Thanks. I think I solved it, but in doing so found out the new iPod is extremely complicated to operate. I had three podcasts, two from the same source (i.e., two different episodes of Mike & Mike in the Morning), and one from a different source. Pushing the forward and back button once wouldn't do anything except skip ahead a few seconds.
My last Shuffle was a 2nd gen version, so it didn't have the other top button. I discovered that if I press the small round button on the top multiple times, it will give me a voice over cycle through of the different types of items on the Shuttle. For example, pressing once says "music", again says "Podcast 1", again says "Podcast 2", and so on. When I hit the item I want, I can then press the "play" button. That will then take me to that "source". When I'm within a source that has multiple choices (e.g., multiple episodes of Mike & Mike in the Morning podcast), pressing the forward button takes me to the next episdoe. If I'm in a source that has only one choice (e.g., a podcast title with only one episode, or only one music song), pressing the forward button simply skips a few seconds because there is no other episode (or song) of that source to go through. And, absolutely NONE of this is in the manual that came with the Shuffle, nor is any of it in any online manual for the Shuffle available from Apple.com.
If my above explanation seems very confusing and complex, it is; because that's how the Shuffle works. I long for my old 2nd gen iPod, where it was simple. Just press the forward or back button to move forward or back.
Thanks for the help. I really appreciate it.
Yes, I also have my doubts about the new shuffle and that's why I haven't bought one yet. I use my 3rd gen shuffle for podcasts and audiobooks, and it sounds like the new one is less simple to use. By the way, that small round button you refer to is called the "voice-over button" and (from what I have read) you basically can't use the new shuffle without knowing how to use that button. It's surprising that it wasn't mentioned in the manual. Instruction manuals get shorter and shorter these days!
My suggestion about podcast use would be to make a smart playlist in iTunes that collects unplayed episodes of all the podcasts you want, and give the playlist a name starting with "A" so it is close to the top of your voice-over menu, and sync that playlist to the shuffle, then navigate to it with voice-over. However, generating and maintaining smart playlists is a bit of work, but it can save you time in switching between podcast feeds on the iPod.
For this explanation. I used to have a 2nd generation shuffle and I thought this one would be just as simple and convenient. NOT. I've been struggling all day with this feature and you've just explained it so clearly. Thank you...
Now, if only we could get another "lock" button. So necesary.