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What Is Spotify Smart Shuffle & What It Does: Explained

Photo by Sergi Kabrera / Unsplash

Discovering new music that resonates with your taste can be both exciting and challenging. Fortunately, Spotify, with its innovative approach to music streaming, continuously experiments with different recommendation features to make this process easier for its users. One such feature that has caught the attention of many is Spotify Smart Shuffle, which is the legacy of Spotify Enhance, that was ditched in 2023.  

But what exactly is Smart Shuffle, and how does it work? Read on to learn about the details of this feature, its functionality, availability, and how you can make the most out of it.

What is Spotify Smart Shuffle?

Spotify Smart Shuffle is a feature that aims to enhance the listening experience by intelligently shuffling songs within a playlist. Unlike traditional shuffle modes that play songs randomly, Smart Shuffle takes into account various factors such as listening habits, song popularity, and genre preferences to curate a more tailored listening session.

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However, there's a nuance. Smart Shuffle may play certain songs more frequently or in a specific order, but overall, this feature offers a balance between randomness and personalisation.

💡Legacy note: Spotify Enhance, also known as the Enhance feature, provided personalised recommendations tailored to match the tone, mood, or genre of your existing playlist.

What's the difference between Spotify Shuffle, Smart Shuffle & Enhance?

When you enable shuffle mode, the platform randomly selects songs from your playlist, album, or library and plays them in a random order. This is useful for listening to music in a less predictable manner, especially for large playlists or albums.

Smart Shuffle, in turn, adds new songs that are supposed to match the playlist quietly to the mix while shuffling. Unlike the previous "Enhance" feature, Smart Shuffle only activates when you hit the Shuffle button, making it a bit more integrated.

What does Smart Shuffle do on Spotify?

As we've pointed above, Smart Shuffle considers various factors such as user listening habits, song popularity, and genre preferences to determine the order in which songs are played within a playlist, unlike standard shuffle modes that play songs randomly. By leveraging data insights and machine learning algorithms, Spotify aims to create a shuffle mode that feels more intuitive and reflective of each user's unique musical tastes.

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Is Spotify Smart Shuffle available to all Spotify users?

According to Spotify, Smart Shuffle is available to Free and Premium users: "Smart Shuffle will now be the default play mode on mobile devices for Free users in Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, and Vietnam."

Can you use Spotify Smart Shuffle on web player?

You cannot use Spotify Smart Shuffle on the web player, as it's available for use only on the mobile app for Android and iOS devices. However, it might be available on the desktop client of Spotify.

How to use Spotify Smart Shuffle

Grab your smartphone and follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your Spotify app is up-to-date on your iOS or Android device.
  2. Open the Spotify app and choose a playlist you want to listen to. This playlist should have at least 15 tracks for Smart Shuffle to work.
  3. In the playback controls, look for the Shuffle (🔀) button. It usually appears as two intersecting arrows forming a circular pattern.
  4. Tap the Shuffle button. This will automatically turn on the Smart Shuffle mode.

Once Smart Shuffle is activated, Spotify will automatically integrate song recommendations based on your listening history and preferences. Recommended tracks will have a sparkling symbol next to them, making them easy to identify.

Optional: If you enjoy a recommended track and want to keep it in your playlist, you can tap the plus icon next to the track title to add it permanently. Conversely, if you want to remove a recommended track, tap the minus sign next to it.

How to add songs to Smart Shuffle

To add songs to Smart Shuffle on Spotify, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your mobile device and navigate to the playlist where you want to add songs.
  2. Look for the option to add songs to your playlist. This may be represented by a "Add Songs" button or an edit icon depending on your device and app version.
  3. Browse through your library or search for specific songs that you want to add to the playlist.
  4. Tap on the songs you want to include in the playlist. You can select multiple songs at once if desired.
  5. After selecting the songs, confirm the addition by tapping on the "Add" or "Done" button, depending on your app's interface.
  6. Once the songs are added to your playlist, you can enable Smart Shuffle by following the steps mentioned earlier.

If Smart Shuffle suggests a song that aligns with your taste, you can choose to add it permanently to your playlist by tapping the plus icon next to the title.

Alternatively, if there's a recommended song that doesn't suit your preferences, you have the option to remove it by tapping the minus sign next to it.

Once you've curated your playlist to your liking using Smart Shuffle suggestions, you can share it with your friends.

How to turn off Smart Shuffle on Spotify

If you're tired of the personalisation and randomness, you can simply disable the Smart Shuffle mode. But only if you're a Premium subscriber. Here's how:

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iOS or Android device.
  2. Go to the playlist where Smart Shuffle is currently enabled.
  3. Look for the Smart Shuffle icon. It looks like two arrows with a sparkle icon.
  4. Tap the Smart Shuffle button to turn it off. The icon may change color or lose the sparkle to indicate that Smart Shuffle is now disabled.
  5. Alternatively: If you can't find the Smart Shuffle button, you can tap the Shuffle button until the sparkle disappears or turns white. This action will disable Smart Shuffle or switch back to regular shuffle mode.