View Full Version : Shuffling music GoGear vibe (SA2VBE16K/02)

08-26-2011, 07:34 PM
Whats the best way to shuffle music on this mp4 player? I dont want to smart shuffle as i just want to go through all the songs(i only put the ones i like on it) but when i shuffle songs and play or just play with shuffle mode enabled it repeats the same song (reapeat is deactivated) multiple times and seems to favour songs over others i never hear,

I just want to go through all my songs one by one in a randomised order until they have all played once, i cant find a way to do it- is it even possible?!
Ta much if you can help

09-05-2011, 02:19 PM
Hi TT -

I had the same query with the Ariaz, in 2010 Philips support told me that there's no way round it - whenever you turn off a Philips MP3/MP4 it abandons the shuffle session, and next time starts a new shuffle session.

What I did, to achieve a pseudo-random effect, is just play through the songs in alphabetical order, although some of the tracks I've obtained from P2P sites have the artist written in to the track title, which spoils the effect because you then get several from that artist all in a row (I renamed those tracks on my hard drive). For every new session I just had to remember which letter of the alphabet I'd reached before and skip to that part of the tracklist.

Philips - Andrea
09-05-2011, 03:05 PM
Hi Technotobe

It does sound strange that the songs are being repeated on shuffle mode, despite repeat being deactivated.

Have you tried resetting your player at all? (Press the RESET button on the bottom of your player with a pin or pen nib)

Kind regards,

09-09-2011, 09:10 PM
Thanks Philster, thats a good tip, never thought of that, i guess that would probably give a decent mix still annoying it doesnt work properly though- surely reseting shuffle after shutdown is a stupid 'feature'!

Andrea- thanks for the response, i have tried reseting it once but still did the same, i guess i could try it again but not sure what difference it would make, i dont use songbird as it works awfully on my computer but i doubt WMP would cause any problems,

09-14-2011, 09:46 AM
hi both, are you already using "Shuffle all" not "Smart shuffle"?
Music>All Songs> Shuffle all

cuz that matters, for Smart shuffle, it ranks the Songs according the the frequency you play them and shuffle those you listen to more...

09-15-2011, 09:52 PM
Yeah, have tried all the possibilities i could think of-
shuffle all with shuffle on,
shuffle all with shuffle off,
just playing music with shuffle on,
all with repeat apparently switched off but the problem still occurs

Am currently just playing from A-z as suggested but i wouldnt want that to be necessary all the time! Any suggestions?

09-16-2011, 09:59 AM
hi Technotobe,

I have done a quite time-consuming test on my SA2VBE16K/02 "shuffle all" feature
I have put in total 32 tracks in my player (decided not to put so many as I just would like to do a test)

The shuffle is actually quite superb, the order of songs:
14, 22, 19, 27, 3, 30, 6, 32, 29, 5, 11, 8, 16, 24, 10, 7, 13, 21, 18, 26, 2, 31, 28, 4, 12, 20, 15, 23, 17, 25, 1, 9
and till this moment, the tracks do not repeat themselves... (play all 32 tracks)

then follow by 1, 25, 20, 12, 4, 17, (all are played before)

maybe it s a prob of more songs are played

edit: it seems that after 50 songs, the shuffle is not real shuffle

09-25-2011, 02:21 AM
Glad to see this question has come up! I have a ViBE 4Gb with 440 songs in 12 directories. Although the human mind sometimes sees patterns where there are none, I play music on an hour-long drive somewhere, power-off the unit and leave the car, and very many of the same songs are played during the return trip.

The device resumes exactly where it left off at the end of the first use. For this reason I assumed that I was in the same "shuffle session." I used to think that SmartShuffle scored those songs positively based on the fact that I let them play to the end during the first drive.

Is it possible that use of the "up" and "down" buttons makes large jumps through the shuffle order and could put you in a place in the order you've already heard?

With a given number of songs in the player, if SmartShuffle is not used, will the shuffled sequence always be the same?

09-26-2011, 01:16 PM
As afterthoughts to the above comment: Philster's advice about alphabetical order is wise. My beloved old Philips pocket CD player used to advise us to begin the filename with the track number to get the CD play order. One function of shuffle is to mix up artists and genres, but another is to ensure that one song doesn't always follow another, and Philster's approach doesn't achieve this. Also, the ViBE might not do things the same way the Ariaz did.

The defunct Frontier Labs had a mode that wasn't true shuffle; it skipped rather than walked through the play list. This was neat (if you were ready for it) as it gave you double-shots and triple-shots of the same genre (by sticking inside a folder for a while).

Like the previous posters, I don't want SmartShuffle predicting me; it's easy to skip a song and if I grow to dislike a song, I'll just delete it from the ViBE. And Songbird ran slow on my old WinXP PC and didn't uninstall completely.

There is nothing to suggest that my unit is malfunctioning; I just need much more information on its "correct" operation to coexist with it.

09-27-2011, 02:59 AM
hi Spike,
is your device a SA2VBE, SA3VBE or SA1VBE (basically which generation).

09-27-2011, 05:47 PM
Kwinnie, I have a pair of SA2VBE04's.

09-27-2011, 09:25 PM
Kwinnie, there is an SA3? I just downloaded its User's Manual, which is a little more detailed than the one for the SA2. It says that either Shuffle or Shuffle + Repeat All plays the songs "in the current folder" in random order. This isn't an error, is it?

Many times I have gone to Music > All songs > Shuffle all, then noticed on the play monitor that the icon for Repeat has switched off, cursed at the unit, and turned Repeat back on, because what I want is random play forever until I turn the unit off. Perhaps--with or without the Repeat step--the SA2 is confining itself to a single folder and that's why I notice so much repetition.

If so, the workaround is straightforward: just move all 440 songs to a single folder. I'd rather not but it wouldn't take long using Windows Explorer. Can anyone confirm this?

09-27-2011, 09:42 PM
Sorry; tried out the above guess on the SA2 and it is wrong. But, when picking a specific song to play, the unit is stuck inside that folder. The song count at the top of the screen shows that the SA2 is dealing with far fewer than all the songs in the player. My complaint might be the fault of not realizing that the SA2 sometimes picks a limited "result set" of songs for future operations. This is clever (but perhaps, as the Brits say, "too clever by half").

09-28-2011, 06:14 AM
Hi spike, :)
yes, there is a SA3. Looks quite nice but for myself, I only hv SA2.
Thanks for your information given above. I can imagine you spend quite a long time to transfer music and to test it with the shuffle feature.

In my testing, as I can tell, I m quite lazy that I only tested on 40 tracks. You have 10 times more tracks than mine. Can you estimate how many tracks are in the shuffle loop in your case?
If for your testing you can observe this pseudo-shuffle behaviour, maybe we may hv to wait for the Philips' kindness for a FW release...

09-28-2011, 11:10 AM
Kwinnie, I tested with what was already in the unit. I should put exactly 40 tracks in a folder and test whether my shuffle order matches yours. Does the second time through your 40 tracks use the same sequence as the first? Are you using the Down button or just waiting for the songs to finish playing? When I step through songs with the Down button, in a small folder, it repeats before getting to all the songs; moreover, sometimes the song changes but the song number at the top of the display doesn't! Needs more testing, or hopefully more info from Philips Engineering.

But we may have solved the problem of Technotobe that started this thread. The "bug" he reported would have happened if he enabled Shuffle and then picked a particular song from a small folder; the player would never leave that folder.

09-29-2011, 02:03 AM
Another afterthought: So, I now think that, on the SA2, the Down button doesn't just abort the song currently playing and advance to the song that would be next up, as I thought; it may reshuffle or transport you to a different place in the shuffle list. Am curious to know the truth, though someone at Philips might have to phone Germany.

09-30-2011, 03:25 AM
i m just using the down button ...maybe i should just let it play....
I myself doesnt recognise the within-folder shuffle issue. As I use album as a folder, if it doesnt know shuffle the songs outside the folder, it should be repeating the songs from the same singer... but as i observe it can shuffle songs outside the folder...

09-30-2011, 11:42 AM
Wow! When i posted thought there was maybe just a glitch or problem with my player but never realised there could be so many possible reasons/answers! You guys are really doing some good stuff there- i currently have 1003 songs on my player and couldnt imagine recording them all but maybe i will remove most until i have around 50 and compare with your results, i have skipped through while on shuffle and it appears to randomise quite well though, it wasnt so long ago i had half as many songs and in there it was noticeable if i heard the same one or didnt hear one for a while, guess a question is how does it mark off the song as played when repeat is off so as to not play that song again since the number of songs stays constant (eg 18/1003...356/1003 etc) one thing though- what is with the down button? I press mine while in shuffle and it doesnt do anything!
Am currently on I on my A-Z so still some time yet to go, already i find it less than perfect since i get similar songs or even the same song done by someone else or like yesterday 4 hero songs in a row!!

10-02-2011, 07:19 PM
Shuffle-within-folder is only activated if you select Music and instead of Shuffle All or Smart Shuffle All, you pick another selection basis such as genre or artist. Technotobe, the fact that you are seeing 18/1003 or 356/1003 means you are surfing the entire collection; when you pick a limited result set, that "1003" changes to a much smaller number. I too am in doubt whether the failure I noticed has passed, perhaps on getting to know the player better; but I wish the manual gave, or the admins here would provide, more detailed information on exactly how Shuffle works.

Likewise, Kwinnie, if you have restricted play to a single album, the "denominator" at the top of the screen will be the number of songs on that album and it won't venture outside that album.

There are ample files in the root directory of the player that might indicate what the shuffle order is and/or that a song has been played. I even found one with each song's SmartShuffle score. I think that the player builds these tables, the first time you use it as a player after using it as a hard disk, during the time you see "20% Done" and so on. Songbird may build other tables to relate a song to which album art to use. But Songbird installs a driver so you no longer see the player as a "hard disk" with a drive letter and you can't see files in the root directory.

WBLM-FM in Portland, Maine occasionally does an A-to-Z through their very ample playlist. Their results are also "less than perfect" but it is an event that some listeners cherish.

Philips - Andrea
10-06-2011, 10:20 AM
Hi all

Thanks for your queries!

We are now passing your queries to the technical team for investigation. We will get back to you as soon as we have more information from the team.

Thanks for participating and I hope you have fun continuing to do so! :)

Kind regards,
Philips Moderation Team

10-07-2011, 10:22 AM
thanks andrea.... i do think this needs the intervention of software team :D

11-02-2011, 03:13 AM
PS--I am running firmware version 2.21. Just saw that you have newer firmware this summer and again downloaded and installed Songbird, this time on a new, 1.6 GHz machine with WinXP. ("RDSconfig" crashed multiple times, perhaps because this PC was offline during install.) Songbird came up (underneath other windows!), still very slow like the first time. Don't need a new media player, don't need a new web browser, don't need help organizing my files, don't need new marketing offers from partner companies, don't see why it takes 2 minutes to "mount" the device or 3 minutes to locate a new upload. The description of Songbird says it includes the newest firmware, but it doesn't; it compels the user to go on-line. It found 2.31 but reported an error installing it on three attempts. As the notes say that all that has changed is "performance," with which I did not have a problem, I am done with this exercise and will now uninstall Songbird, which last time required manual edits to the Windows Registry.

To restate my query: With 446 songs now on my player, there should be a long time between a song playing twice. There is not. In my opinion, the unit should only reshuffle (1) after you connect USB and transfer files and (2) when you select Music > All songs > [Smart] Shuffle all. Power off and back on should not reshuffle. And shuffling should create an entirely new sequence using a random number (there is always a random number, perhaps the number of microseconds after power-on before my first button press). Hope you can provide additional information.

11-02-2011, 03:17 AM
PS--The player today subtracted 1 hour from the current time as of my SECOND use of it today. In other words, it doesn't realize that the US Congress redefined Daylight Savings Time in 2005 (and will surely redefine it again some day on a whim). It is not the greatest clock, but it's the only one in my car, and this bit of artificial intelligence results in the need for four additional manual adjustments per year.

Philips - Cassandra
11-02-2011, 09:16 AM
Hi Spike,

Currently we are aware of a system error that may cause some problems downloading the firmware. We are looking into this. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

Kind Regards,

11-02-2011, 12:45 PM
Hi all,

Unfortunately I do not have the answer related to this question/topic, the reason Iím posting this here is because it was the only way of contacting this company, with the hope that there is someone from Philips that is monitoring the traffic.
It is quite a disappointment to see how such an important company as Philips is treating its clients, in Romania there are 4 phone numbers published on the web site, but none of them is allocated, or there is nobody to answer during working hours. Iím trying to purchase a cable for an MP3 device that is no longer working and there is nobody to contact or to answer. So, dear Philips representatives, could you please ask your peers from Romania to open the phone lines and actually use them as such? Thank you. Gabriel Cosoreanu: gcosoreanu@gmail.com
Thatís way Iíve decided to post this in all the forum topics. Again apologise for the ďoff topicĒ post.

11-02-2011, 01:13 PM
Cassandra, thank you for your reply. But this morning, I notice that the SD card I used to move Songbird onto the installation computer (it also scanned it and found .FLV files that it refused to convert for want of a codec) is displaying a different device icon. It seems this card now has a new HIDDEN SYSTEM file with the illegal name of .SBSettings.xml that points to Songbirdnest.com and my Autorun file has been DELETED. I have removed Songbird from the target computer, and finished purging "Philips" from the Registry, including a couple of keys that were LOCKED AGAINST ME. You may ignore my query, as I regard Songbird as a virus and will not do this again even if you locate and correct a bug in Shuffle. There is no reason firmware update could not be achieved by dragging-and-dropping a file to the ViBE, from which it would update itself on the next restart, except someone's desire for post-purchase control over the consumer. This is not as bad as the SanDisk Sansa Clip--which would not communicate with my PC until I opened an account with MusicMatch--but it's bad.

Philips - Cassandra
11-02-2011, 02:26 PM
Hi GabrielC,

Please check your inbox, I have sent you a direct message with more information.

Kind Regards,

11-02-2011, 02:48 PM
Sorry for not keeping an eye on this thread until now.

In answer to Kwinnie's question in the first page, I'm definitely not using smart shuffle (realized the second day of using this device that smart shuffle was not for me!). But ordinary shuffle certainly seems somehow 'contaminated' by the smart shuffle concept.

There's one album in my collection that has about 20 songs but after months of using the Ariaz I've still only heard about four of the songs. I've had to delete the songs that the device 'favours' in order to give the other songs a chance of being selected!

Philips - Cassandra
11-02-2011, 02:52 PM
Hi Spike,

I have also sent you a private message regarding the issue you were having. Please check you inbox.

Kind regards,

Cassandra, thank you for your reply. But this morning, I notice that the SD card I used to move Songbird onto the installation computer (it also scanned it and found .FLV files that it refused to convert for want of a codec) is displaying a different device icon. It seems this card now has a new HIDDEN SYSTEM file with the illegal name of .SBSettings.xml that points to Songbirdnest.com and my Autorun file has been DELETED. I have removed Songbird from the target computer, and finished purging "Philips" from the Registry, including a couple of keys that were LOCKED AGAINST ME. You may ignore my query, as I regard Songbird as a virus and will not do this again even if you locate and correct a bug in Shuffle. There is no reason firmware update could not be achieved by dragging-and-dropping a file to the ViBE, from which it would update itself on the next restart, except someone's desire for post-purchase control over the consumer. This is not as bad as the SanDisk Sansa Clip--which would not communicate with my PC until I opened an account with MusicMatch--but it's bad.

12-05-2011, 01:23 AM
More details. I now have a pad of paper in front of me rather than a steering wheel, for a controlled test of an SA2 4Gb ViBE containing 613 songs, to test it in repeated power-off/power-on cycles.

I found no case where the ViBE failed to return to the exact point in the exact song that it was playing when I turned it off. It seems that, after "Music > All songs > Shuffle all" it makes an alphabetical list of the entire collection based on song title in the ID3 inside the MP3 file. It picks a random increment and advances to the next song in the list by adding that number to the song number. But every 2 to 5 plays, it jumps around more randomly and may change the increment.

I did not find a wholesale tendency to play songs that had already played before. But twice (out of 10 tries), after finishing the song that was playing before the power interruption, the next song it selected was a song that had played recently before. On one of those two times, the first two songs played were the exact same songs that played after the previous power interruption.

So my best explanation of what is going on is that the ViBE might not always save all the information it uses to carry out Shuffle Mode in the permanent memory before it shuts down. This is a bug. A workaround might be to manually reshuffle every time one powers up the unit, though this too might make the ViBE cough up songs that had played recently before the reshuffle.

Separately, on two occasions, the ViBE displayed a song number at the top of the screen that was not the number of the song that was playing. Both times, the next song selected was that song number; that is, the song title changed and the song number did not.

12-05-2011, 01:28 AM
Separately, it seems the reason my PC became unable to assign a drive letter to my ViBE is not because Songbird poisoned my PC, but because Songbird switched the ViBE from the MSC (USB flash drive) interface to the MTP mode, which I was able to switch back (Settings > PC connection preference). I still don't like the way Songbird took over management of my gear, but my panic above was excessive.

Philips - Andrea
12-05-2011, 10:58 AM
Hi Spike,

Thank you for the additional feedback you have provided regarding the shuffle feature. I have passed your findings to the development to look into.

Regarding the issues reported in Songbird: the reason for the switch to MTP mode is that the mode is required for some functionality of Songbird (eg: file conversion).

However, I understand you not wanting the change to be automatic, I guess a pop-up asking whether you wish to do this would be better? I have fed this back to our development teams also.

At this stage, I am not able to confirm what will be done with regards to either of your points.

Kindest regards,


12-05-2011, 11:36 AM
Thank you, Andrea. Songbird does seem to think you hired it to manage all your toys, and this may frustrate experienced computer users. Pop-ups or additional dialogue with the user would be an elegant compromise. Songbird should also take care, if uninstalled, to return things the way it found it; leaving the ViBE in MTP mode gave me the impression Songbird refused to uninstall completely. (What to do if the ViBE is not connected at uninstall? I don't know!)

12-09-2011, 07:02 PM
You guys win! Because I decided that rather than wait for engineering to get back to you, I'd bet $20 at Walmart that two more years of engineering fixed the problem anyway--and am now the proud owner of a blue SA3 (says it's Mix/37 running version 1.08).

In my test, it never repeated the same songs that played before a shutdown. But there was one case (PS--Figured out in next message) where on resumption it dumped the play list entirely and made me reshuffle. Couldn't get back to what I was listening to even with Now Playing. When I reshuffle (Music > All songs > Shuffle all), I get an alphabetized list by FIRST WORD of track name; the 20 of my 449 favorites that begin with the word "The" are songs 372 through 391, but they are in random order. Close enough, I guess, but there ought to be enough horsepower in that small package to compare long strings correctly. When the unit initializes or dumps the playlist, the new list seems to be sorted by artist and it always starts at song 1.

Other observations: The 180-degree screen rotation is neat, but the power-up logo doesn't obey it and displays upside-down. It is not a problem to put the option on the menu, versus a sensor like the one that lets my camera sense which edge is up. I hoped for 90-degree mode because my SA2 is mounted vertically in the car, but it might have been messy to code every screen two different ways.

I hear a brief fade-out when skipping to another song; that's classy. But none when pausing or powering down.

The fifth button (probably the result of the frustrated CNET reviewer) is expected, but it changes the method of operation for SA2 users, which is frustrating. I'm inclined to keep the SA2 in the car because the screen and the controls are larger and I like the "clock" screen-saver (though I have to recalibrate it twice a month). Both units give you one-touch resume most of the time--except when their respective bugs kick in.

PS--Walmart.com has Customer Reviews and Customer-to-Customer Questions. These are reviewed before publishing but may be positive or negative. Reps from SanDisk and HP look at conversation about their products and answer the questions authoritatively. Philips should have someone watch the pages on its products.

12-09-2011, 08:52 PM
Figured it out! If the SA3 is playing and if it is displaying the Now Playing screen, you can shut it off and resume at the same point (though it is paused until you press ||>). If you are working the menus or have paused the song when you switch it off, you lose your sequence and must reshuffle. This can't be what the user wants--but it is now clear how to coexist with the SA3.

02-24-2012, 04:53 PM
Well im glad youve got to a stage that semi suits you, i dont think however that having to spend more money on products should be necesary- i agree with your point about companies researching feedback and it would be useful as there seems to be(perhaps as expected but still not the point) no point in this instance,
Ive resid=gned myself to the fact that its not gonna be sorted plus now the loose headphone jack socket makes the thing extra annoying to use so much so i hardly bother with it any more- i took it to a local tech shop and refused to try to fix it, so then i too am wondering about other products- but then it seems like money wasted but i guess thats inevitable- tell you one thing though for me to buy another Philips device it would have to be something extra special and id certainly never buy another mp3/4 player of theirs

02-27-2012, 10:48 PM
Technotobe, to Philips' credit, this site helped us exchange information that got me to "semi" peace with my unit--partly by inducing me to keep poking at it. But we never got answers from Engineering. Philips is not alone in touting the ability to upgrade firmware (and indeed there was one available upgrade, if I could tolerate Songbird). But reality is that there is no money in dealing with minor customer dissatisfaction, comparing to moving onto the next blockbuster product. (Agreed, too, that no tech will want to fix your loose headphone jack--It's "totaled.") Also, there's so much computing power and tendency to insert guess-what-I-meant features that someone will always be dissatisfied, and you can never try out the gadget in the store.

The SA2 is still in the car with my Top 450; I use it occasionally and always reshuffle. The SA3, due to tiny size and the unwanted fade-in at the start of songs, is now an extra thumbdrive on the shelf. I don't regret the $20; it's a great little product but just doesn't fit; perhaps will be good for bicycling this summer. I recently got a netbook and had hopes of putting it and Winamp 2.9 in the car, but it doesn't hide on the dash or anywhere below. Perhaps an iPad or tablet would fill this role, but nearly none run real Windows.

Am not soured on the Philips brand as you are, but am hesitant to buy a marvelous new product--and wrestle with a new set of idiosyncrasies--though I was, too, before buying the SA2.