An iPod update removes functionality.
Here’s a perfect example of why updating software isn’t always beneficial.
I have been using iTunes playlists to organize the podcasts I download each day. When I’m driving or flying, I pick a podcast playlist and start play with one podcast episode. The other episodes are all played afterwards, just like songs in a regular playlist.
I updated my 5th generation iPod with the latest updater the other day. I also updated to iTunes 7. The next time I was driving and started up a podcast in a playlist, only the episode I started played. The iPod went back to the menu when that episode was done. I had to manually start each episode in the playlist. In other words, I have lost functionality.
And, since I now had to manually start podcasts to listen to them, I was setting myself up for a dangerous driving/flying situation. After all, using an iPod while driving requires a bit more attention than using a stereo or even a cell phone.
I could not see any setting in iTunes or in my iPod to fix this problem. What was I missing?
I went into the Support area of Apple’s Web site and poked around. There were no support articles that addressed the problem. So I dove into the Discussion area, which I’ve found has limited use. Lots of questions but few answers. I did not find any posts that discussed the problem. So I started a discussion.
Someone else said he had the same problem, so I knew I wasn’t alone.
A few days later, another search brought up the cause for the problem. In iTunes, there’s a setting for each song or podcast episode labeled Skip when shuffling. (Select an item in iTunes, choose
File > Get Info, and click the
Options button to see it.) This option excludes the song from the playlist when you play it in with the shuffle feature enabled. By default, this option is turned on for every podcast you download. By skipping all the podcasts, it was finishing off the playlist without actually playing the remaining episodes.
Two Possible Solutions
There are two solutions — neither of which is satisfactory.
First, presented by someone in Apple’s Support Discussions, is to manually turn off the Skip when shuffling option for each podcast. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this one-by-one.
- Open iTunes and display your Podcast library.
Edit > Select Allto select all podcasts.
File > Get Infoto display an Info window for all selected podcasts.
- Turn on the check box for
Skip when shufflingand choose
Nofrom the pop-up menu.
- Click OK to save your settings.
Keep in mind that if you use the Shuffle feature of your iPod (either on a regular iPod or an iPod Shuffle), your podcasts will be mixed in with other songs that are played. Also, every time new podcasts are downloaded, they’ll have the Yes default setting. So you probably want to repeat this process before your update your iPod.
The solution I came up with — although I’m sure someone in the Discussion area must have come up with the same solution because it’s pretty simple — is to turn the shuffle feature off.
- On your iPod, go to
Extras > Settings.
- Turn shuffle
This will stop the shuffling of songs in playlists (which is why I think it’s an unsatisfactory solution) but it will also enable podcast episodes in a playlist to play continuously until stopped or until the playlist has been played through. I tried this yesterday and it worked.
And since I don’t have an iPod Shuffle, I have no idea if this will work on one. Perhaps someone can use the Comments link to let us know?
An Apple Fix
What Apple needs to do is to disable the Skip when shuffling setting for playlists that include only podcasts. That’ll prevent podcasts from being included in a random shuffle of songs and allow podcasts to play continuously while in a podcast-only playlist.
As someone who listens to podcasts primarily while driving (via a costly car stereo hookup) or while working in the kitchen (via a tabletop speaker unit), properly implementing this feature as suggested above will make my podcast listening time far safer and more convenient.
Like it used to be before the update.