randomization/shuffle bug

whenever i turn off and on the sansa, then go to the next songs, they are always in the same order shuffled
i have 94 songs
the order is always: 17, 37, 66, 79, 67, 81, 1, 53 etc etc

I have the same problem. Ironically, it cleared up with the previous firmware update (01.01.05)and now it has returned with the current update(01.01.05a). I wish I could rollback!

Um. 01.01.05 and 01.01.05a are the same - the letter just denotes the region that the firmware is designed for.

You can try redoing the firmware using one of the many files posted and made available on this forum here (just look around and you’ll find a few, including one stickied thread at the top of the forum.)

I wondered about that… I had already updated it a few weeks ago, but when the autoupdater prompted me to update the other day, I went ahead and said “yes”. For some reason, the random play is now back to square one. I was ecstatic when it worked correctly. I’ll fool around with it and see if I can get it to behave again.

Message Edited by glaucus on 01-06-2008 08:45 AM

I have this problem too.  It’s rather annoying.  :cry:

Another problem I have is that even when Shuffle is on, my player always starts with song 1 when I select Play All.  Furthermore, shuffle sometimes doesn’t work (the player simply advances to the next song) and I have to turn it off and back on to get it to work again.

This is weird, but it seems to work… so far. For some reason the “repeat” option was missing from my “music options” menu, so I did a hard reset. Then when I started the player again, repeat was available so I set repeat to “all” and shuffle to “on” (as some of the advice in other threads suggested I do) But the problem persisted, i.e. when I turned off the player in mid-song and then turned it on again, it would finish the song and then go back to the beginning of the list. UGH! Then for the hell of it, I tried this: I hit the back button a couple times to take the player back to a previous song. It changed the order of the shuffle, pulling up new songs instead of the same ones. If this keeps working, I can live with it.

Message Edited by glaucus on 01-06-2008 01:16 PM

Message Edited by glaucus on 01-06-2008 01:18 PM

Same problem here! Shuffling follows the same pattern every time I turn on my sansa player. I noticed this is happening when Im playing all my songs. When Im sorting my music by album or genre it seems to be fine. Can anybody help me? Any idea? Hope this is just a bug and will be resolved by a firmware. I`m from Europe, and my firmware is 01.00.15F2.

I don’t know if this is a bug or design feature. On mine, the shuffle apparently creates an internal (hidden) playlist of all the songs, in random order. If you switch shuffle off, leave that menu for the song list, and switch it back on again, you’ll get a new shuffle selection. The last song up will still be up when you go back, but go back or forward and you’ll find the songs changed from the previous shuffle. I do like how this works. I can go back and listen to the previous shuffle-selected song, which is on my wish-list as a feature on my other players (a Sony and a Sansa Clip). How often have you got to the end of a song and wanted to check it out again, only to find that the “shuffle” has lost it? It also means that there will be no repeats. The shuffled list will play each song only once, until the entire list is finished. It wouldn’t be a bad thing, though a bit more complex, to offer a true random-pick on the fly shuffle as well as the list-based, for those who prefer the alternative method.

Yes,I think I understand what you are saying and you are right. But, look how my express work : with shuffle on, the first song is, lets say 43, and then follows 32, 55, 12...and so on until song 40, when I turn off my player in mid song. Then when I turn back on my player, song 40 plays til finish and then, surprise, it`s song 43, then 32, then 55 and so on. And this happens every time.

Another exemple, when I listen my song in order whith shuffle off, and I get to song 20, I turn on shuffle, and the next song is 43 and the list continues.

I don`t know how this song got on top of this list. First I thought that it was first on my go list. I cleared my go list, but nothing happens.

Im used with winamp shuffeling (could be better also) so this problem its very frustrating to me.

The first part, where the shuffle list doesn’t change as long as it is on shuffle, seems normal as designed.

Mine, however, will generate a new list if I turn shuffle off, go back to the songs, and turn shuffle on again.

My guess is that the random seed/timer on yours doesn’t change, so every new list starts from the same point. Mine doesn’t seem to work like that (1.01.05A firmware).

Try turning shuffle on from a different song, see if you get a different sequence.

Ink… if this switching shuffle on and off works, I will come and give you a great big kiss. It’s been so frustrating to have 170 songs loaded and keep hearing the same few every time I turn the thing on. My strategy up until now has been to delete a song early in the order of play. (the back-button technique I described somewhere up above had only limited success).

Added later: It seems to be working! :smileyvery-happy: There’s no kiss smiley so this will have to do: XXXXX

Message Edited by glaucus on 01-13-2008 09:42 AM

Nope, on mine its not working. Same song and same list comes up every time I turn shuffle on and it doesnt matter what song its playing. It also seems that there its a list for every music mode (play all, songs, genre, artist…) that plays when shuffle is on.

I must update my firmware, maybe its gonna work. But...I got problems with the updater for the moment. Its something working here at sandisk !?

The technique that Ink described works fine BUT… just like there is a set order of the random play, there seems to be a set order to the random play order orders. What the hell am I talking about? Well… just like when you turn off the player in random play, it resumes in the last song played and then goes back to the beginning of the list… well, if you change the random order by turning on and off shuffle a couple times, when you turn the player off. The next time you use thast on/off business to change the order again, it will go back to the first random order and then the second and so on. It’s kind of funny actually.

I was able to turn off the player, then get a different shuffle order when I powered it again. I tried this a few times, never did get it to repeat.

However, after a reset, including one caused by hooking up to the computer, it would indeed do exactly the same order when shuffle was selected. This reset on charge/file change (I did change files, would that do it) is annoying. It may instead be that I held the buttons just wrong for a moment to reset, but it is a pain. It only does a couple things that I know of right off, but I’d rather that it reset only when I want. Reset clears the go list and custom EQ; I also think it clears the song position if the player was shut down while playing a file (bad for audio book users).

As for funny, I’d guess a bug in the random number generator. What I’d do is use the clock, if present and working (there must be one for DRM), as random seed, and failing that, the current song number. In the latter case, since a reset would make it start on song 1, it would end up being the same every time.

In any case, it is annoying that it is hard to get it to truly randomize.

Also, on shutdown, if you’d turned shuffle off or on, it may not show the right state when you show the options. That is, it will show shuffle on while not shuffling, or vice versa.

There are many things that could be used to generate/modify the random number seed.  These include:

 - The clock (why not take the time at power on)

 - User button presses (why not use the time of each button press as well as the button number)

 - Noise from the FM radio (if no clock is available, why not take a brief sample of static and use it to make a number)

Ideally, the seed should be modified by as many sources as possible, although any one of the sources I mentioned would work just fine for the purpose of randomizing song playback.  To prevent the same song from being played twice, the player could just keep track of which ones have been played so far (rather than create an ordered list of songs once shuffle is turned on).  This would require 1 bit of data per song and could be integrated into the player’s database.

My point is that this is really simple stuff , and only an incompetent programmer would make such a lousy shuffle algorithm.

Well, I`m not very into this technical speaking, the fact is that my player is not working as i wanted to. At startup, after the song that plays is over follows the same song everytime, and with it the same list as before. I belive that the player is faulty. I formated mine and installed the latest firmware, but the same thing happens.

Hopefully someone could tell why this happens! A software or hardware problem?! How should it work? Not guesses. Maybe someone from Sandisk, or with more authority! I`ve lost hope that I can solve it, and I want to return mine or send it to be checked.

Maybe for some people this issue is not a big thing (as I had read the other problems users are experiecing), but I want that things that I pay for to work properly.

A software or hardware problem?  This is almost certainly a software problem.

How should it work?  According to page 7 of the manual, turning shuffle on should make the player “play songs in random order”.  I don’t think you will find an answer more specific than this.

I want to return mine or send it to be checked.  There is probably nothing wrong with your player specifically.  But go ahead and send it back to SanDisk.  Maybe if enough people do this, they will be encouraged to release a firmware that shuffles properly.  Be sure to accurately describe what the problem is and how to get it to reoccur.

I want that things that I pay for to work properly.  Me too.  But thanks to upgradable firmware, lazy manufacturers can release products before they are finished.

Thanks for the answers and your recommandations.

I’ve done some more testing, and found some interesting things.

First, try a short song list and shuffle. It didn’t repeat the list, as it went through it and started over. It kept giving new lists, with apparently random patterns. I only tried a three song list. Testing this with longer song sets would be more time-consuming.

Does it actually generate a new list, or is there a minimum size to the shuffle list, or what? I couldn’t tell from testing.

Going to shuffle off, then on again, while on the shuffle menu is enough to make a new list. So if this works right, even if you get the same list on powering up, it won’t take long to get a new one.

How random it is, I can’t say, because it would take more sampling to tell. While I get a feeling of repeated patterns, I can’t be sure whether it is true or illusion without writing down every song on every pass through a shuffle list.

well, i think the REAL problem is that sandisk isnt doing **bleep** about any of these problems
everyone has the same 3 or 4 complaints that the mods would not like to address
like this thread, i dont see a reply from a mod, but on threads with simple questions, mods answer the questions, they are simply dodging the problems

honestly, a firmware update to fix a randomization bug should be that hard, and they should address some other problems too
at least a reply from someone from sandisk would be nice, to see that the **bleep** they’re doing