How To: Shuffle All Songs in Apple's New Music App in iOS 8.4

Shuffle All Songs in Apple's New Music App in iOS 8.4

If you updated to iOS 8.4 already to try out the new Apple Music service, there's one important change you need to know about—there's no longer a "Shuffle" option for all songs in your library.

Previously, in iOS 8.3 and lower, you could go to the Songs tab in the Music app, pull down to bring up additional options, and select "Shuffle" to start a totally randomized mix of all of the songs in your library.

The "Shuffle" songs option in iOS 8.3 and lower.

In the iOS 8.4 version of the Music app, the Shuffle option is gone for Songs. All there is an option on the My Music tab to select from Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres, Composers, and Compilations. No matter what you choose, there's no Shuffle option for a totally random experience.

How the Music App Makes You Shuffle Songs Now

Now, in order to shuffle your whole library of songs, you have to actually select a song to begin with. Then, you have to hit the small Now Playing bar at the bottom, and make sure the Shuffle icon is selected.

To be fair, Shuffle is automatically toggled on whenever you select a song, but personally, I never select a song first and then shuffle. I always go for a totally random experience, or select a playlist to shuffle. Why would I want to go through my whole entire song list to find one song to play?

Workaround #1: Use Siri

If you still want that random music experience in the Music app, the only way to do it right now is to use Siri. Simply bring up Siri using your Home button, then tell her to "Shuffle songs."

Siri will start shuffling your songs at random, just like the old "Shuffle" button did in the old Songs tab. Then you can head into your Music app directly from the Siri window if you want.

It's kind of a sucky workaround if you don't like using Siri, or have her disabled altogether, but it's the only thing available right now. Hopefully Apple will add a little "Shuffle" button next to the name in the drop-down menu, but I'm not holding my breath.

Workaround #2: Create a Smart Playlist

If you don't like using Siri, or have issues using her (I had problems using Siri with my Bluetooth headphones), the next best option is to create a Smart Playlist for all of your music in iTunes and sync your iPhone. Playlists still have a "Shuffle" button, so it's actually a better option than using Siri anyway.

Open up iTunes, head to the "Playlists" tab in your Music section, then select "New Smart Playlist" from the plus sign (+) in the bottom-left corner.

Then, in the "Match the following rule" section, just select something ridiculous that would never apply. For example, use "Date Added [is not] 1840" or "Year [is not] 1840"... something like that.

Make sure that "Live updating" is checked so that you never have to worry about updating the playlist again when you add new music to iTunes, press the OK button, then rename the playlist to something like "All Music." Sync your iPhone, then select the playlist and shuffle like before.

For me, this is a much better option than using Siri, since it's essentially the same exact thing as shuffling all songs in iOS 8.3 and below, only it's a playlist. Thanks to Cameron in the comments below for bringing this up!

Workaround #3: Use the Control Center

This is my least favorite of the workarounds, mostly because of how buggy it is for me, but it could still work for you. Basically, just slide up the Control Center and hit the play icon for media.

However, in order for this to work, you have to make sure that any app that last used the media player in the Control Center is no longer using it. So if you were playing media in Shazam, YouTube, Safari, etc., you'll have to force-close that app first so that the media player is blank. In addition, you have to force-close the Music app too, if a track is currently open in the app.

(1) Should be totally blank or say "Music" with no song playing. (2) Verifying in Music app. (3) It worked!

If you don't force-close the previous app that tried to use the Control Center, then pressing play will either play that previous content, or won't do anything at all. And if you don't force-close Music after you've force-closed any other apps that the Control Center was using, then you'll just end up playing whatever you were playing last in the Music app.

Why is it buggy? For me, after force-closing an app (like Shazam or YouTube), the Control Center still has the app listed as using the media player—even though you can't actually play anything from it. This means you won't be able to play from the Music app.

(1) Listening to a song in Shazam. (2) It still wants to use the media player after being force-closed.

In that case, you have to play a track from the Music app, then force-close it, and try again in the Control Center. It's okay if it says "Music" in the Control Center, as that will still work. But as you can see, it's not very fun to use this method. Your mileage may vary.

How to Shuffle Artists, Albums, Compilations, & Genres

Some users in the comments below brought up a great tip for randomly shuffling the Artists, Albums, Compilations, and Genres categories.

You can verify that it works by tapping on the Now Playing bar to expand it, then select the Up Next icon to see what songs will be playing next on shuffle. Just make sure the Shuffle icon is selected on the Now Playing screen.

Any other tips for shuffling music in Apple Music? Share in the comments below and I'll add them to this article!

59 Comments

The playlists still have the shuffle button, so create a playlist containing all your songs. If you do this on the iOS device you might have to select each song individually, which would be a huge pain if you have thousands of songs. However, it is easily done in iTunes on the Mac (or presumably a PC). Bring up the list of songs, select them all using Command-A, then do File / New / Playlist from Selection. Sync with your iOS device and you are done.

That's a good suggestion, but if you're going to create a playlist, it's probably better to create a Smart Playlist, that way new songs you add to iTunes are automatically added to the playlist.

The easiest way to create a Smart Playlist like this is to just choose something like "Date Added [is not] 1840" or "Year [is not] 1840"... something that you'd obviously never have an issue with, then check "Live updating" to make sure it stays updated.

I've actually added this to the article as a second option, so thanks for bringing it up!

Thanks for your help on this! I rely on shuffle every day and this new OS kinda frustrated me at first. Nice to know that the techies at Apple have nothing better to do than change things without thinking first. Thanks again!

When I run, I like to select an artist and then shuffle songs from that artist across all their albums. That option is also gone. However, the suggestion to use Siri is an excellent one as that works quite well.

You still have the shuffle option on your each album you select. Just select it, or play it and than you have a mini bar play wich let you to shuffle all the album

I do the same thing. When using Siri, it always pulls up Apple Music, which I do not want to use. The tip in this article about tapping the picture, however, does work and will shuffle all songs from every album by the artist you choose.

If you only have 2 albums by that artist though, there is still a shuffle button when you open up that artist's music.

Have you figured out how to do this? I hate this new iTunes.

dont like Apple Music at all! First Shuffle Songs gets the boot then you get swamped with lots of stuff you like but dont want - the options for shuffle here are all doable but they are a bit fussy. I'd prefer my own songs on my Iphone that i have chosen and want to listen to in any order i choose - i dont want all of my library just a tiny bit of it - the tiny bit I've chosen - ta!

I am a great fan of shuffle when it comes to music ! But the latest update 8.4 forces me to randomly select my songs each time.As mentioned above asking siri to shuffle all doesn't get the job done (atleast on my Iphone 6) ! I've tried asking siri to play music (as i was an android user ;) ).To my surprise, Siri says "Shuffling all your music" !! Yay !! Thanks to Siri ... Even accepts android terminology :P

The shuffle option is not gone. It simply changed. So easy! The random playlist now is only on control center (you dont have any shuffle icon but the play bar on control center is itself a shuffleotion, just tap play. Until 8.3 when you played a song and getting out the music app just to play it on control center, you could play the last song from control center. Now on 8.4, the control center don't start the last song played. Now,when you tap the play, it play randomly, just it.For me its easier now.

Dude. Awesome. Just tried it and it works like a charm!

Oh yeah. But Apple needs to tell us they are making it a shortcut! How were we supposed to know that!

Thanks so much I just tried it and works like a charm!! Apple should have informed users of the short cut would have saved a lot of frustration on our parts.

When I play a song and select shuffle, it only shuffles songs for that artist. I hate this new music app.

Hello Stacie, Just use SIRI. Say: "I want to listen music by genre POP shuffle" , and that's is all.

This update sucks, i have around 4,000 songs on my ipod and i cant hit shuffle for all songs, or sometimes im in the mood for a certain artist and i cant put them on shuffle, i have to select their specific album and play a song, how could they think this update was an upgrade

Not happy as well, used to go to Genre and be able to shuffle off of that... disappointing. Hello Apple, bring this little Shuffle option back no matter what we select (artist, genre, etc...) people who use the product want it back as you can see.

Hello Jim, Just use SIRI. Say: "I want to listen music by genre POP shuffle" , and that's is all.

I agree, this new ios itunes is TERRIBLE! It's like they deliberately tried to make it un-intuitive and difficult to use. Why remove "shuffle?" Why can't I play the songs I bought? They either intentionally don't let anyone test the thing to see what and how actual, you know, USERS of the stuff will want to use it, or they accidentally screwed it up. Either way is unacceptable in this day and age. As it is the iphone 6 is crap, unreliable and buggy. I'm switching to Android. Screw you apple, I've had enough.

Is it me, or is the 'shuffle artist' option also gone? ????

Yes, it's gone. You can try using Siri for now, but I wouldn't recommend the smart playlist option unless you only have a few artists you like to shuffle. Otherwise, that's too much work! They really need to bring the Shuffle options back. :(

Actually, some users in this thread mentioned a good tip... when in the Artist pane, tap on the album art of the Artist you want to play and it will shuffle all of their music. Works for Albums, Compilations, and Genres, too. But for Songs, you still have to pick one first.

Thank you for your help. This update sucks! I'm very upset!!!. I wish we had the option to leave it the same. Now it's all geared toward AppleMusic! No thank you!! I have my own library they should've made it a different widget!

I have music that will no longer play when I did the new 8.4 and when I hit the shuffle icon it doesn't stay with the playlist.

I am disgusted with this update. I have 3500 songs on my phone. I don't need an extra$15 a month charge +data. I will suffer through this until I get a new Samsung phone. My family will be opting out of apple

And when you do, we have tons of content to help make the transition as seamless as possible =)

I'm so disappointed that I now have to first select a song, then expand, then select shuffle...etc, just to shuffle all the songs on my iPhone (I work in a quiet, open plan office so I can't exactly "just use Siri").

Also, I liked to shuffle my entire library and when a song I liked came up, I would hit the tab in the top right and it would show the complete album that the song was from. From there, I could now listen to that entire album in full. This option has now completely disappeared. I now have to search for that album. Does anyone know how to transition from listening to the entire library on shuffle, to selecting the actual album that contains the random/shuffled song currently playing? Thanks.

*Edit*

Just for reference the above move from shuffle to album used to be two taps, now it's a minimum of five. Five! MINIMUM! (depending on how many letters you have to type in search before the album/artist shows up). How is creating 2.5x more work to do the same function, "streamlining" the app??

To randomly play songs from a certain Genre once you are in the Genres area tap the image next to the Genre you want to play. Do not tap the Genre name itself.

If you want it to shuffle make sure the shuffle icon is selected. You can do this by tapping the currently selected song from the bottom from the screen and it will expand up. Verify the shuffle icon is selected.

That's an awesome tip. Added to the article. :)

Yes, some people already figured it out but all you have to do is tap the Album art to shuffle music. Tapping the the art (not the song!) will shuffly your genres, songs, artists etc.

Nice tip. Works great for Genres, Artists, Albums, and Compilations, but for Songs, it still requires that you pick a song first, which is something I don't like doing. Still, nice to know there's a way to shuffle the other stuff at random. Added to the article. :)

Your tip worked nice. Also with SIRI, you could do the same. Thank you.

The tapping on the album art does not work in all cases. For some reason for certain artists on my phone, it only picks 1 album, others 2, etc. to play together when you do this and not all of the albums. In some other cases, the shuffle icon is available when you click on the artist. I think that it may be based on if your songs/albums are on your device versus in the cloud. Not sure.

One better way to manually add all albums from a certain artist is to first clear your next up list, then select the artist, and then click the ... on the right hand side and then "Add to up Next". Do this for each album.

I agree this new app really sucks!

Could have something to do with the cloud. I didn't turn on iCloud Music Library, and I don't use iTunes Match. Might just work for on-device music then. And good tip on the alternative method for Artists. Too bad it's a bunch of work. Apple really needs to fix all of this.

All the options are still there but no where as intuitive as the used to be, I too was very frustrated! You can select Artists, Albums, Songs, Music Videos, Genres Composers, and Compilations by pressing on any of the above mentioned options list above. Select a song and ensure that shuffle is on.

That way still requires that you pick a song first. I'd prefer the totally random option we had before. :(

Anyone know how to turn shuffle OFF in a playlist? I'm listening to the generic "recently added" playlist option and it automatically shuffles from song to song. When I tap the shuffle button at the top of the page, rather than switch off, it just shuffles to another song?!

How do you shuffle multiple albums under one artist? Example: under Chèvelle I have 5 albums, how can I shuffle all of them? Right now I only see the option to pick one album and shuffle through it. This new update sucks.

Go to your Artists tab, find Chèvelle, and tap on the artwork to the left their name. This should shuffle all of the albums from them. (See the end of the article above for more info.)

However, some said in the comments here that it might not work if you have iCloud Music Library or iTunes Match enabled. If that's the case, you can try using Allan Fisher's tip a couple comments up.

Shuffle All Songs has not disappeared. It has been moved to the Control Center. That's all. In fact, this is the trend these days -- to put functionality outside of apps to make things simpler. Random play is, in fact, easier now than it was in iTunes because all you have to do now is swipe up the Control Center from any home screen and click the play button. Simple as that. The only time this doesn't work is if you left an album or playlist open the last time you were in the Apple Music app. Hitting play in Control Center will just continue that. But all you have to do is close the app to reset it, and you do that by double clicking your Home button and then swiping up the Apple Music screen. Again, simple as that. All of the other stuff in this thread about other types of shuffle is correct, obviously. I think Apple Music is a lot simpler. It will become intuitive as you use it more. It's definitely not like the old iTunes app, though, and that's a good thing.

You can use the Control Center, but it's very buggy. At least, for me it is.

Also, if you were playing media in another app besides Music, you'd have to close that out, since the Control Center will try and use that. For instance, if you used Shazam to play a song, or watched a YouTube video, you'd have to force-close one of those apps first. And force-closing that app doesn't always make it disappear from the Control Center, so you'd have to play a song from the Music app and force-close that before you could try to use the Control Center for shuffling in the Music app.

Frustrating, but still, worth adding to the article as another possibility as it seems to work for some people more than others. :)

I'm not sure why I don't have these problems, but I've never had YouTube or Shazam not close completely when I swipe them up to force-close them. Shuffling my music just seems really simple to me - I never have to open the Apple Music app. I just hit the Control Center play button. Maybe it's because I usually close out apps anyway. I'm not keen on apps sitting open in the background, sucking down battery and continuing to ping away whatever it is they ping to the nearest cell tower. Anyhow, buggy or not, my main point is that Shuffle All Songs has not disappeared. It's just been moved, and the sort of place it's been moved to is probably going to be more and more common as many apps try to shift some basic funtionality to notifications and so forth.

How do you get to Control Center from within the Ap? If I swipe up, it just goes higher on the list of Artists.
For that matter how do you get to Control Center from the Home Screen?

Slide your finger up from the bottom of the screen (around your Home button or just below the Tabs bar in the Music app) until you see the Control Center tray slide up. Then just release.

One other thing. I've found that by default Apple Music sorts By Artist. What this means is that when you select Albums, you get an alphabetic sorting first by artist and then by albums within artist. You do not get an alphabetic sorting of all albums. Sorting by albums within artists is actually an option in iTunes, and Apple must have found from their usage data that it is very popular, so they made it the default. But I don't like it, so to change it you go to Settings --> Music --> Sort By, and then pick By Album. Thereafter, when you select Albums in the Apple Music app, you get an alphabetic sorting by album titles, and not one within artists. It's nice that Apple added a feature, but it's not my preference, so I changed it.

Horrible update! I use my phone to teach fitness classes. I have specific playlists that I plan. I want and need the option to turn shuffle off. My class was a joke today because my playlist was all over the place. Whose genius idea was this?

I have iCloud Music Library turned off, so I could have my iTunes Music on my phone. When I hit shuffle before playing the playlist it only plays five to six songs before going back to the first. Anybody experience this?

Does anyone else have artists "missing"? As an example, when I select "Artists" from the drop down menu, Aiden comes up first, when I have got Adam Ant in my library. When I search, Adam Ant does show up, as it is on an old 80's compilation, but wont show up in my Artists list. It doesn't matter if I have settings>music>sort albums - by artist or by title. Is this an itunes setting I must change before syncing? Thanks.

Awesome article! Thank you so very much. Using the Siri option and will convert to the Smart Playlist next time I sync with iTunes.

So the"How the Music App Makes You Shuffle Songs Now" doesn't actually Shuffle All. It will only shuffle that specific song's album. Apple really needs to leave some functionality the way it is (not all 'improvements' are helpful lol)

Further proof that Apple really doesn't understand how people use their products. Everyone who uses their iPhone in their car needs to shuffle their entire library. Bad 'update' Apple!

Ok guys, I've worked this out... When you select a song it will only play songs from that album or group. The easiest way to shuffle your whole library is to choose a song, go back to the lock screen slide up the da :) date and camera then press the left arrow until you can press no more selections to the left, press play and voila it will shuffle your whole library

GREAT ! I FOUND THE SOLUTION IN COMMENTS. THANK ALL OF YOU

Guess I am the oddball. I never shuffle all. I have specific playlists for specific moods and situations. In fact my car has a feature where all I do is hit a button foe media when I am connected via blue tooth and it begins to shuffle all. I am assuming it is accessing the control center feature, because it's true shuffle all but sometimes doesn't work and I bet its because the Music app was not closed. I always stop, open music and pick a playlist to shuffle. My wife on the other hand is the opposite. She likes to shuffle everything every time.

anybody figured out how to make Music play ONE song and STOP? other than creating a one-song playlist. I don't want it to loop, just play ONCE and STOP. it's annoying to have to stop manually...

Thanks for this, I am so frustrated with the lack of shuffle for all my songs. Yes, you can play a song & then it will shuffle them all but I have over 200 Xmas songs on my iPod that I don't want to listen to until Christmas. I have them checked in Info to skip them when shuffling but with the new lack of shuffle, iTunes is playing them along with everything else. I wish they would stop changing things with each upgrade, they always make things worse instead of better.

This music player is geting worse and worse. I bought my first iphon because i liked the cover flow in it. Later the cover flow turned out to be much handier in a car . It was easier and safer to swipe large covers while driving then look for the tiny ones like now. The latest version is even worse! The play key is smaler and there are band icons instead of album covers which makes everything more confusing. My latest disappointment concerns on the fact that the player doesnt play by default the next album of the same author. It just gets worse and worse.

My problem with any shuffle method, including "shuffle all", is that it doesn't actually shuffle ALL. It puts 20=ish songs in "Up Next", and after about 50 or 60, repeats the songs that have already been played as opposed to songs that have yet to be played. Even going through the Up Next list, and deleting songs that have been played, it just keeps populating these same songs! I cannot figure out a way to go through the 300 songs in my playlist completely, one play each. It used to be able to.

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