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 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.





  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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! 😉

  • Kosso, great to hear it worked! 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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?