Auto-sync podcasts on an iPod shuffle?

For Father’s Day I received an iPod Shuffle to take on my trip to Spain next week in place of my 5G iPod. So I loaded up a playlist with podcasts and set it to sync in iTunes just like I do on my larger iPod.

And it doesn’t work.

Call Apple and they say there must be a problem with the iPod and to exchange at the Apple Store.

So I go to the Genius Bar and am told that iPod Shuffle’s don’t support auto-syncing of podcasts or audiobooks from playlists in iTunes. Huh? They suggest I select and drag the playlist items to the iPod, which it copies over fine. Since I want iTunes to manage the podcasts, I am somewhat out of luck here and am forced to manually manage these.

I don’t understand why Apple would do this on the Shuffle… maybe to get people to upgrade to a Nano?

Googling a solution doesn’t turn up much. I can’t be the only one looking for this functionality… any ideas out there?

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15 Comments

  1. I just got one and I have the same problem. Have you found a solution yet? If so please E-mail me the link.

  2. I just got one and I have the same problem. Have you found a solution yet? If so please E-mail me the link.

  3. I have the same problem. I am new with iTunes & iPod so I thought I just do something wrong. But goggling the problem shows it is a particular feature of iPod Shuffle. Now I am continuing searching the solution. If you have one please advise.

  4. I have the same problem. I am new with iTunes & iPod so I thought I just do something wrong. But goggling the problem shows it is a particular feature of iPod Shuffle. Now I am continuing searching the solution. If you have one please advise.

  5. There is no solution to this Val except to manually copy your podcasts and audiobooks to your shuffle when you want new content… sorry

  6. The (not well documented) hurdle here is the parameter “Skip when shuffling”. In iTunes for Windows, this option exists on the Options tab of the episode’s Get Info screen.

    Un-check this box, and the Shuffle will gladly auto-sync.

    The unfortunate aspect of managing your podcasts this way is I haven’t found any way of changing the default state of this “skip” option, nor does there seem to be a global method of changing the state.

    If you like JavaScript, AppleScript, and the like, Google “ExcludeFromShuffle” and you’ll find various solutions for iterating through your iTunes collection.

  7. The (not well documented) hurdle here is the parameter “Skip when shuffling”. In iTunes for Windows, this option exists on the Options tab of the episode’s Get Info screen.

    Un-check this box, and the Shuffle will gladly auto-sync.

    The unfortunate aspect of managing your podcasts this way is I haven’t found any way of changing the default state of this “skip” option, nor does there seem to be a global method of changing the state.

    If you like JavaScript, AppleScript, and the like, Google “ExcludeFromShuffle” and you’ll find various solutions for iterating through your iTunes collection.

  8. The best work around I have been able to find is a script that you run after updating your Podcasts, but before you connect the Shuffle and hit AutoFill.

    Steps:
    1. Create a Smart Playlist that will list all the daily podcasts you want to load on your Shuffle.

    2. Set the Shuffle to AutoFill using the new SmartPlaylist your created – at this point it will not be able to actually fill the player, but we’ll get there…
    Exit iTunes.

    3. Go to

    http://snarfed.org/space/windows%20itunes%20script%20to%20unset%20skip%20when%20shuffling

    and copy the script text into Notepad, insert the name of your smart playlist in the appropriate location (use quotes around the playlist name). Save the script with an easy to find name and .js extension.

    4. Open iTunes and Update your podcasts.

    5. Run the script (I keep it easy to access on my desktop).

    6. Connect your Shuffle and click on AutoFill

    On a daily basis, all you need will need to do before leaving home are steps 4, 5, & 6. It takes only minutes (depending on the number/length of podcasts) and is the easiest work-around I have been able to find on the web.

    Many thanks to the author of the script at Snarfed.org – Ryan Barrett! Outstanding job!!

  9. The best work around I have been able to find is a script that you run after updating your Podcasts, but before you connect the Shuffle and hit AutoFill.

    Steps:
    1. Create a Smart Playlist that will list all the daily podcasts you want to load on your Shuffle.

    2. Set the Shuffle to AutoFill using the new SmartPlaylist your created – at this point it will not be able to actually fill the player, but we’ll get there…
    Exit iTunes.

    3. Go to

    http://snarfed.org/space/windows%20itunes%20script%20to%20unset%20skip%20when%20shuffling

    and copy the script text into Notepad, insert the name of your smart playlist in the appropriate location (use quotes around the playlist name). Save the script with an easy to find name and .js extension.

    4. Open iTunes and Update your podcasts.

    5. Run the script (I keep it easy to access on my desktop).

    6. Connect your Shuffle and click on AutoFill

    On a daily basis, all you need will need to do before leaving home are steps 4, 5, & 6. It takes only minutes (depending on the number/length of podcasts) and is the easiest work-around I have been able to find on the web.

    Many thanks to the author of the script at Snarfed.org – Ryan Barrett! Outstanding job!!

  10. Thanks for the tip, B; looks like Windows users have a way to make the Shuffle work with podcasts…

    I’m on a Mac, so my search continues but I’ll look into using an AppleScript doing the same thing.

  11. Thanks for the tip, B; looks like Windows users have a way to make the Shuffle work with podcasts…

    I’m on a Mac, so my search continues but I’ll look into using an AppleScript doing the same thing.

  12. Pingback: Suneth Mendis » What!?

  13. There is no solution to this Val except to manually copy your podcasts and audiobooks to your shuffle when you want new content… sorry

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