Do you miss the "Album Shuffle" feature from your old iPod? Do you listen to music on your iPhone or iPad all day and simply want to listen to a random selection of albums, played in the song order that the artist intended? Do you have so many albums that you find it hard to come up with your own playlists? Is your music collection diverse and you want to tailor your listening to your mood?
Smart Shuffle combines the simple restoration of the Album Shuffle functionality with advanced sorting and filtering capabilities, allowing you much better control of your music selection.
Smart Shuffle: The Album-Centric Music Player
Smart Shuffle has two main screens: the Player Screen and the Selection Screen. Press the Select icon in the upper left corner of the main screen to select albums to shuffle. Select your albums, either one by one or by using the advanced filtering features along with the Select All or Clear All buttons. Press the Shuffle icon from the Selection Screen to begin playing your new set of randomly shuffed album selections. From the Player Screen, you can play or pause the music, skip forward and backwards (either by song or by album) and turn on Sleep Mode. You can also view a list of the entire queue of albums by swiping down from the pull-tab at the top of the album art. If you quit Smart Shuffle, your randomized list of albums will play on. You can return to Smart Shuffle to select a new list, or skip to a new album.
See below for more detail about Selecting Albums, using the Player screen, and modifying the settings for Smart Shuffle.
NOTE: When you open Smart Shuffle for the first time, you need to give the app permission to access your Media Library. Answer "OK" to this dialog box, as shown on the right.
The first time you run Smart Shuffle and enter the Selection Screen, your entire music collection is displayed in a scrolling list. Select items individually, or use the "Select All" or "Clear All" buttons (on the bottom right of the screen) to select or clear all of the albums currently displayed in the list. The total number of albums in the list is shown at the top of the screen. By selecting the Sort button, you can sort your albums by Title, by Artist, by Genre, or by Composer.
For large album collections, you will likely want to limit what is displayed by selecting the Filter button. This will let you filter your collection by a variety of categories (Genre, Playlist, Grouping, Rating, Play Count, Decade Released, Cloud Availability, and whether or not you've Selected the album). When you touch the filter button, a pop-up menu will display these categories for filtering. Checkmarks show the categories that have already been selected for filtering. When you select a category, a list of the options for that category are shown. For example, for Genre, a list of all available genres is displayed. For any category, you can only filter by one option. Once you select a choice, any previous choice is cleared. To clear a previously filtered category, select it, then select "Clear Filter" from the top of the list. After each selection, the newly filtered album list is displayed. The options shown for each category reflect any previously selected category filters. For example, if you filter the album list by a Playlist that only has a few Genres associated with it, only those choices will be available to you if you then select the Genre category to filter by. This allows you to quickly refine your choices down to a few specific categories. The filters that you have set are shown at the top of the Selection Screen, just below the number of albums displayed in the current list. Once you have set up filters, you still must select or clear the actual albums that you would like included in your shuffled list.
Recall that using the Select All or Clear All buttons will only select or clear the items currently being listed. This allows you to select a subset of your collection using one filter, then switch filters and select or clear another subset of your collection. Use this to refine your selection to, for example, all albums in the "Dance" Genre that have not been played often, PLUS all albums belonging to a specific Grouping that are rated 5 stars.
The number of album selections is displayed just on top of the album list. This number reflects the total number of albums that you have selected, not just the albums that have been selected with the current filter. So if you filtered by "Rock" Genre, selected three albums, then filtered by "Electronica", even though none of those albums will be selected, the total number of selections will still be three.
To review the albums that you have selected, or view items you have not selected, "Filter By Selected". You can select or unselect items displayed with these filters, further refining your choices. Selecting "Clear Filters" will show all of your albums again. If you want to start over, select "Clear Filters and Selections" after touching the Filter button. At any time, you can also simply return to the music you had previously queued up by pushing "Cancel" . All album selections will remain unchanged. Once you are happy with your selections, press the Shuffle icon to start playing your selected albums randomly, one at a time.
If you push and hold on an album in the Selection list for one second, that album will be marked by a pin. When you start playing your selections with the Shuffle icon, that marked album will be played first, followed by the rest of the selected albums in a random order.
In the center of the screen, the Player displays the currently playing album's artwork. Now Playing information, including the title, artist, and song name of the currently playing song are displayed below the artwork, and Player controls are located along the bottom of the screen.
In addition to conttrolling music playback using the Player controls, the following touch gestures are recognized by Smart Shuffle:
Play/Pause - double tap the album art
Next/Previous Album - swipe left/right across the album art
Next/Previous Song - swipe left/right across the Now Playing information
Sleep Mode - Press and hold the play/pause button for one second
Smart Shuffle can also be controlled by your device's Control Panel and Sleep Screen controls. Additionally, you can control Smart Shuffle with a remote control device, such as the one attached to wired headphones. Remote control commands work exactly the same as they do with the standard Music player with one exception: pressing and holding the fast-forward or rewind controls (both on the screen and on your remote control) will tell Smart Shuffle to go to the next or previous album in your shuffled list.
If you swipe down from the pull-tab at the top of the album artwork, you can view the entire list of shuffled albums. A checkmark indicates the currently playing album. Select a new album from the list and Smart Shuffle will immediately jump to that album and continue playing the list in shuffled order. Swipe up on the pull-tab to hide the list and show the currently playing album artwork again.
Press and hold the play/pause button for more than one second to turn on Sleep Mode. Sleep Mode will pause the Player after 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or after the end of the currently playing album. The pause button will change to show a countdown timer showing how much time there is left until the Player pauses. If you push the play/pause button in Sleep Mode, Sleep Mode will be disabled.
If you add or remove albums from you music library while Smart Shuffle is running, you may see a "Library Change" icon on the Player screen as Smart Shuffle attempts to change the album queue to accommodate the changes in your music library. The music will pause, and if the currently playing album is no longer available, Smart Shuffle will choose the next available album from your shuffled list. You may also see a "Restoring..." wait screen pop up when you run Smart Shuffle and the music has been off for awhile, particularly if you have been using other apps since Smart Shuffle was last run. This is normal behavior, as Smart Shuffle needs to reconnect to the Apple music player to re-queue your selected set of albums. If you are streaming your albums from the cloud and your internet connection is disabled, Smart Shuffle will also make the best attempt to continue playing selected music. If Smart Shuffle is open when this happens, you will be offered a chance to retry streaming (assumedly after you've re-established an internet connection), or to play only those albums available as downloads to your device ("Include Cloud Items" will be turned off in the Smart Shuffle Settings - see below). If Smart Shuffle is not the frontmost app when streaming stops, it will try to re-establish a connection for awhile before automatically switching the "Include Cloud Items" setting off.
There are several global settings for Smart Shuffle that can be accessed from the Settings icon in Smart Shuffle (in the upper right corner of the Player Screen), or directly from your device's "Settings" app.
If you do not want to include albums in the cloud (which includes all music purchased from the iTunes Music Store), set "Include Cloud Items" to off. Only albums downloaded to your device will be shown in the Selection Screen.
If "Remember Filter Settings" is on, the Selection Screen will remember the last filter you set whenever you return to it from the Player Screen. If this setting is off, all filters will be cleared every time you return to the Selection Screen.
If "Confirm Shuffle Button" is turned on, every time you touch the "Shuffle" button from the Player Screen, a dialog box will appear to confirm that you really want to re-shuffle your selected albums. It is a useful guard against accidentally hitting the button unintentionally, which will re-shuffle all of your selections and start from the beginning.
if "Speak Next Album" is turned on, Smart Shuffle will anonounce the name and artist of each abum it is about to start playing.
Set "Silence Between Albums" to enforce a 5 to 30 second delay between the end of one album and the start of the next one.
If "Restrict Songs to Playlist" is set and you used a Playlist filter to select your albums, only the songs that are included in the playlist will be played for each album in the list. Otherwise, Smart Shuffle will play the whole album even if only a single song from that album is in the playlist.
We welcome your feedback! If you have any feature requests, or want to report any bugs or problems, please don't hesitate to contact us using the feedback form or by opening our Feedback page.
Thanks for using Smart Shuffle, and happy shuffling!