Q1 2007 financials, it’s pretty clear that there are a mass of new iPod owners out there. One of the things that such iPod owners find confusing is shuffling—how the iPod goes about randomizing playback of its music. Playlist forum member Graylensman, for example,
posts a common question:
I just bought my first iPod, a silver 2G nano, and I love it to death! But it seems that I cannot set it to shuffle albums, despite having selected Shuffle -> Albums in the Settings screen. What am I doing wrong?
Here’s the background:
The iPod supports three kinds of shuffle. The first is the Shuffle command you find on the main screen. Select this and the iPod will randomly pick music tracks from its entire library, skipping audiobooks purchased from Audible.com or the iTunes Store.
Within the Settings screen you’ll see the option to shuffle songs or albums. If you select Songs, the iPod will randomly play tracks from the selected item—an album, playlist, or library. So, for example, if I’ve enabled Shuffle -> Songs and then choose my massive Funk playlist, the iPod will play songs randomly from that playlist.
To shuffle all the albums on your iPod, enable Shuffle -> Albums then navigate to Music -> Artists -> All and press Play. The iPod will select an album at random and play it from beginning to end. When it finishes with that album, it will select another and play it in its entirety.
According to Apple, if you instead choose a track from the Songs screen and press Play with Shuffle -> Albums selected, the iPod will choose a song at random, play it and the subsequent tracks on that album in order, pick another song from a different album at random, and then play that album’s remaining tracks in order. An example would go something like this: I press Play on my iPod and it selects Human Highway from Neil Young’s
Comes a Time and then plays Already One, Field of Opportunity, Motorcycle Mama, and Four Strong Winds, which are the album’s remaining tracks. Off the iPod goes to select Sinner, which is track 6 of Neil Finn’s
Try Whistling This. The iPod will then play tracks 7 through 13 of TWT before moving to another randomly selected track from another album.