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Trouble with background songs not shuffling in Bigbox?


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Hey, I was wondering if anybody else has a problem with their background music not shuffling properly in Big Box even if the option is checked in the Big Box settings? Mine just go alphabetically down the folders in Launchbox/Music/Background and no matter what I can't seem to have them properly shuffle. ??

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm experiencing this as well. It will shuffle the first track then play the rest in alphabetical order. I can recall fixing this in a previous version (7.15 I think) by renaming the mp3s with a number at the beginning of each file. The bug seems to still be present in 9.0 and no matter how you rename the files shuffle will not work. I've tried editing the ID tags and numbering the tracks this way and still no luck.

Hope this can get sorted out because I have an awesome background music soundtrack set up and I hardly ever get to hear the tracks later in the alphabet

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So glad to see someone else has the same problem as me! I've mentioned this on the forums before and nobody ever seems to offer any explanations or solutions! As you, I also have a massive selection of music (I think close to 20 hours of non-looping arcade music as of this writing) and it is a pain that it does not shuffle. I have resorted to making several dozen folders named in a convention like a - b - ... - zz with music from different games randomly shuffled in the folders and games with more than two tracks also being split into subfolders to give the "illusion" of it being shuffled. This is obviously a ridiculous amount of work for what it is but I value my BigBox machine as a retro arcade jukebox almost as much as it is a frontend for the actual games!


I'd say that aside from this the frontend is everything I could ask for, but it's just a shame I have this thorn constantly in my side. :(

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I can't say for sure because i dont know how the background music playback works but if it uses the VLC player then maybe nobody has figured this out yet because its an issue with the way VLC is used to play the files. Maybe the part of the script that calls on VLC codec to play the audio file can only handle one file at a time and thats why the first file is the only one thats shuffled. In the GUI you set up a playlist first then shuffle is toggled and all the files are randomized. My guess is that whatever big box is using isnt considering all the files in the background root and shuffling them that way because it also has to adhere to the subfolder structure for platform specific music.

If all this is the case then im sure the reason it hasnt been dealt with is that it would involve rewriting the shuffle script which would maybe break the platform specific option. Easiest solution imo would be to incorporate playlist functionality. Like just drop a .m3u or .plx file in the background folder which points to audio files in any folder and use that playlist to shuffle the files.

Of course all of this is speculative and like i said i dont know if thats even how it works but either way using playlist files sounds good in theory right?

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Weird thing is that this has actually been a problem since before the implementation of platform-specific music. I started using Bigbox around a year ago and as far as I can recall this has been a persistent issue since I have been using it.

For now my effective (but hilariously inefficient) way of dealing with it is having the folders for each game split so that only 2-3 tracks from each game is in a given folder which are then nested in their own subfolder and run through software such as FlexRenamer which assigns randomized numerical names to the folders so they can be 'shuffled'. The actual game soundtrack folders are nested so their names will remain unchanged so it is easy to find soundtrack files without digging through a ton of numbered folders.

This is absolutely ridiculous and hilariously impractical but I really don't mind since having my music at least remotely able to be shuffled is well worth it in my opinion and if I want to shuffle again all I have to do is run the shuffle program again.


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  • 9 months later...


I have a similar or related issue. 

I recently setup BigBox  9.10 and get this too. Whether shuffle is enabled or not it plays first song and repeats second song indefinitely. What appears to allow next mp3 file to play is to listen to an entire mp3 file within a single category/platform/playlist without touching BigBox. If you browse around then current mp3 file repeats. I have tried switching on and off specific background music option for Categories/Platforms/Playlists and this does not help. All my music is placed in the root directory of the background music folder. 

Any resolution or upcoming updates to resolve this given it seems like a pretty widespread issue / number of different posts? 

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  • 8 months later...

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