In iTunes there is a poorly documented function called "Copy to Playorder". You will see this option on the pop up menu if you right click on a playlist in iTunes. When you select this option in iTunes, it will appear to have done nothing. But, when you sync the playlist to an iPod, the playlist should retain whatever order you had set in the playlist when you used that command once it gets on the iPod.
This assumes of course that while playing that playlist on the shuffle, the power switch in in the middle (non-shuffle) position.
I just had this same problem.
I finally decided to put more than one playlist on the shuffle.
Then, it still played songs in the order of age on itunes.
So, I'm like there's gotta be someway to change the playlists...
Thus I held down the voiceover button, and it identified the PLAYLISTS.
Hit play when it says your playlist... Bingo, that should do it.
The default option is ALL SONGS, and the default order is by age in itunes, thus that's what you and I were getting from the get go.
Maybe I'm reading the posts wrong, but I'm still having problems with the play order/copy to play order.
I have a playlist where I drag any new song I download. The playlist is ordered in the column on the left with the triangle. The latest song is added as number 1 on the playlist and the triangle is facing down.
On my 2nd gen shuffle, the ipod just copied any order as chosen in iTunes. On the first sync with 4th gen, the order was reversed. A long search pointed me to the "copy to play order". If I selected (or maybe rather if I deselect it), the list order is reversed (i.e. the last added song is put last), while the triangle is still facing down. The list is sync correctly (i.e. the last added song is put first), but any new song added to the playlist in iTunes is put before the (originally) last song.
Any time I click the "copy to play order", the order reverses, so now I don't know when I select and when I deselect it. In short, how do I retain the function of any added song to be put on the top of the list and have that order copied to the Shuffle.
Tnx. (ps sorry for the confusing explanation, but I just don't get it. In any case, it is very frustrating. Why is iTunes making decisions about play orders for me?)
I was using iTunes 8.x and had no problem with my old shuffle until iTunes made me upgrade to accommodate the newest shuffle. I circumvented the default alpha order by not creating a playlist at all and just copying the tracks over to music with a drag and drop. (I could do multiple tracks)
But I have no playlists.
I think the solution to the iPod Shuffle (4th gen) playlist "problem" is that it is not really a problem. There seems to be some confusion and lack of understanding on this forum as to how the iPod Shuffle works.
First of all, create your playlist(s) in iTunes, under "Playlists", not directly on the iPod.
Then, having connected the iPod to your computer, make sure that the "manage music manually" box for the iPod is checked in iTunes.
Then within iTunes simply drag the playlist to the iPod. This will copy the playlist to the iPod as well as any of the tracks that aren't already on the iPod.
Do not sync.
Eject the iPod.
To play the music in the alphabetical order of tracks, press and hold the Voice Over button until you hear "Music" then press play.
To play the music in the playlist order of tracks, press and hold the Voice Over button until you hear the name of your desired playlist then press play and your tracks will play in playlist order.
I have tried this repeatedly and it works!
I've tried all these 'solutions' and yes, you can work around it, but that is c@#p. It still doesn't explain why 'Music' plays tracks in the opposite order to the playlists. I got it to work once, but I'm now starting to confuse myself. For crying out loud, all my other 'pods work fine, it's only a shuffle. Perhaps I should forget trying to play in the correct order, and just leave it on shuffle. The only reason I changed from my 2G to this was so I could play lossless ..... I wish I hadn't wasted my money.