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Now I am going to take a little more time and go into more detail about the Shuffle and Repeat buttons down here in the lower left hand corner of the iTunes window. Let's start with the Repeat button, which as I mentioned earlier controls whether a playlist is played once, repeated, or if a single song is repeated. Now, if I have say my entire music library selected, that's considered my playlist as far as the Repeat button is concerned. If I just have one of my regular playlists selected, just this entire playlist will be repeated over and over again if I click the Repeat button. Now if I click the Repeat button a second time, you will see a small number 1 appears over the button.
That means it will only play the selected song over and over again. So if I started a song playing and take it all the way to the end, (Music playing) notice it starts from the beginning again. So that's the Repeat button. When it's off it's not blue. That's how know whether it's on or not. So one click means all items in the selected playlist will be repeated and a second click means only the selected item will be repeated.
That remains true even if you have more than one selected. iTunes will only repeat the first item you have selected if the 1 appears in the Repeat button. So if I hold down Shift and select a bunch of songs, iTunes will still only repeat the currently playing song. So let me turn that off and now let's look at the Shuffle button. Unlike the Repeat button, Shuffle is either on or off. There is not third state for this button and basically this randomizes the songs iTunes plays. So if I select my entire library and turn Shuffle on and click Play, it'll play selection for my entire music collection.
If I click the Next button, you can see there's the next random song. This one is from Jimmy Eat World. I click the Next button again, there is another random song and so on and so on. Now, if you have a playlist selected and turned Shuffle on, iTunes will randomly play just a song from this playlist. Notice as I toggle Shuffle on and off, each time it randomizes the list of songs. So when it's on there is randomization. When it's off, there is another randomization, just like that. Now you do have some additional options for shuffling songs.
Under the Controls menu you will find Shuffle, and from here you can choose the shuffle By Songs, By Albums, or By Groupings. Let's pick Albums. Notice now even with Shuffle on, all the songs from this playlist that are on the same album have stayed together. This is nice if you want to hear all the songs from a certain album in their proper order before iTunes picks the next collection of songs from another album. Now Controls > Shuffle we also have By Groupings and that's generally for classical music which has movements that have been grouped together.
I don't have any classical music in my library, but if you do, you can use this option to make sure movements stay together in their proper order even when shuffling. I am going to switch back to the default By Songs Shuffle option. So that's how the Shuffle and Repeat buttons work here in iTunes 10.
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