Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Making your ipod nano shuffle

As I mentioned previously, I recently got an ipod nano. I thought about getting a shuffle but Laura talked me into spending the extra to get a 1 GB nano and I’m glad I did. The only thing the shuffle can do that the nano can’t do is “autofill.” Autofill is a cool feature that allows you to fill up your shuffle with a random selection of tunes from your library with each sync that, for some reason, does not come on the nano. Since I have way more than 1 GB of music on my itunes I thought that was a cool feature. So, being resourceful I have found a way to simulate that on my nano. For those looking for a cool way to do it, here it is.

Create a smart playlist in itunes that you can call “nano shuffle.” Tell it to only take things not played in the last 30 days and limit it to 1 GB. This way each time you sync your ipod you will take off all the things you listened to and will add new things to it. (You actually need to sync twice – once to tell itunes what you played and then again to replace them with new songs. Of course if you just sync once it will be one sync behind but you’ll be replacing anyway.) There is nothing magic about thirty days but it is a good number to use to make sure that you replace your songs with a certain amount of frequency.

Now I didn’t want to stop there – there were a few albums that I for sure wanted on my ipod so I made a list called “ipod selections” and added a few albums or songs that I for sure wanted on my ipod, looked at how much room that was taking and subtracted amount of space from my “nano shuffle” list.

I also decided that I wanted to make sure that I heard a certain amount of U2, for example, so I made a separate list called “U2 random” that makes sure I have 50 MB of U2 on my ipod at all times. This smart list has two rules: artist is U2 and song not played in last 30 days. This way I also get a perpetually refreshing U2 selection. I added a few other artist specific lists as well (Clapton, Beatles and McCartney) to make sure that I get what I want in my shuffle play. And also, because I’m going to India in three weeks, I needed a good dose of George Harrison so I added him.

So now, when I listen I get the stuff I want to hear, I’m surprised by what comes up and I have fun making playlists.

1 comment:

theamazingchris said...

Thanks. That's a great idea to overcome Itunes incredibly blatant oversight in obviously needed features. We'll need several playlists to make this work, but that just shows we're smarter and more versatile than Itunes. Right?