Apple has released a beta version of iOS 8.4, available to registered developers. In it, there is a new Music app. Totally redesigned, this app is most likely preparing for the introduction of a rebranded Beats streaming music service.
A lot has changed in the Music app, and I’ll discuss other changes in the future. But the first thing I noticed is that you cannot shuffle all songs, as you can in the current Music app.
Right now, in iOS 8.3 (and earlier), you can shuffle all your songs by tapping Songs in the tab bar at the bottom of the window, and then scrolling down a bit to display the big, very visible Shuffle bar above your songs, as you can see to the left.
In the iOS 8.4 Music app, the process is very different. First, you have to tap My Music in the tab bar, and then tap the menu in the middle of the window and choose Songs. Next, tap a song to start playing it, and then tap the shuffle button. In other words, you cannot start with a random song, but must choose a song first to be able to shuffle all your music. Once you’ve turned on shuffle, it will remain on. So if you start playing a song later, it will still be in shuffle mode.
If you choose an album – such as in the new Recently Added section at the top of the window – tapping the shuffle button will only shuffle the songs of that album, as it should.
It’s odd, as shuffle has always been a key feature in listening to music on portable devices, since the first iPod. This is just a beta, so perhaps Apple will add an easy-to-use shuffle button in the final version; at least I hope so.
There’s a simpler way to do this: if your device supports Siri, hold the Home button and say, “Shuffle music.”