13 Replies Latest reply: Jun 29, 2013 3:34 PM by Kenichi Watanabe
mathem6tician Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My new ipod shuffle won't sync songs and podcasts simultaneously. I know about the switch preference in the manual, this does not solve my problem (both switch positions result in same playback with respect to this issue).




If I sync multiple and only podcasts, I can only play one podcast from among them (and I cannot choose which – one is on top and that’s the one that plays… over and over), all the buttons and switches do nothing but restart the same track. If I sync music and podcasts together, either from one playlist or from my library and podcasts, only the music plays. Even though the podcasts read as taking up space in itunes, they will not play in the queue no matter what I do if even a single song is synced along with the podcasts. For example, if I have 10 hours worth of podcasts and a single 3 minute song selected to sync, the 3 minute song is all that plays - over and over again, regardless of the switch position. If I remove this 3 minute song, then one and only one of the podcast tracks will play, over and over again.


This is not my first ipod, but I can’t figure this out. I've been playing with it, but I can't fix it. Help please. Thanks in advance.

iPod shuffle (4th generation), Windows XP
  • mathem6tician Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    A work around is to simply reformat the podcast(s) you want to listen to in the queue so Itunes thinks they are a song. IMHO this is an absurd hastle to deal with, but whatever, it works.


    This is a stupid problem that any reasonable amount of  beta testing should have uncovered. I, for one, am very dissappointed  that this issue was not addressed by Apple or the community.


    For any Apple employees that read this... the Ipod shuffle gen 4 only has two bad design flaws - fix them (please) and you'll have yourself a far superior product on the market!!!


    1. the software issue stated above.

    2. a lock out button position for, let's see, 90% of people that use the shuffle during intense physical activity (during my agressive workouts at the gym and skiing and mountain biking etc... that fat pause button get's pushed half a dozen or more times, what a joke)


    I love my Ipod(s), but you need better beta users for some of your products. I would trade the shuffle position for a lockout position anyday. Ideally a user could set the third position in Itunes to be shuffle or lockout (or set button positions as list-lockout, or shuffle-lockout, or list-shuffle) as a software update only on your part. Think about it. The better the product, the better the reviews, the better the sales.

  • mathem6tician Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have since been informed there is a way to lock the gen 4 ipod shuffle that works just fine (I would prefer a hard switch instead of holding the play pause button, but at least it's there, I just didn't know). So there is only this one problem I was having with the software that in my book is preventing this from being the most amazingly perfect little music device ever invented.

  • jmcowan7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was having the same frustrating problem and read that creating an iTunes playlist (not a seperate playlist on the iPod), dragging your podcasts to that playlist the dragging that playlist to the iPod would work. Indeed, thus far, it worked. Seems like an asinine fix to a simple problem. I liked the first generation shuffle interface much better where music/podcasts weren't seperate.

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)

    You have to consider that, from a design aspect, the 1st and 2nd gen shuffle acted like it was one playlist.  On that one playlist, if the switch is set to shuffle, podcasts are skipped (not played).  If the switch is set to play in order, then the podcasts play in playlist order.


    On the 3rd and 4th (current) gen shuffle, the same design is used, except that the shuffle can now have more than one playlist.  When you select to play from a particular playlist (using the VoiceOver button to swtich playlists), if the switch is set to shuffle, podcasts are skipped (not played).  If the switch is set to play in order, then the podcasts play in playlist order.


    So the only real difference...  Older shuffle - ONE playlist.  Newer shuffle - MANY playlists.   Having an All Songs list and separate podcasts listings are just additional features, not the defining features.

  • jmcowan7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Got it! Thanks for the clarification; will try out now.

  • C767938211 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have followed your advice, but it unfortunately has not solved the problem that I have which is exactly the same as the OP's. 


    I have ensured that shuffle is OFF on my iPod, iTunes Podcast list and Podcast play list.  There is absolutely no change, only one podcast is played, which like the OP said, is really annoying during my 5 mile run because I have to fumble around with the button every few minutes, and then click through all of the Podcasts I have already listened to to find a new one.  I can't even just go to the next.


    Any other suggestions other than turning shuffle off?  Because it did not work.  Thanks!


    P.S., can someone tell me how to reformat my podcasts as music so I can do the workaround until I figure out this problem?


    Much appreciated!



  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)

    Before you resort to a "workaround," make sure you are doing the following.  The first part depends on whether you manually manage (drag items to the iPod in iTunes) or you automatically sync.  NOTE:  If you use the "manual" method, the Manually manage music checkbox is checked on the iPod's Summary tab in iTunes. 


    If you manually manage, create a new playlist ON THE SHUFFLE.  Select the shuffle in the iTunes sidebar, and click the little triangle to drop down the shuffle's content list.  Right-click on the shuffle and select New Playlist.  A new playlist appears on the shuffle's content list.  Name it "Podcasts" (or whatever you want).  Now, drag the podcast episodes you want on the shuffle (from iTunes library) to that new playlist (on the shuffle).  Instead of dragging the episodes to the "overall" shuffle, make sure you drag them to that "Podcasts" playlist.  Select the playlist on the shuffle (in the iTunes sidebar) and over to the right, you should see the podcast episodes.  On this list, you can drag the episodes around to set the playlist order.


    If you automatically sync, create a new playlist IN ITUNES LIBRARY.  Name it "Podcasts on shuffle" (or whatever you want).  Now, drag the podcast episodes you want on the shuffle to that new playlist.  Select the playlist and over to the right, you should see the podcast episodes.  On this list, you can drag the episodes around to set the playlist order.  Select the shuffle in the iTunes sidebar, under DEVICES.  Over to the right, go the Podcasts tab.  Make sure it is set to Sync Podcasts.  At the bottom, where is says Include Episodes from Playlists, select (check) the "Podcasts on shuffle" playlist.  Click Apply to sync that playlist and the episodes on it to your shuffle.  Going forward, you can update that playlist in iTunes and the changes are synced to the shuffle automatically (the next time you connect it).


    Whichever method you used above, your shuffle should now have a playlist that has your podcast episodes, in the order you want to hear them.  Now, it's just a matter of setting your shuffle to play-in-order (not shuffle) and using VoiceOver (press and hold VoiceOver button) to select your playlist with the podcasts.  It should play your chosen podcast episodes in playlist order.

  • C767938211 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your reply.  I have done all of that, trying each one exactly as suggested, both for the manual and for the auto sync.  The playlist still only plays one podcast, and auto sync does not have the option for "Including Playlists", see screenshot:Screen Shot 2012-10-08 at 3.05.04 PM.png

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)

    I think there is more of the iTunes screen, BELOW the part shown in the screen shot (below the list of Podcasts and Episodes).  Try scrolling down to see if there is more below the portion shown.


    Regarding the "only one podcast on the playlist," each podcast (not episode) that is on the shuffle gets listed as its own playlist on the VoiceOver list of playlists.  This is explained here




    in the section Changing playlists.  So if you have one episode each of several podcasts on the shuffle, there will be a separate "playlist" for each of those podcasts, with one episode in each playlist.  That sounds like what you are describing.  What you need to do is create a separate "regular" playlist with only the podcast episodes you select.  This playlist should be visible under the shuffle (in the iTunes sidebar).  It should be listed as a "regular" playlist in the VoiceOver list of playlists.  When you select it (with the shuffle set to play-in-oder), it should play your select episodes in playlist order.

  • jhmarks61 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having exactly the same problem. I kept a big collection of podcasts on my 2nd gen shuffle and listened to them in the order I'd set up throughout the week. I just bought a 4th gen shuffle and hoped to do the same thing.


    If both "songs" (in this case podcast mp3s I downloaded from outside iTunes) and regular iTunes podcasts are in the playlists the shuffle will only play one or two "songs" over and over, no podcasts. I finally gave up on ever including these "songs" in my weekly podcast queue and just deleted them from the playlist. When there are only Apple-approved podcasts in the shuffle it plays fine in the order I chose. I'm using the  playlist-to-playlist drag and drop method described by Kenichi Watanabe above.


    This really downgrades my listening experience and is stupid to boot. It would be really great if Apple would fix this so we have some way to play podcasts in the order we choose - a pretty simple request. Failing that, if someone can tell me how to "reformat podcasts so iTunes thinks they're songs" or vice versa, I'd really appreciate it.

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)

    First, make sure the shuffle's power switch is set to the middle (play-in-order) position.  When it is set to the shuffle postion, podcasts do not play from playlists; only songs (including podcasts that are categorized as "songs" by iTunes) play from playlists when the shuffle is set to shuffle.


    Second, when using the shuffle, make sure you are using VoiceOver to select the playlist that has the podcasts.  Even if you only created one playlist on the shuffle, the playlist selected by default on the shuffle is the All Songs list.  If you are playing from the All Songs list, poscasts do not play, whether the power switch is set to play-in-order or shuffle.


    On a separate note, you can change the Media Kind in iTunes, so that those podcasts that downloaded outside of iTunes are categorized as podcasts, not songs.  Select the podcast that is a song on the Music library list in iTunes.  Do a Get Info on it.  Go to the Options tab on the Info window.  Change Media Kind to podcast.

  • jhmarks61 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank very much Kenichi.


    Changing the media kind allowed me to integrate those outside podcasts into my queue. All's well again. This is an absurdly complicated process, but I'm good to go now.

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)

    That was actually more of an FYI, about changing the Media Kind, so that those podcasts (that are "songs") will appear where they should in iTunes.


    If you put songs and podcasts on the same playlist, in your desired order, and then put that playlist on the shuffle, you should be able to play that playlist in playlist order.  The power switch needs to be in play-in-order mode (the middle position), AND you need to select that particular playlist on the shuffle using VoiceOver.  So, even when iTunes thought those podcasts were songs, it should have worked.


    But glad it works by changing the Media Kind...