Why Does Spotify Free Play Random Songs? (Solved)

The free version of Spotify is the deal of a lifetime if you can’t make the jump to becoming a Spotify Premium member. Spotify Free users have access to the entire Spotify library and the ability to take the Spotify experience wherever they go via the mobile app.

However, users have found that Spotify Free does have some drawbacks, in particular, playing random songs. In this article, we take a look at how much control the user has when using Spotify Free and why this version plays random songs.

Everything You Need to Know About Spotify Free Playing Random Songs:

Spotify Free users have limitations on playback and song selection. Users on the mobile app will not have the option to play specific songs. Instead, Spotify will play the album or playlist that the track is in. This is played in ‘shuffle’ mode, and so songs will be played at random during playback.

Mobile phone with Spotify Music logo on screen. White headphones plugged in.

Why Doesn’t Spotify Free Let Users Choose Songs?

Spotify Premium members pay around $10 per month to have full access to everything that the platform has to offer.

Premium members have unlimited skips, higher-quality playback, no ads, and countless more features that make becoming a member all the more enticing.

Spotify Free does not have the features listed above. What’s more, having a free Spotify account will limit your control while using the platform.

This lack of control is evident in aspects such as only having 6 free skips per hour, but it really shows when you come to understand that your free account restricts you to ‘shuffle playback’ only.

If you are using the Spotify mobile app, you’ll find that you can only play an album or playlist in shuffle mode, meaning that you do not have the ability to select specific songs.

Furthermore, you cannot listen to the album or playlist in order either.

This is why Spotify Free account holders will hear a whole bunch of random songs that they were not expecting – it’s because they’re restricted to shuffle mode.

The reason why Spotify restricts the control of shuffle for free members is simple – it creates an incentive to become a fully-fledged Premium member.

Is There a Way to Choose Specific Songs with Spotify Free?

Thankfully, there’s some good news when it comes to Spotify Free and selecting songs.

Although, as stated above, you cannot exit shuffle mode on a mobile device, there is an exception to that rule on desktop computers.

If you open Spotify on your desktop computer, you’ll find that you are not restricted to shuffle playback with albums or playlists.

If you want to hear that new album in its full glory – in order – then head onto a desktop computer and listen to it as it was intended.

Additionally, Spotify has another surprise for free members in which they can select specific songs – this is achieved with specific playlists for pick and play.

Spotify Free members can navigate to their ‘Made for You’ section and find playlists that are curated around their personal musical tastes.

Spotify creates many different editorial playlists ranging in genre and style. Spotify has made it possible for users who are on Spotify Free to have full control over playback on these specific playlists.

This means that on these playlists, free users can select specific songs for playback and listen to them in the order they want to.

Check out our article about why Spotify plays random songs on your playlists!

What Can you Control with Spotify Free?

Spotify Free may not be for everybody due to the limitations on certain features and functions that Premium members have access to.

However, as mentioned above, there are playlists that do give you full control over the selection and the order of playback.

You may not have the ability as a free member to simply find a song you want to hear and play it, but Spotify has allowed free members to do so with ‘Made For You’ playlists. 

These playlists take away the restrictive nature of the default automatic shuffle mode and allow you to pick tracks from the specific playlist and play them whenever you like.

If you’ve been frustrated by the limit on how many times you can skip through tracks, then now you have the chance to give a song a quick listen and move right past it.

Lastly, Spotify Free users get the same ability that Premium members have when it comes to the social aspect of Spotify.

  •  Spotify Free users can create collaborative playlists with their friends.
  • To take the social interaction up another level, Spotify Free users can also check out what their friends are listening to by adding them via the ‘Find Friends’ function.
  • Once friends have been added, users can keep up to date with what they listened to last, as well as have a little listen to any of their public playlists.

Despite some of the obvious restrictions that free members may encounter, there is also plenty on offer here that makes Spotify Free a fantastic way to experience online music.

Can you Turn Off Shuffle with Spotify Free?

Remember, all playlists or albums that have a blue shuffle symbol at the top are providing a signal that, as a free member, you do not have control over how you play these songs. They will be randomized.

Unfortunately, there is no way around this if you are using the mobile app. As a free member, you cannot simply switch shuffle off if you are using a mobile device.

However, the desktop version of Spotify allows even free members to deactivate shuffle.

To turn shuffle ‘Off’ on your desktop version of Spotify:

  • Click the shuffle icon (2 overlapping arrows).
  • Or, you can also double-click on the first song to play the playlist in order.

If you want to listen to tracks without shuffle on a mobile device, head to ‘Home’ and access any of the playlists in ‘Made for You’.

Please also read our article about why Spotify cuts off songs at the end.

What is the Quickest Way to Listen to a Specific Song for Free?

Sometimes we just need to hear ‘that’ song. Whether it’s a track that brings back a certain fond memory or a song that gets you instantly in the right mood to take on the world – whatever the reason – you don’t want a hassle!

Read Also: Understand Spotify User Demographics

If you’re a Spotify Free member, then that may prove difficult as the ability to play a specific song at will is limited.

However, if you’re looking for the fastest solution, then YouTube may be your best bet.

Opening up YouTube, even without an app, is a breeze:

  1. Navigate to YouTube’s home page.
  2. Search for the song or artist.
  3. Select the version of the song you want.

You’ll probably enjoy watching the music video, too, or you could find a karaoke version and finally get the words right – trust us, everyone will be pleased. However, keep in mind that even Youtube plays adverts in certain videos and so your listening may be interrupted. 


Spotify Premium vs. Free: 6 Good Reasons to Pay 

Free Spotify vs Spotify Premium

How to Turn Shuffle Off in Every Spotify App

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