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 UsersMost students will want to be able to do the following.
- Load MP3 files for language study from the school language lab. (Or perhaps have their teacher load the files.)
- Then load additional files from their own computers, such as podcasts, further study materials or music to listen to after they study.
Why This Is a Problem for Podcast ListenersMany Podcast listeners will want to be able to do the following.
- Add a podcast or two to their MP3 player to listen to on their way to work.
- Then before returning home, delete that podcast (or those podcasts), then add some new ones from their work computer.
- They would, of course, like to do this without deleting all their other MP3 files from the MP3 player when adding a new podcast.
How to Overcome the Problem with iPod Shuffles
Step 1. Download rebuild_db.pyhttp://shuffle-db.sourceforge.net
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 ShuffleThe 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
- Put rebuild_db.py in your iPod's root directory.
- On a Mac, the first time you double-click "rebuild_db.py," you'll get a dialog asking you to choose which application to open it with. Choose "Terminal." (Read more details if you don't know how to do this.
- On a Windows computer, you should be able to just double-click the icon.
- After running the program (on a Mac), make sure you quit "Terminal," otherwise you may not be able to eject your iPod Shuffle.
Step 5. Eject Your iPod and Listen to the MP3 Files.
For More InformationFor more information, visit this page.