If you’ve ever used Apple Music, you know that the shuffle feature, which plays songs randomly from your library, can be pretty hit-or-miss.
But if it seems like a song is playing over and over again, there’s probably a good reason.
In this article, we’ll explain why music repeats on Apple Music and show you how to stop it from happening for good!
Here’s Why Apple Music Repeats Songs:
The most common reasons for repeating songs are; you’re listening to a playlist that has only one song, you have iCloud Music Library turned off, and have purchased music from iTunes and the algorithm has picked up too many songs similar to your choices.
Table of Contents
Is the Apple Music Shuffle REALLY Random?
There are a lot of different types of shuffles, but the one that’s relevant to Apple Music is “Shuffle Songs.”
It’s called that because it will play all the songs from your library in the order they were added to your library, rather than mixing up those songs with other random tracks from your collection.
However, if you play music on Apple Music for any length of time and then start playing it again later (without closing out of the app), you may notice that certain tracks seem to pop up repeatedly during your listening sessions.
Apple Music is an excellent music streaming service, but one of its biggest shortcomings is that it repeats songs. While there are some users who are fine with this behavior, others find it annoying and frustrating.
If you’re one of those people who want to stop Apple Music from repeating songs, then here’s how to do it.
To prevent Apple Music from repeating songs:
- Open iTunes on your computer and go to the Library tab.
- Click on My Music in the left pane, then select Playlists in the top menu bar.
- Scroll down until you see your Playlist folder, then click on that folder to see all the playlists you have saved on your computer.
- Right-click on any playlist and choose Rename from the drop-down menu that appears above it if you want to give it a new name (like “Playlist 1”).
- Type in your desired name without spaces or punctuation marks (no hyphens either), then click Enter twice or press Return on your keyboard twice when done editing the name of your playlist so that it shows up correctly in iTunes (otherwise, iTunes may not be able to locate it properly).
What Happens if the Shuffle Keeps Repeating Songs?
If you are a subscriber to Apple Music and have encountered this problem, it can be frustrating.
There are many reasons why your shuffle may repeat songs:
- Your playlist is set to repeat all songs. To fix this, go into your music library, select the playlist that has the problem and then look for the Repeat setting. If it’s set to All Songs, change it to Never or One Song.
- You have manually selected all songs from your library in Playlist view and they’re repeating over and over again. To fix this issue, simply remove all of them from the list by selecting Select None at the top of your screen or pressing Control+A on Windows or Command+A on Mac OS X computers (Mac users will need an alternative keyboard method). Then start adding them back one at a time until you find what caused this issue in the first place.
Read our blog here about 8 reasons Apple Music is better than Spotify.
How Does the Shuffle Algorithm Work?
The shuffle algorithm is a complex one. It’s designed to make sure that you don’t hear the same song twice in a row and also make sure that you don’t hear the same song more than two times in a row.
The algorithm works by taking your entire library and separating it into two groups: songs with a probability of playing next higher than or equal to 50%, and songs with a probability of playing next lower than 50%.
It then plays through each group, one after another, until it runs out of possible combinations; at this point, it starts over again at the top of each group until they’re all exhausted (or until someone hits shuffle again).
This is how Apple Music’s algorithm works:
- if you listen to two popular songs by Taylor Swift and then switch to another song from her album that wasn’t played during the first two tracks (or maybe even an older song),
- the algorithm will try its best to get a new experience for you.
The reason why this happens is that Apple Music doesn’t want people thinking they’re just listening to some random music on their iPhone or iPad—it wants them to feel like they’re using something similar to Pandora or Spotify or Google Play Music.
Is The Order Of Songs Randomized Every Time?
You’re not imagining it, the shuffle algorithm is not perfect.
In fact, it’s not random at all! The algorithm may seem random to you because there are so many songs in your library and the chance of hitting one you haven’t heard before is pretty slim.
Read our blog here about Apple Music & Storage.
Here are Solutions to Stop Apple music from repeating songs
Here are solutions to stop Apple music from repeating songs:
- Change the playback order. To change the playback order, tap and hold down on a song title until it starts shaking. Then drag your finger up or down on an album name to move it around until you’ve got them in a new order.
- Turn off repeat mode. If you want to play all songs from your library without skipping any, turn off repeat mode so that none of them will repeat themselves after playing once through your library. To do this, go into Settings > Music > Repeat in iOS 11 and select “Off” for Repeat Song or Albums (or both). You can also choose “Never.” Then press back twice until you’re out of Settings again.
Solution 1. Change the Playback Order
If you have a song that you want to play next, but it’s not the current one, go to that song and tap on the three dots in the top right corner. You’ll see “Play Next” or “Play Later.” Tap “Play Next” and then go back to your home screen.
- On your iPhone (or iPad), double-click on any album art to bring up a list of songs within that album.
- On an Android device: Open Music Player -> click on any album name -> click on the “Next” or “Previous” button at top of the playlist.
Solution 2. Turn off Repeat
The second solution is to turn off Repeat. To do this, go to the main menu and select the repeat button.
If you have shuffled songs turned on, it will say Shuffle at the top of your screen.
Make sure that “Shuffle” is selected so that it says Shuffle instead of Repeat, then scroll down until you see the option for Off in both cases: Shuffle and Repeat. Select Off on both screens to disable these options entirely.
Solution 3. Remove Unwanted Music from Your Library
The final solution is to remove the songs from your library and listen to a different playlist.
To do this, go to the music tab and select “Library” from the top menu bar. Once you are in your library, press “i” on any song you would like deleted.
This will bring up an information window for that song that also has an option for deleting it from your library (under “More Options”).
Pressing this button will permanently remove it from your collection and stop it from playing again in shuffle mode.
To remove multiple songs at once, use either Command+A or Control+A keys on macOS or Windows respectively while holding down the shift key to select all of them at once then delete them one by one as described above or all at once with “delete selected items” button located next to the details section of each song.
Solution 4. Restart iPhone/iPad/iPod
The fourth solution to fix the shuffle repeat songs problem on Apple Music is to restart your phone.
Restarting your device can resolve many issues and problems, including those that have been introduced by a software update or other app installation.
- You can do this by pressing down the power button (or sleep/wake button) for a few seconds until you see an option to power off or restart your device.
- Select the appropriate option, wait for it to complete, then turn it back on again. If you don’t see this option when pressing down on the sleep/wake button, hold down both buttons at once—sleep/wake with one finger and home button with another—for 10 seconds until your iPhone turns off completely and restarts itself automatically upon turning back on again (you’ll know when this happens because there will be a white screen after turning back on).
This method usually works well if there are problems with any apps installed on your iPhone or iPad; if given enough time between restarts (we recommend 3-5 minutes), it should clear up any issues causing repeated music shuffles in Apple Music!
Solution 5. Restore iPhone from iTunes or iCloud
If you find yourself in this situation, there’s still hope.
Restore your device from iTunes or iCloud to factory settings, then restore it once more to a previous backup.
This will give you all of your data back—including music—and allow you to start over with a clean slate.
Apple Music is a great service, but it has a major flaw: it often repeats songs. The problem is not limited to just one song or album, so it’s not an isolated issue.
We hope that you have a better understanding of how Apple Music shuffles and repeats songs. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out in the comments below.