My wife got me a second-generation Shuffle for Christmas, and I love it, but I noticed something odd: when I load a combination of music and podcasts onto it, the podcasts refuse to play in the order that they're listed in the iTunes Shuffle window. (No, I did not have it set to shuffle.) Rather, they play in chronological order, come hell or high water.
A sampling of websites suggested that many people consider this behavior to be normal and unchangeable. It seems that it is neither. According to this item from the Apple discussions board, the solution is to throw out (or, better, archive!) your iTunes Library file from ~/Music/iTunes/, then restart iTunes and rebuild the library from scratch. Specifically, use File / Add to Library... and select your iTunes Music folder, then sit for a few minutes while it chugs away. Best to be connected to the Internet so that iTunes can re-import album art.
Note that this will wipe out most or all of your playlists. But I tried it, and it solved my problem -- my podcasts now play in the order that I have them loaded.
I spent the morning trying to fix my iPod, and didn't find anything this concise on the net. Sure there are Disk Warrior fixes, but this is much faster and requires less disk space if you don't have any important data stored on your iPod.
If your iPod is stuck on the Apple logo screen, first try to restart it by holding Menu and center select. If that does not work, then force your iPod into disk mode (restart as mentioned above, then switch to center select and Play). If you are unable to verify and repair the disk using Disk Utility, and you get a Node B tree error, simply erase the unmountable partition in Disk Utility.
This is done by clicking the transparent icon of the partion, switching to the Erase tab, and clicking Erase. Make sure your volume format is set to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and you're good to go. After you've formated the partion, you should be able to mount the iPod in iTunes and reload all your songs.
If you create a smart playlist in iTunes, even if there are no matches, when you transfer it to an iPod it will use the criteria to select from that iPod's library.
Say your iPod syncs with computer A, but you only have computer B with you, which only has a small fraction of the music on computer A and/or the iPod. You can connect the iPod to computer B's iTunes, set it to manage music manually, then create a new smart playlist on iTunes containing criteria which refer to music which is on the iPod but which isn't on computer B. iTunes shows it as empty, but when transferred manually to the iPod, the criteria work and it fills up based on the library in the iPod. In other words, the smart playlists on the iPod are actually dynamically generated on the iPod itself.
Just make sure you don't set the iPod to sync with computer B, or it will wipe out whatever's on the iPod. See the directions here under "Connecting your iPod to another computer" for background info.
This may be a trivial hint, but it certainly made me happy. I am not pleased with most of the cases for the iPod, as they take away from the look of the iPod. I do, however, actually like the Apple-provided black case or pouch that comes with the current video iPod. However, I did not like having to take the iPod out to increase the volume or go to the next track.
Then I found out that the iPod touch pad/wheel actually works right through the Apple case. I can increase the volume and, of course, depressing the skip-forward, etc. buttons work. I would have expected the buttons to work, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the touch/track pad also work. So now my iPod stays in the Apple case, and I can control it without getting my greasy fingerprints all over it.
It seems that iPod Games are the only thing you can buy from the iTunes Store that don't automatically get saved into your iTunes Music folder (default: ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music). Instead, the games get saved in ~/Music/iTunes/iPod Games, and there's no way for you to change that location.
While this doesn't seem like a huge difference, if you're like me and keep your iTunes Music folder somewhere other than ~/Music/iTunes (the location of the iTunes database files), then you risk losing your iPod Games despite diligently backing up your iTunes Music folder.
So, before that horrible massive data loss takes your iPod Games while not touching a single song or video, remember to manually copy your games into a folder you regularly back-up.
[robg adds: Ideally, of course, you'd be backing up your entire user's folder somewhere safe, but if you're not, this is a good catch -- I hadn't noticed that the games weren't saved in the same folder as your music, movies, and videos.]
So I don't have the money for a fancy kit to add iPod audio to my car stereo. I bought an iTrip, but living close to a major city (and driving through it often) makes it really difficult to use. You might find a station that is relatively clear, but seconds later, it's bombarded with competing signal.
Solution: Remove your car's antenna. You will now be able to pick any radio station to broadcast the iTrip through, without worry of competing signals. I have driven from Ventura, through Los Angeles, and all the way to San Deigo without having to change the iTrip's station once.
You need to have the iPod relatively close to the stereo for the best sound. This should work with any FM transmitting device.
[robg adds: I wish I would have thought of this prior simple trick prior to my drive home from Macworld Expo a couple years ago -- even driving near/through relatively small cities, my FM transmitter became basically worthless. This is also getting harder to do, as many cars now feature integrated antennas.]
I have a 20 GB iPod that's on its last legs. Whenever it syncs a lot of songs (which it has to do often because half the time it freaks out when syncing and forgets the whole catalog) it tends to get about one third of the way and then hangs. Picking it up and noticing that it was super-hot, I realized it was probably overheating and hanging because of the temperature. So I borrowed an idea from overclockers and decided to artificially cool it. I took a cold pack that was in the fridge, wrapped it in a towel to absorb condensation, put the iPod on it and started syncing. Worked like a charm.
[kirkmc adds: I've noticed that my iPods get quite hot when syncing a lot, such as after a restore, when it takes a couple of hours to fill them. But I never had a problem with the syncing not completing. This is an interesting idea, but it's probably time to think about replacing the iPod.]
iTunes 7 has a new feature that will transfer purchased music from an iPod to the iTunes library of any computer authorized to play its music (you can authorize up to five computers to play music purchased with a given account):
1. Sync your iPod with the computer that pruchased the music.
2. Connect that iPod to another authorized computer, and you are given two options:
a. "Erase and sync" the iPod with 2nd computer, severing the link to the 1st computer.
b. Execute a one way "Transfer purchased music" from the iPod to the 2nd, authorized computer's iTunes Library.
These two items also available in the File menu.
[kirkmc adds: At first glance, I wasn't going to run this hint, since it is a feature that Apple has mentioned in its iPod feature list. However, seeing that it is poorly documented in the iTunes help (much of the iTunes help looks like it wasn't updated to cover this feature, and finding an explanation is not easy), I figured it was worth pointing out. It's a great way to purchase music from one computer then transfer it to other computers in your household, for example, rather than using a network or using the iPod in disk mode.]
When using the search function built into the new iPods (late 2006), it seems you must scroll to and click the Done button to jump to the results list when you've found the selection of songs you're interested in seeing. However, you can actually jump directly to the song list by just holding down the center button for a few seconds (click and hold, instead of just clicking).
That will jump directy to the list, with no need to scroll to 'Done' first.
Not sure how well known this is, but, have you ever needed to answer your phone (or whatever), and wanted to pause the song you are listening to on your iPod -- but your iPod is in your pocket and it's a pain to get to. Just unplug the headphones instead, and the iPod will pause.
Caution: Pulling on the wire might damage the plug...