feature requesting into the ether, I want a new control for "Stop/Pause after this track ends", so that I don't have to pause in the middle of a track, and resume in the same place. Instead the song would continue to play as I walked away (and audible, if playing over speakers), and when I returned and resumed, playback would begin in a more-reasonable location than "somewhere in the middle of the track".

Am I alone in these preferences?

So when I hit Play, it starts with the first release and ends with the newest release. Default is usually alphabetical by release-title, which is absurd.

You're not alone in these preferences, This is how I always ordered my CDs back when that was how I listened to music. It wasn't uncommon to see album collections ordered this way, either. Fiction on my shelves mostly alphabetized by author, then chronological within an author's section, with exceptions often made to put a series together; I've seen that in a lot of personal libraries.

Apple Music on the desktop does let you order stuff by artist and then by year, visit the View menu. It's a setting you have to make for every playlist/Library section. Dunno if the iOS version lets you do it.

"Stop after this track" is a thing I didn't know I wanted until you said it and now I want it a lot.

Good. Shuffling albums should perhaps be possible but it shouldn’t be a front an center feature. The software shouldn’t give the impression that shuffling or not is a 50/50 call, but rather a rarely used feature.

It’s like how authors put their chapters in order in print. If you want to read the chapters out of order you can, but the book gives a very strong indication of what the author’s intended order is.

Bit pedantic tbh, but I'm gald for it. I'm always confused and anoyed by the shuffle. it's magically turned on somehow and I'm always confused as to why and how.

Now let me remove podcasts from my home screen. Also stop lying about what I've listened too. I have never and will never listen 'Happy Hits'. ktnxbye

This is definitely a step in the right direction. Spotify's UI was really lacking in this department too, having to disable shuffling for albums but enable it for some playlists was a chore.

It's funny how the habits I built during the era of CDs and cable television serve me better now in 2021 than they did five years ago. All my music is stored locally on my phone and I listen to it however I want. The TV shows and movies I like are similarly archived on my desktop and I consume them in any manner I please. I have content that isn't available anywhere else on earth aside from other archivists, having long been removed from even the most obscure host or tracker.

> I have content that isn't available anywhere else on earth aside from other archivists, having long been removed from even the most obscure host or tracker.

You mean like bootleg releases? Which authors or musicians do you cover?

As far as I'm aware none of my music is particularly rare. I'm mostly referring to video content creators have decided no longer suits their public persona and have deleted, or was taken down by legal threats or ToS violations. Also some web pages and web comics that have gone offline without making it onto the Internet Archive. Now that I think about it much of my porn archive would also be difficult to locate copies of, though that isn't nearly as organized.

Basically if I like something I keep it forever.

what player do you use?

I like foobar2000 for its UI but it could be faster at rapidly skipping songs.

To be an old man, how did we get to the point where your music and the software you use to play the music cannot be independent things? I have a Spotify subscription - if I want to shuffle albums or not or use a different shuffling algorithm, that should be possible. If I want to use my own visualization with the song or a different EQ mix, I should be able to do that too. Spotify isn’t only the music service, they’re a player, recommendation engine, eq, and visualization. This really limits the abilities of other software to compete in those spaces.

Is there an bare bones service that just provides you with the stream that can be fed to your own tools?

On the other hand, when did we get to a point where an artist should have no control about how their work should be presented?

Anyway, presumably you can still copy the album to a playlist and shuffle that.

> when did we get to a point where an artist should have no control about how their work should be presented?

Since forever? When did artists have rights to control how their work is presented? There are restrictions on making derivative works (but that goes beyond simply presenting the work in a different way), and there are explicit permissions to present works in ways where artists are likely to disagree - e.g. parody and satire; and at least in USA the courts have repeatedly rejected the notion of "moral rights" i.e. being able to restrict the context the work is used if the economic rights have been properly licensed.

The composer does not have the right to restrict me from playing their song on an out-of-tune instrument while trying to fart in unison; the poet does not have the right to restrict me from reading their poem with a horrible pronunciation and with commentary that completely misses their point; the painter does not have the right to restrict me from using their masterpiece as a literal doormat for wiping dirty boots. Copyright grants them exclusive rights on making copies and a few other things, but not control about how these copies of their work should be presented or used.

I’m glad I’m not the only person who thought this. Do we think Da Vinci intended the Mona Lisa be presented in a museum, behind glass and a rope? If I were to commission and buy art and hang it in my bathroom, the artist can voice their preference for me not to, but at that point it isn’t their call. Albums can be played arbitrarily, it’s just a lot easier to do that digitally than changing out vinyl.

It depends on what you consider the unit of work. Sometimes a song is a unit, but often it's the album. Shuffling an album for this type of work is more similar to reading chapters of a novel out of order.

The question is why the creator would care. It does not harm the creator or anyone else to read a book out of order, or the sentences backward.

I only play songs for the music and rhythm. I cannot easily make out the words, nor do I care to. If I did write songs, I would not care if someone listened to them in order or not, to each their own.

Some creators may care because they think the presentation is an essential component of the work they put in -- and that they are not able to communicate what they wanted. Others may take your attitude, that once they've put the creation out into the world they have given up control over it; it is wild. And others my find joy in people interacting with their work in ways they didn't plan or anticipate, wondering what they will find.

I agree with your point about the unit of work mattering, but songs aren’t chapters, so I’m struggling with the comparison. My (limited) understanding of the music mastering process is that tracks are deliberately added after a full, final mix is made, but regardless of the how, if Adele’s preference was for the entirety of the album to be listened to in one sitting, then it should be one track. If I wished to read a book out of order, sure it wouldn’t make sense, but it’s my prerogative to do so as the consumer of the content.

Yes, it is indeed very similar to that. And obviously the author should not have any rights to restrict someone from reading chapters of a novel out of order if they want.

There's a big difference between the artist having the right to force someone to interact with their work in a certain way, and having an opinion -- even a strong one -- about how best to do it.

This is relatively new; the main unit of music was "the song" up until a few years after the debut of the LP.

There are forms that do tend to have a creative unit larger than one 3-10min "song": opera, symphonies, musicals, song cycles. But in pop music, there sure is a lot of work out there designed to stand alone as a single.

It's certainly not newer than spotify. If you want to compare experiences, think about how hard it would be to shuffle-play vinyl.

Moreover, they're not removing the ability to shuffle and album; they're just making it play in order by default, which is a very sensible default and all but certainly the expected behavior.

> Spotify users could still choose to shuffle an album, but the system would default to playing tracks in the order chosen by the artist.

Shuffle-playing vinyl is easy: you put a bunch of singles in a jukebox!

The ~20-min/side LP record was introduced in 1948, according to Wikipedia, while jukeboxes date back to the 1890s.

Also apparently the term "record album" comes from the books people would put their collection of singles in, before the advent of the LP. Sort of like the folders we stuffed our CDs in to haul around in our bags in the 90s, except bulkier. Publishers would put a collection of songs by a single artist or group out in an album designed to hold them, with cover art and presumably liner notes; once the LP format was introduced, this got collapsed into a single disc in a package that was still called an "album". Now I know why it shares a name with things like a "photo album". I have never questioned that word use in the entire fifty years of my life, and now I wonder why I never did.

Wikipedia also notes that it is arguable that the first "concept album" - a record album designed around a theme, with the intent of being listened to as a single unit rather than a collection of songs - is a 1940 Woody Guthrie album full of songs on a single theme (semi-autobiographical stories about being a migrant laborer in the US during the 1930s), but they didn't really get started until after the LP made it a hell of a lot easier to make a package where breaking the order up was a lot harder.

(It would be interesting to see if there is any data on whether there was more sheet music of single songs or long-form works published in the days when that was the primary method of music distribution.)

Personally I generally listen to my music collection in shuffle-by-album mode and never even use Spotify, I am perfectly fine with the existence of music designed to be listened to more in hour-long chunks rather than 3-5 minute chunks and I generally find listening to my entire collection on shuffle-by-song to be a source of incredibly jarring genre whiplash, but the history of recorded music has a lot of work whose natural unit is measured in single digits of minutes.

(And mostly this comment is just recording my notes from the brief wikipedia hole I fell in about the history of recorded music.)

anyway now I think I need to make a playlist where I take a couple of self-important albums that really want to be listened to as a Single Unit and stick them next to TMBG's album "Apollo 18", which contains 38 tracks, 21 of which are 6-61 seconds long. :)

It’s funny you bring up Da Vinci, he notoriously did not finish his works and perfected his paintings all his life not giving them back to the client.

> at least in USA the courts have repeatedly rejected the notion of "moral rights"

Well, the problem is that the US is the farthest from the international norms of copyright, so while in the US you can do that, in other countries (maybe except Canada if I remember correctly) there's a concept of absolute moral rights.

So assuming that Spotify can fought it back in court in the US, other countries like Japan might give it to Adelle, and so the shuffle button might only appear in the US while other countries might think if they want to adjust moral rights.

Some moral rights are recognized by US courts. For example you’re not allowed to misrepresent yourself as the author of someone else’s work. You also can’t distort or mutilate someone’s work in order to defame them. Parody is allowed, yes, but you need to present a parody as your own work.

The artist always has the option to put the entire album into 1 track.

That happened the moment that they recorded it and sold it you to listen to at your convenience. To think that an artist should have the ability to tell me how to enjoy their art is just ludicrous. There is nothing wrong with an artist saying that the best way to listen is x, y, or z. But, to tell me I have to listen in their order strikes me as invasive.

Maybe it is a discrepancy on who thinks that owns what.

Artists own their creations and maybe have the right of not wanting to call it their album if it is not shon as they want.

On the other side I guess they could just choose another platform and I am pretty sure that Spotify did because they think it is better for their business, whatever that means.

Artists have certain rights, like copyright. But they do not literally own their creations if they have sold them. See "first sale doctrine" for example.

The “first sale” doctrine applies to physical copies of copyrighted works, not to licensed digital streams. You don’t get a physical medium with a streaming service, nor do you get a “copy” in the legal sense.

Since CD players included a shuffle button. Before that, since it was possible to record songs from the radio into a blank cassette. And before that, since DJs included a second turntable to allow them to structure a set their way (Jimmy Saville pioneered this. Such a shame he turned out to be a monster).

> On the other hand, when did we get to a point where an artist should have no control about how their work should be presented?

Literally millenia ago.

I mean, millennia ago, music was only live, and the musician could stop if they so chose.

And they couldn't stop anyone from reproducing it however they wanted after hearing it or seeing it written down?

Their work (ie. the song) could be presented however anyone felt like it.

I think there's a meaningful difference in a "reproduction" that's a perfect digital copy of the artist's performance, and just playing the same song yourself.

> On the other hand, when did we get to a point where an artist should have no control about how their work should be presented?

They do have control, they can merge all the tracks into a single long file and sell it like that, but this is not what is happening here, she decided to murk with how the consumers choose to engage with the artwork

When RCA released the first commercial record player in the 1930s.

Why does one artist, who a majority of people may not like or listen to, get to dictate how everyone listens to all music on a service?

Because we tolerate it.

It doesn't seem so long ago we didn't have much of an ability to pick what music we listened to. This will seem alien to younger HNers, but it is true. You listened to what was played. Sure, there were records and 8 tracks et al, but portability was limited. Not being able to choose what we listened, when you listened to it, or how you listened to it to peaked with disco - the backlash hit simply because you could not escape it...it was EVERYWHERE....radio, tv, movies, commercials...it died of overexposure.

Then for a hot minute - about 35ish years - we had complete freedom to choose how and what we listen to. Starting at about 1980 with the Sony Walkman + cassette, you could organize music to be portable the way you wanted, at a price of time and effort. This price dropped to almost nothing by the mid 2010s with mp3s and mp3 players. Complete musical freedom!

The problem? Even "almost nothing" wasn't good enough, we demanded it to be "nothing". So here come the streaming services to rescue us from the burden of work required to maintain our freedom....

Yeah I don't get this. Once the work is released it's out the artist's hands.

The artist has no control. This is how it has always been and how it should always be.

This is literally not true and is ahistorical. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights#Visual_Artists_Ri...

First of all, the law is only as good as its enforcement. Without enforcement the law effectively does nto exist.

Second, that link says nothing about audience consumption, it only preserves the provenance and integrity of the work. As mentioned elsewhere copyright covers the rest but both of these constructs are mental and somewhat illusory. More importantly your audience has to subscribe to them to follow them.

Third, at first glance that appears to only cover the USA.

I am advocating for a rejection of these principles.

I have a Tidal https://tidal.com/ subscription; there are $10 and $20 monthly levels. They support third-party tools, though perhaps not roll-our-own.

I prefer Tidal to any other service because I can select albums and play them on demand. My wall of CDs sits idle.

I admire Adele for this. I once sat next to a friend of Steve Jobs on a flight; he asked for a drawing of the circuit I was using with my iPod, to bring to Steve. I asked if Jobs wanted his legacy to be "the man who destroyed the album". He was a bit offended and didn't grasp my point. I should have sat next to Adele!

Or he disagreed that Jobs destroyed the album.

I am having a tough time connecting the dots myself.

I can search Apple Music right now, and see plenty of albums. Not that it affects me, I have never once in my life listened to a whole album, nor do I plan to. I would never even know the lyrics to a song if it were not for the internet making it easy to look them up.

You can still shuffle on the album. It’s just not on the main album play button any longer.

With the Spotify API and librespot, you can make a player using almost anything these days.

Apple have MusicKit too.

> Is there an bare bones service that just provides you with the stream that can be fed to your own tools?

Actually Clementine was (is still?) able to play songs from Spotify premium (through the deprecated libspotify).

There's an open source Spotify client library that might enable this too [1].

You could use youtube-dl or one of its forks, or Invidious, to download from YouTube and play the result with whatever music player you feel like using.

[1] https://github.com/librespot-org/librespot

>I have a Spotify subscription

That's how.

Streaming massively commoditized media, and concentrates power in a few companies. I wouldn’t want to be a musician these days. I hate what game subscription services are going to do to indie games in the future

Shuffle is enabled and working for me on her latest album.

> Is there an bare bones service that just provides you with the stream that can be fed to your own tools?

Google drive + winamp ...

I think you can do this with Audius but I'm still a Spotify subscriber too.

spotify-cli et al

So much this! I pay for an Apple Music sub, but I should be able to choose from a wide array of player apps (or roll my own!).

You literally can, the API exists and plenty of third party players also exist.

It's telling that the person who wrote that top level comment has clearly never actually tried to find a 3rd party player.

Like how people will clamor for a theoretical feature, then you take the time to implement it, check your analytics, and find absolutely no one is using it.

Wow! I had no idea. In my defense, app discovery seems broken to me as I don't know a trustworthy source. I certainly can't trust app store reviews and info.

Too true, app store search is nothing but ads and spam.

I can't fault you at all for not being able to find something reputable.

Another instance of walled gardens failing to provide what people actually want, as opposed to what companies think we want.

I search "spotify equalizer" and the first result has 4 stars, is ranked top 200 for all music apps, has recent updates, has a clean tracking score card (usage data not tracked)

Second result is a paid app, even higher rating, also top 200, no IAP.

Like yes, the app store has problems. But no, that is not why you'd be unable to find a 3rd party player for one of the largest streaming platforms.

I search "apple music player" and I get 1 out of 20 apps that is actually appropriate. Notably, I get Amazon and Spotify players prominently placed. Reviews on app stores are dubious at best. Then you have the "in-app" purchases garbage.

"Prominently placed"... you mean placed with a clear "AD" button under the name?

And instead of 20 results when there's no guarantee 20 quality apps even exist... what about the first result besides a clear ad and Apple Music itself?

And what do you know, it's a top 100 app, over 12 years old, updated last month, and sitting at a 4.6 rating with 51k ratings.

Music Player? First off, it is "free" with in-app purchases, which translates to: we are hiding the cost of the app = sketchy nonsense. The age of the app is indeed a positive indicator, but reviews are not a good indicator. Also, it is yet another privacy rapist with all the unnecessary tracking. The worst part is that nowhere in the tiny blurb does it indicate that it actually works with Apple Music!

Even when you do manage to find a potential replacement for Apple Music, Apple has locked devs out of key features like showing lyrics and the ability to remove anything from your library. This goes back to my original point...

If you are gonna build a walled garden, it becomes your responsibility to curate it well.

replying to myself to add- if you doubt this, search 'calculator' on iOS app store, and see how long it takes you to find one that isn't throwing ads at you every time you tally something.

The narcissism necessary to insist on this is perhaps only rivaled by the desperation of Spotify to secure her business.

I'm not sure how common this was: the shuffle function in a CD player I used always used the same order for the same CD. Maybe they had a predefined shuffle-list of integers, that they used mod the number of tracks on the CD. Or seeded their pseudo RNG with something from the CD. Whatever the implementation, you only got two modes for playing one CD: in order, or "shuffle" - in a predefined, seemingly random, but still always consistent order.

All the ones I've used were properly random, same disc plays in a different order each time.

The constructs of album, single and playlist are begging to be expanded on in the space of Apple Music and Spotify. What I want are listening modes. When I listen to a concept album or other work that is intended to be contiguous, I want to consume it that way (and when it is over don't you dare start playing some promoted artist). When I'm exploring some new artist, I want it to shuffle through all of the most popular songs. I want each artist to have an auto playlist that is manually adjustable and expandable to closely related artists. I want genre meta categories so I can tame the genre chaos.

I could go on, but the point is that this duopoly isn't driving progress properly because the choice of being on Apple Music vs. Spotify is more about a larger ecosystem choice than features and functionality.

Does anyone still remember the days of making a “mix tape” or “mix CD” as a gift to someone?

The power to mix tracks across albums and artists should be at the discretion of the listener. New ordering of pieces/songs can enable new interpretation of music.

Sounds fun, do they shuffle Beethoven's ninth?

Okay, its just four movements, but they could split it by tempi.

Don't know if Ludvig van would have been fond of it, but Alex would shive the cables to the mozgs of those bratchnys with his sharpy britchna.

Just in case there are any classic fans in need of an alternative:

https://app.idagio.com ...

One, two, three, four...


I don’t really use Spotify although I’ve tried it once or twice. I seem to recall I was unable to play an album in any mode other than shuffle. It’s quite annoying as I listen to music from a time where artists spent a lot of time arranging the track order. I wondered if it would mean that albums would, over time, change to match the playback technology i.e. artists would change how they arrange their albums to align with how they’re listened to. I hope not as they then just become compilations rather than a story to be told.

Free tier Spotify accounts can only use shuffle play.

Ah that explain it. Thanks.

Play random disappeared, but if you have shuffle turned on and press play on an album it still plays random. For my usage nothing has changed and spotify hasn't prevented anyone of listening differently. If you have a preferred order, just add tracks to a playlist and drag tracks around like you please. When it comes to Adele, my preference is to listen to something else...

As someone who listens to electronic music for which a lot of albums are collaborations or by mixed tracks by many artists Spotify is completely useless to me. This is because I rarely find any album which has all the tracks available. Most have tracks locked due to licensing issues. It could be partly my location but nonetheless Spotify makes me want to pirate.

Complacency with service as a software substitute: that is how we arrived at this point. It is sad when we no longer can choose the software we run... right now we're arriving at a point where what is we run is no longer 'software' anymore.

Control has been entirely taken out of the user's hands.

Historically a sequence of musical pieces would be defined initially, but be subjected to rework and revision over time. The LP was a departure from that. Unfortunately the poor tracks stay forever. I would swap an 'always skip this' for shuffle any day.

There’s a piece of me that feels a bit wrong about this. When I’m listening to the album I want to experience it my way. Maybe I want to shuffle albums, maybe not. I don’t think that artist freedom to order tracks is worth more than my freedom to shuffle them.

I'd love a great way to listen to a playlist albums.

I think Ozzy said it best when he said when you bought a record usually there were often some songs you didn't like, but after listening to the album a few times they became some of your favorites.

I have her newest album loaded on the Spotify Windows desktop client right now and shuffle is enabled and working just fine for me.


Shuffle on Spotify doesn't act right either. If I shuffle my liked songs it will play roughly the same few songs every time, like they shuffled it once and cached that playlist. It’s a terrible shuffle implementation.

Album shuffle seems like an extremely weird feature to me, almost on the same level of weirdness as linear playlists, except in "mixtape" use-cases.

Good or bad this shows how much influence major labels have over Spotify.

Can you imagine YouTube bringing back dislikes for MKBHD?

It's nice when it's the artist and not the label that's swinging their influence around.

For sure! Though I don’t think Adele would get this if she was an independent artist.

Now how can I get Spotify to stop showing me joe rogan's ugly mug every time I open the app? I never gave Spotify a hint that I'm even remotely interested in his show except the first time it showed up I went looking for a "permanently block this" from my feed. Maybe they misread that as a positive signal?

They know you better than you know yourself... that's why Youtube keeps recommending k-pop and sailing videos to me (I really have no clue why and have already asked the other occupants of the dwelling, nobody confessed...).

Arr me hearties, sail the ocean deep and shuffle with impunity!

I love this. Not my type of music but this confirms to me this music is art, not the typical pop drivel to be consumed in tiny, disjointed packets of “shininess”. Respect.

Art that is easy to consume is still art. Making art that can be enjoyed by tired laypersons after work limits what you can do, which makes it much harder to make and work with than trying to make complex pieces to convey meaning. It might not be to your taste but it definitely isn't drivel.

This is possibly a generational difference, but I HATE the shuffle play, and find it horribly grating when I start playing an album from the first track, and find that Spotify has decided to toggle shuffle on again, despite me always turning it off and being super-careful to not click the big 'play' button that's simply a UI trick to re-enable shuffling once again.

Equally annoying is the fact that even though I've chosen to not play 'related music' after my album has finished playing, somehow Spotify manages to ignore that user-preference each time I update the app.

Spotify is a perfect example of a tech company that gives absolutely no fucks for the preferences of their paying customers.

> Equally annoying is the fact that even though I've chosen to not play 'related music' after my album has finished playing, somehow Spotify manages to ignore that user-preference each time I update the app.

Spotify queue management is just terrible. I don't know exactly what it is doing because I have never sat down and thoroughly experimented with it, but this is approximately what I see at least on their iPad app.

If I add individual songs to my queue, when the last one finishes playing it seems to automatically add the rest of the songs from the album that song came from. It doesn't necessarily start playing them, but if I don't go in and clear them before the next time I start queuing up individual songs they can get played.

I just want a way to easily completely empty the queue and whatever that "sort of in the queue but not quit" thingy is, and to have it only play songs or whole albums that I explicitly add to the queue.

I'd also like a mode where when something is playing from the queue and I click a song in a search result or a playlist it adds that song to the end of the queue rather than starting to play it immediately.

Spotify has every incentive to play you music that costs it less. What you want really isn’t that important to their bottom line.

This is about Spotify, bur now it has dawned to me why the hell Apple Music started insisting on shuffling to old movie soundtracks (Grease is the biggest offender) and indie singers when my playlist has thousdands of other options. Last Friday I had to skip half of the songs before I gave up and stopped it because it kept pushing the same few albums.

> Spotify queue management is just terrible. I don't know exactly what it is doing because I have never sat down and thoroughly experimented with it, but this is approximately what I see at least on their iPad app.

It changes and is incomprehensible.

> a tech company that gives absolutely no fucks for the preferences of their paying customers.

I suspect that end-user subscriptions contribute a relatively small amount to total revenue. Their most valuable customers would be ad reps.

That said, I think Spotify does a pretty good job making the end-user experience very nice. It's fast, reliable, relatively bug-free, has great integrations (it's a better sonos controller than the real sonos controller,) and the best catalog going. Criticizing the finer points is a useful exercise, but, personally, I'm not seeing any dealbreakers.

As a former Spotifier, I can say that your suspicion is incorrect. The free tier is just a really effective acquisition funnel for paid subscriptions; ad revenue is just gravy on top. Ads do pull in a decent amount of revenue, but it's tiny compared to subscriptions.

The best Spotify users are the ones that pay but don't use the service.

How would you optimize the UX for this?

Asking for a friend.

By keeping the monthly credit card payment below the two digit threshold.

Wow, surprising! Thanks for in the info.

> I suspect that end-user subscriptions contribute a relatively small amount to total revenue. Their most valuable customers would be ad reps.

It is very much the opposite. In the most recent quarter[1], Spotify had revenues of 2,178 million from premium subscriptions and 323 million from ad-supported users.

[1] Q3 2021, data from https://s22.q4cdn.com/540910603/files/doc_financials/2021/q3...

More data is available: https://investors.spotify.com/financials/default.aspx

The problem is that their growth team are legitimately evil people who are constantly thinking about "how can we force our users to do things that they don't want to do?".

They can have all the features they want but if the growth team keeps up with these tricks to extend "listen time" metrics, nobody will like the product

I love the shuffle button for many cases and use it most of my day, but I wish they’d tag albums not meant to be played in random order (eg. Pink Floyd) and enable you to switch based on that flag.

> albums not meant to be played in random order

Which albums are meant to be played in random order?

Greatest hits

other type of compilation albums

albums before the Beatles often were not composed with an idea that the order of play was important, even though they were of course in a particular order

there are probably quite a few others, I would say maybe lots of albums supposedly are meant to be played in a certain order, but only in some of them does it make a great difference - for example if you randomize The Dark Side of the Moon as mentioned it would have some tracks that were no longer functioning in relation to the others.

Those tracks do, however, function perfectly if you stick them into a multi-disc changer with They Might Be Giants' album Apollo 18, which contains "Fingertips", a four and a half minute collection of 5-10 second songs. Going between a bunch of British guys moaning about how terrible it is to be rich while fucking with a whole bunch of the most expensive recording technology available at the time is much improved by John & John interjecting "I found a new friend... underneath my pillow!" or "What's that bluuuuuuuuuue thing doing here?".

For best effects I recommend also loading Nine Inch Nails' "The Downward Spiral" into the third slot of your CD changer.

The shuffle button has existed for decades so I imagine I’m not an exception in wanting this concept.

Techno EPs don't really care whether you play banger #1 or #2 first, as an example.

> I HATE the shuffle play, and find it horribly grating when I start playing an album from the first track, and find that Spotify has decided to toggle shuffle on again, despite me always turning it off

iPhone music player (Music.app; formerly iTunes.app) does exactly the same shit. I find Tim Cook efficient at making once great built-in iOS and maCOS apps annoying or barely useful.

I am Apple Music customer since beginning and not once has been shuffle turned on automatically.

Maybe it's only happening with local music, which I have ripped from CDs. But, since we're at it, I recently lost the ability to search for local music without my phone looking for it on the internet and offering to download what I already own.

Also, with introduction of Apple Music, Apple disallowed sharing music over LAN. I always found it useful to be able to play music that sits on just one computer on the network, from any Apple device. What once just worked, now became a subscription fee for iirc $20/mo.

Are you talking about iTunes Match which is $25/year? I used to keep everything myself in iTunes (music and movies/series) but the hostility towards local files had me move elsewhere. The not being able to search for local files is beyond annoying when using an apple tv and having a large local library in iTunes, I know they have since split iTunes into different apps.

I don't remember how much exactly they wanted or what was the service name that would resolve this freshly introduced annoyance. Some Apple stuff is more expensive where I live, than in the U.S. but it may have been $25 yearly not $20 monthly.

It pretty much looked like an extortion attempt: Apple blocked my access to owned, legal, lossless music files in their proprietary AIFF format and offered presumably the same music streamed from their servers for a fee.

IIRC this sharing functionality worked until Mojave and became problematic with the introduction of Catalina. It went from being an option in iTunes to being an option in the Sharing menu in System Preferences. It still used DAAP as an underneath technology but became problematic, with browsable but not playable library etc.

Before that, I had an IKE VPN set up from iPhone to home network which allowed accessing music residing on iMac's HDD while biking or hiking, on iPhone with much less storage than music library weight.

if by phone you mean iPhone , I just checked and it works fine for me in the music app. under search there are 2 tabs, radio, local. local searches local only for me. iOS 15.1

I do hate the apple tries to push Apple music at every opportunity even though I have zero interest.

Also, I found shuffle is broken in the music app. I switched to Foobar2000 and suddenly I'm hearing tracks on shuffle that the Music app had never played in 10years that were on my phone.

> if by phone you mean iPhone , I just checked and it works fine for me in the music app. under search there are 2 tabs, radio, local. local searches local only for me. iOS 15.1

When I use Siri and instruct it to "play xxx", where "xxx" is a locally present song, it often randomly does not play the song but instead searches for it. An example from yesterday or the day before: I have a "Reservoir Dogs" soundtrack ripped from CD. If I instruct my iPhone to "play Little Green Bag", it no longer just plays the song it lists in Music.app, as it always did when it was called iTunes. It offers me the purchase and download of George Baker Selection CD which originally lists this song included in Tarantino's movie.

I currently have iOS 15.02 installed and I do not have nor had Apple Music subscription.

there is an option in settings to turn apple music off. maybe that would help?

Settings->Music->Show Apple Music

Umm, no - shuffle isn’t even a ‘switch’ in Apple Music, it’s a separate, equally sized button next to ‘Play’, and when you use it, it has no effect on future choices.

Yes, it is annoying that this option turns itself on and I don't have it at hand. It requires me to click on a currently playing title which brings next tracks list that has additional shuffle and repeat icons.

Is this behavior on a particular platform? I've never encountered this behavior and don't particularly pay attention to what I click. I sometimes tried using shuffle on some playlists, but that's extremely rare, and when I go to another playlist or album shuffle seems disabled.

On the desktop I don't have the big "play shuffled" button at all. I only see it on the iphone for playlists. I've checked a few albums, and they had the regular play button.

Shuffle is great for playlists, but terrible for albums

I just wish shuffle was truly random, but it seems to favor tracks with the (edit- got this mixed up) lowest payout. I had the same track repeated several times to me in a few hours, in a playlist of several hundred tracks

What you actually want is a true shuffle, where the entire set of songs is shuffled like a deck of cards, so you don’t get repeats. This is what iTunes does, to the best of my knowledge.

When you listen to 60 songs from a shuffled playlist of 300 songs, the likelihood of hearing the same song 3 or more times is approximately 29%. (Quick simulation: https://play.golang.org/p/2RNADWRQx4h)

This is related to the Birthday Paradox.

EDIT: Disregard this. I was thinking of shuffling as repeatedly choosing songs uniformly at random with replacement from the playlist, but commenters reminded me that shuffling shouldn't work that way. I found an open issue about this: https://community.spotify.com/t5/Desktop-Mac/Shuffle-should-...: "In a playlist of mine that is more than 6 hours long, shuffle often plays songs twice or three times within 30 minutes."

Sure, hearing one track a few extra times I could accept.

But it happens a lot. And it seems to favor certain artists. I am well acquainted with the properties of randomness and what I've seen suggests some kind of weighting system.

shuffle != random

This is from 2014.

> it seems to favor tracks with the highest payout

Why would it do that? Wouldn't it optimize for the lowest per-stream rate?

You're right, I had my wires crossed.

Can confirm. I usually shuffle play my "liked songs" (which has nearly 1000 songs) and lately the same group of 40 or so songs play over and over. It's terrible.

That's exactly what I witnessed: a subset of the playlist receiving nearly all the attention

Perfect example of using a(n expensive) service even when it's annoying. Just stop using it, they'll hear your voice better.

Honest question: is there a better service with a similarly broad catalog? When I first signed up for a streaming service several years ago I went with Deezer since it seemed competitive and I knew Spotify was the evil empire. But bugs and a smaller catalog forced me to jump ship.

I really wish it were possible to pay for a separate player/discovery app, in addition to my Spotify subscription, that had access to the Spotify catalog.

YouTube Music? I made a switch to them after finding that their recommendation engine worked better compared to Spotify...plus i get YouTube ads free as a side effect. Your mileage might vary on the recommendations engine though...

I actually had Youtube Premium with Music before I gave spotify a try. I just cancelled Spotify's trial a few days ago. I just don't see what I get (for myself specifically) that I don't get with Youtube Music.

> is there a better service with a similarly broad catalog?

There is not.

> I really wish it were possible to pay for a separate player/discovery app, in addition to my Spotify subscription, that had access to the Spotify catalog.

This is possible. The Spotify SDK allows you to do practically anything, the only caveat is that Spotify is in control of playback state, you merely request the desired state. In practice this means you can do whatever you want -- no shuffle, better discovery, write your own radio or suggestion algorithms, etc.

By "app" I meant to suggest on mobile. My understanding is that Spotify no longer allows 3rd party apps on mobile. Is that not correct?

(And to be clear, I'm looking to pay for an existing app, not write my own.)

The default Samsung music player has a Spotify tab. I've never used it though so cannot comment on how it works.

Yes, this is one of the things that keeps me using Spotify - Concertmaster is a great UI for listening to classical music, and it has access to a huge catalogue.

Just keeping our own MP3 library, no need to listen to the whole universe.

> is there a better service with a similarly broad catalog?

No, but try https://bandcamp.com.

Yeah, private bittorrent trackers.

Exactly, just download off high-quality torrent trackers and buy/give to musicians you like, talk about them to your friends and cultivate fan communities. Buy stuff off bandcamp and support search for your local scene. And as a counter argument to "but you're starving the artist and music industry", see [1], which explains in great details how streaming services don't benefit the vast majority of artists (tldr: paying per stream, paired with decontextualized highest view-count first search, starves most musicians instead of fairly sharing the revenue based on actual needs).

[1]: https://pitchfork.com/features/oped/how-to-be-a-responsible-...

Given the royalties that streaming pays the 'starving artist' argument doesn't make a lot of sense. In fact you could even argue that Spotify has done far more damage to artists' revenue streams than piracy ever did

You've hit on my main argument against artist's trying to "own" their work, and against DRM. There are a million other ways to monetize your work instead of trying to control how it is consumed.

As the great, wise Yogurt once said, "MOICHENDISING!"

> Spotify is a perfect example of a tech company that gives absolutely no fucks for the preferences of their paying customers.

Or maybe it does? At least the things you are complaining about (minus the auto reset) are exactly what I desire to happen.

I barely ever listen to a specific album (in a specific order), but often listen to an artists entire catslog.

Same. On mobile, most of the time I want my playlists to be shuffled. And Spotify recognises that in the UI. I know how to have it play in order which also works.

It's entirely a matter of preference.

I like Spotify's behavior, because I don't listen to albums, I fill my spacetime with music. I want to press Play once, and not have to micromanage the player. It's actually the reason why I use Spotify. Apple Music plays one song I select, and then falls silent.

>Spotify is a perfect example of a tech company that gives absolutely no fucks for the preferences of their paying customers.

I think that is a larger problem across the industry. And here is an unpopular opinion especially on HN. Tech is dominating every field. Tech is dictating trends. And Tech company are making consumer products but doesn't understand consumers. It is exactly the same on Apple Music at launch when they decide to not include a Loop button because it was all about the "Next Song".

I felt Spotify, or arguably Apple has made the business case for Streaming Music ( or not since they dont make much money ). But in terms of product or UX they are not any better.

Having said that I still think Spotify is far better than Apple Music. And Shuffle works for long playlist and not on Album so I am perfectly fine with the decision.

Mike Oldfield[1] (and probably many others) solved this by releasing one of his albums as a single ~hour-long track. Try shuffling that! That seems to be a pretty decent compromise to me. If you, as an artist, don't want listeners to play your work in random order, release it as a single track.

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amarok_(Mike_Oldfield_album)

The WORST is when you play on a a smart speaker. I asked to play "Despicable Me 2" sound track while my kids and I were cleaning the kitchen. Its starts off a song by a song by Ceelo Green that is on on the album, then another song from the album, then goes into the Fuck You song By Mr. Green. WTF spotify.

The Smart Speaker experience is pure Shite. Play the ENTIRE album I requested.

AND let me choose "Explicit" filtering based on what device I am on.

> This is possibly a generational difference, but I HATE the shuffle play

I'm in my late 40s and very rarely do NOT use shuffle play.

> Spotify is a perfect example of a tech company that gives absolutely no fucks for the preferences of their paying customers.

Oh please.

You have no evidence for that. You don't like one thing & then decided your preferences represent the mass user base. Get over yourself.

Since we're ranting about shuffle...

I have a favorites playlist with over 3k songs and if i just press shuffle to start playing - it keeps playing the same freaking songs. It's a mix of most recently added + 20 of my most played song. I have to scroll all the way down, pick a random song, and then it will start picking more random songs from the playlist.

So frustrating.

Depends on what I’m listening to. If it is a playlist then I love shuffle because it keeps the playlist fresh.

However for albums I completely agree with you. You’d think it would be smart enough to detect when an album is on an default to not shuffling.

Yup absolutely hate when companies do that. God damn jira tickets, story points, medium blog articles, user tracking pixels and not a lick of good taste to be found

It is most annoying to listen to progressive rock on Spotify, removing shuffle will be great for me.

I mean ... it is relatively clear why this is happening isn't it? Artists pay to promote their material, so Spotify needs an excuse to play "random/related" music to it's costumers.

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