6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 2, 2011 9:43 PM by Katrina Louie
boxhead201 Level 1 (0 points)

I love the shuffle second generation; it is a great product. I bought several of them; refurbs when I can. I bought a fourth generation recently and I can't seem to get it to meet my requirements. I am a little bummed. My requirements:

- Autofill
- Shuffle plays the playlist in order as specified in ITunes
- PlayCount and SkipCount get updated after sync

For the fourth generation shuffle, if I enable Autofill, then I lose the ability to get updates to Play/Skip counts on the next sync. I don't want to "manually manage music." I don't have to for the second generation, so why would I have to for the fourth?

Despite the autofill setting, the fourth generation will reorder the playlist into alphabetical order. This does not seem to happen for the second generation either.

Is there anyway I can get the fourth generation shuffle to meet my requirements above?

I have been through this forum and it seems there is some disappointment about autofill and playlist reordering. I share the disatisfaction with the other posters as well. Because I can't get the fourth generation shuffle to work the way I want, I much prefer the second generation and will probably buy another couple refurbs. I am either (a) going to return my fourth generation or (b) put it into storage until my requirements are met.

Please note I cannot use Genius mixes because I am international user without a credit card. Whenever I try to enable Genius, I can't get past the credit card page. So - Genius mixes; which what Apple appears to be pushing on us; will not work for credit-card-less poor soul like me.

I would hope that Apple updates the firmware and/or ITunes in the future so all of us can be happy If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate them.


Paul Rowe

Second and Fourth generation Shuffle, Windows XP Pro, Disappointed to the point of suicide
  • iPod Whisperer Level 3 (775 points)
    Hi Paul,

    Maybe your vision of autofill is different from mine. When I want my shuffle full, I just go to "Music", click "Sync Music", select "Selected Playlists, artists, etc" then I check "Automatically fill free space with songs". I get all the playlists I check, then it autofills the remaining space.

    *Play List in Order Specified in iTunes*
    If I sync a playlist with my shuffle, I see the songs playing in the same order that they appear in iTunes. If I change the sort order in itunes on that playlist and then sync it to my shuffle, it inherits that new sort order. I have done it by artist, name and album. If you have the switch set to shuffle, it is not going to play in the order set in itunes, so make sure the switch is in the middle position and not all the way over to one side.

    *Playcount and skipcount*
    My playcount and skipcount are carrying back and forth from my shuffle and iTunes. As long as I am not manually managing the tracks and syncing with my playlists, those get updated. Even the autofilled stuff.

    So all of these are already there for you.

    Hope that helps,
  • boxhead201 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi IPod Whisperer;

    Yes, we do have different definitions of Autofill. You are talking about "fill free space with music," which is what I do not use. When you sync the second generation, an autofill button appears in the lower right corner of the music tab by default. You can use a dropdown in the lower left corner to select which playlist you autofill from. I use a custom playlist to autofill from (built externally via a java app because smart playlists don't cut it with me). To enable this feature in the fourth generation, you have to change the ipod settings to "manually manage music." When you manually manage music, the autofill feature comes back, but at the expense of play/skip counts/dates. I use play/skip counts/dates in my playlist to prevent tracks from reappearing - e.g. I don't want the same track to be synced all the time - I want some variety. I think the autofill is an important feature and should not be hidden (and changed) like it is in the fourth generation. It should be available all of the time just like the second generation.

    In my experience, the second generation will respect the playlist order when you are in "unshuffle mode." I do not see this behavior in the fourth generation. When the play button is in the "center" on the fourth generation, the playlist is played in alphabetical order - not the order of the playlist. One such remedy to this is play the playlist in shuffle mode, but we're back to the same problem again - the playlist is not played in its original order. I don't like the shuffle mode on either generation because it tends to repeat tracks.

    I appreciate your reply. I am going to leave this question open.
  • boxhead201 Level 1 (0 points)
    Okay - I figured out the playlist order issue. It's more of a usability issue. Just think of the shuffle as an IPod Classic. When you are playing a playlist in the classic, you have to select the playlist in order to play it. Same thing here - you have to select the playlist in order for it to play in the order you want. By default, the "All Music" playlist plays and that seems to be in pseudo-alphabetical order. If you want to play your playlist in the order that you want, you have to "select" it on the shuffle by holding the voice button for a second. That will get you to playlist selection. Then from there you can select the playlist. This works for me.
  • boxhead201 Level 1 (0 points)
  • A.Z. Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello i was looking at my ipod shuffle 4th gerneration and i noiteced that i could not skip albums. After messing with my ipod i found out you can skip albums! The way to do this is push eaither push the forward or back butten and the play/pause butten at the same time and the ipods voice feacher tells you what the album is.

    Message was edited by: A.Z.
  • Katrina Louie Level 1 (25 points)
    Thank you so much Boxhead! I've been struggling for MONTHS with my iPod 4th gen shuffle! The first sync was fine- it grabbed about 400 songs out of the entire library. Once I got tired of those songs, I wanted a new batch. Then I could not sync my shuffle, because the capacity of the shuffle was lower than my entire library. All I ever wanted it to do was to get another random selection of about new 400 songs out of the 5800 total.

    The instructions kept referring to a non-existent 'autofill' button. Once I read your directions about hunting for the non-intuitive 'manually manage music' setting, then the 'autofill' button finally appeared. Now I have a new set of songs on the shuffle, finally!

    It appears that iTunes on a Mac is different from iTunes on Windows. The instructions, and the posts by Mac users indicate that the 'autofill' button just pops up for them. Windows users, however have to jump through hoops and hunt for obscure options before we can simply MAKE a shuffle get a random selection of new songs out of an entire library.

    Thanks again, you made my day.