Overcoming the iPod Shuffle Problem

Fixing the Problem | Mac Users | AIT Language Lab Shuffles

Solving the iPod Shuffle Problem for Podcast Listeners and Language Lab Users

This page is for people who bought an iPod Shuffle and are disappointed because they weren't able to use it as expected. Though the method (hack) explained on this page seems to overcome the short-comings of the iPod Shuffle, perhaps other products are more user-friendly, so if you have not already purchased an iPod Shuffle, you may want to look at some other products first.

The Problem / Why You Can't Use It "Off the Shelf"

The trouble with the iPod Shuffle is that it can only load MP3 files from one computer.  If you try to load MP3 files from another computer all previously loaded MP3 files are deleted. (NOTE: The older, larger iPods do not have this problem.)

Why This Is a Problem for Language Lab Users

Most students will want to be able to do the following.

Why This Is a Problem for Podcast Listeners

Many Podcast listeners will want to be able to do the following.

How to Overcome the Problem with iPod Shuffles

Step 1. Download rebuild_db.py


This software allows you to use the iPod shuffle as a regular MP3 player.  You will be able to upload MP3 files to the same iPod Shuffle from both Windows computers and Macintosh computers.

Step 2. Set Up the iPod Shuffle Preferences

Your preference settings should look something like this.  (This is a screenshot on a Macintosh. Windows looks slightly different.)

Step 3. Putting MP3 Files on the iPod Shuffle

The folder names don't matter. However, in "non-shuffle" mode, the files will play alphabetically, so sorting them into sub-folders can help force the order that you will hear the files.  This is how I set mine up, since I like to listen to the new podcasts first, then study, then listen to music.  I put a copy of "Terminal" on my iPod Shuffle.  However, you probably won't ever need to have it there.

Step 4. How to Use rebuild_db.py

Step 5. Eject Your iPod and Listen to the MP3 Files.

For More Information

For more information, visit this page.


A Very Useful Related AppleScript for Macintosh Users

If you make a folder named "Audio" on your iPod shuffle, you can transfer (to your iPod Shuffle) any playlist from iTunes using this AppleScript. The advantage is that the files are sequentially numbered, so you get your MP3 files in playlist order when listening in the non-shuffled mode.

Similar to the Above AppleScript

Would you like to see the page for our students?