New Apple iPod Shuffle is NOT a podcast player?

UPDATE : ‘Fixed’ Thanks to Diego! – but why not read on anyway. Then see the solution. And it’s a doozy. Nopodast Shuffle

OK. So I get a brand new iPod Shuffle out from its box, to use as a demo device to demonstrate podcast subscription etc. from the podcast.com site, as well as other sources of feeds. First I let it charge all night.

Then, once fully charged, I hooked it up to a brand new machine, with a brand new copy of the latest iTunes installed. When I hooked up the Shuffle, it said it needed a firmware update, which I did. Fine.

So, the first thing I do is add a podcast feed I already know about. iTunes adds that fine, then sets about downloading the latest episode. Coolio.

Now I have the podcast episodes download I want, I drag the podcast feed to the Shuffle icon, when it then sets about storing the downloaded podcasts onto the Shuffle. Hurrah!

When iTunes tells me that it’s safe to disconnect the iPod I do so, plug in my headphones to listen to my new fresh and lovely podcasts.

But wait!!! What’s this?? After hitting play, I see blinky lights!! Green – Orange – Green – Green for 2 seconds, which according to the little card which comes with the Shuffle means ‘No music on unit’ !!

Yes, yes I KNOW I have no music on there – I added podcasts (which iTunes correctly detected as such in the ID3 Genre tag as ‘Podcast’)

W.T.F!!! (Originally meaning – not Technorati’s ‘Where’s the Fire’ :) )

OK. So, I tried to go to iTunes podcast section and add a podcast from there. Same process – same result. No Podcasts!!

Then I tried to add a music track. I imported it to iTunes, then dragged it to the Shuffle. It loads fine. Then I disconnected it and hit play. Hurrah! I hear music.

Next track? The same. Next? The same. Next, next, etc. IE: The shuffle still thinks it has only one track on it even though when it is plugged into iTunes, it can clearly see all the mp3 files there on it.

So what gives, Steve?

Are they distancing themselves from Podcasts? The Shuffle is NOT detecting the ‘Podcast’ genre in the ID3 tags by the look of it.

I also note that a recent firmware update on a Nano I have here (I have a Nano, a Video iPod and a Shuffle for testing purposes – so I too can feel the pain. Heh.) Apple have removed the menu option ‘Podcasts’ from the Music menu where it used to be. Now you can only get to your podcasts on a Nano by going to Music > Genres > Podcasts – where it is reading the ID3 tag to filter out Podcasts (though not all podcasters tags their MP3 files this way, as many ID3 writing apps still do not list ‘Podcast’ as a valid ID3 genre)

Can anyone out there shed any light as to what the f*uck is going on over there in sunny California? I’m really pissed off about this as I bought my brother one of these so he could listen to podcasts. Thanks Steve.

ps: I’m reading ‘iWoz’ – Steve Wozniak’s (who more or less invented the personal computer with keyboard and screen attached) autobiography. It’s great! I’d really like to meet him one day. He thinks like I do.

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20 Responses to “New Apple iPod Shuffle is NOT a podcast player?”


  1. 1 Diego February 9, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Could it be that you need to setup what you want to sync with the Shuffle and you just need to add your podcasts? With the iPod connected, you get the iPod “page” in iTunes, check what you’re syncing. Just a guess.

  2. 2 kosso February 9, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Nope. The podcast files are on the Shuffle. iTunes copied them there just fine, as normal. As expected.

    But the Shuffle simply will not play them. Imagine this is due to the ‘Podcast’ genre in the ID3 tags.

  3. 4 Diego February 10, 2007 at 7:10 am

    As for the Podcasts menu on the Nano. You can get to it through Music > Podcasts. You can also have it on the main menu by going to Settings > Main Menu > Podcasts and set it to On.

  4. 5 Kosso February 10, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Diego!! You are a bloomin genius! Thank you!

    What an unbelievably odd and poorly documented thing!

    My Shuffle can now play Podcasts! Hurray!

    AND not only that, but I have been able to get the Podcast menu option back on the Nano!! (though no podcasts are showing up when I select it?? odd. Maybe after the next sync it will (I’m not the one using this at the mo)

    Thanks so much! ;)

  5. 6 Diego February 10, 2007 at 9:41 am

    Kosso, great to hear it worked! :)

  6. 7 Bro February 10, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Got it working fine ;-) Loading via iTunes and also stickin em on manually, although a little long winded!

    Not having been an iPod owner until this year (Cheers!), I’m used to downloading via a link to the iRiver H320 or iPaq HX4700.

  7. 8 oodlum March 8, 2007 at 6:16 am

    If you click on the connected iPod in the iTunes side menu, it will take you to the iPod preferences. If it asks you to register just click “Later” not “Continue”. Now you will see some options like “sync only selected songs” etc. BUT there is also a tabbed menu above with “Podcasts” as one of the tabs. Here you can tell iTunes to transfer your podcasts automatically according to your preferences.

    Hope this helps. I had a bugger of a time trying to work it out and reformatted the pod twice.

  8. 9 mavelas April 9, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Podcasts will not play on a Shuffle if the shuffle is set to “Shuffle Mode”. Place it on Loop.

  9. 10 bx01z April 24, 2007 at 1:36 am

    How easy is it to navigate through the podcasts when you have music on the devise as well? Do you have to forward through each song to get to the podcasts or are they at the beginning? How big of a hindrance is it to not have a display to sort through the files?

  10. 11 Chris September 1, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    It works like a charm, thanks for posting the trouble and the solution. Cheers :)

  11. 12 Charlie April 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I had this problem with my ipod shuffle (2gb), also if I’d listened to the podcast part way through in iTunes and paused it the podcast would start from that point every time I tried to play it on my ipod.

    The solution is to right click on the podcasts in iTunes and select Get Info. Click on the options tab and uncheck the boxes marked “Skip when Shuffling” and “remember playback position”

    This should solve the problem.

  12. 13 Anothat May 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm

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  13. 14 Bob James May 13, 2008 at 8:01 am

    I just bought a 1gb shuffle and I have followed the instructions, and I am still unable to listen to the podcast on the shuffle. What gives?

  14. 16 vthyng July 27, 2008 at 4:15 am

    My wife just bought a 2GB shuffle and it still does not play a podcasts even in loop mode. I watched each of the 3 podcasts get copied to the shuffle so I know there are there. shuffle software version is 1.0.4

    ???

  15. 17 vthyng July 27, 2008 at 4:56 am

    So does AAC not work as a format for podcasts on a shuffle? According to http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300464 it is supported, but “Session 1: An Introduction (Audio)” from “Marcus Buckingham and Oprah Winfrey” shows info of AAC format and will not play on the shuffle. Oh well.

  16. 18 elsa961 July 28, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    it must be a podcast

  17. 19 Arie August 8, 2008 at 4:04 am

    @ mavelas: thanks a lot! the simplest solutions are the best!

  18. 20 David at Melbourne December 28, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I found the solution because I too was having the same problem, couldn’t get my iPod Shuffle to play Podcasts. Go to the Podcast and (on a Mac) press Control and right click mouse, select Info Un-Check the box Skip When Shuffling and that will solve the problem – once you have done that you can then import podcasts into your iPod without any problems.


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Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at podcast.com for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.



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