Doing the Shuffle

Right - the new shuffle is pretty nifty. I get to walk around wearing white earphones and looking like a complete prat - but I still give those nods of recognition to the cute (female before ANYONE says anything) joggers who run past with their white headphones, making me feel like part of some increasingly large club. One of the problems I have is that my head is ludicrously deformed. Not in the obvious way, but more in the fact that my ears just refuse to hold the earphones in there - they keep falling out. The foam thingies (technical term) on the earphones help out a bit by using friction to hold them in, but any slight tug on the cord, and those ear-plugs come flying out. I may have to resort to the trusty headphones soon.

One really annoying thing about the shuffle is that you must have your entire music library present on your syncing machine. If you don't, iTunes will happily remove all the songs on your shuffle which it thinks shouldn't belong there. Without asking. This, of course, won't do for me, as I keep my entire music library stored on a central server, and then connect to it when I'm at home. So it's really lucky that I came across this gem of a script - the iPod Shuffle database rebuilder. Basically what you do is drag and drop your files onto the shuffle via the finder, and then just run the database rebuilding script. It'll search for all files, and then create the iTunes playlists for them. Now here's where the really cool bit comes in. You can have two separate playlists - one for the shuffle mode and one for the straight play mode. So naturally, I create the "Albums" and "Shuffle" directories. You can add rules for which playlists you add files to, so I say that all albums are in regular mode, and anything in Shuffle is in shuffle mode. Now I can switch between listening to Albums and random music with a flick of a switch. If I can get symlinks working between files in the Albums directory and the Shuffle directory, I should be able to take songs from Albums, and add them to the shuffle mode playlists without taking up extra disk space. You can keep the script on your iPod, so that you can do this at any computer that you want to copy music off. Update - Symlinks are now working, hit the shuffle hacks page for the info.

But what about the touted ease of use and functionality of iTunes!? How about using that nifty Autofill feature with music you just happen to have lying around? I think these two methods are both compatible. Simply Autofill the shuffle with a bit of music, and then quit iTunes. Run the rebuild-db script, and your filled songs will magically appear on the shuffle.


Anonymous *

You should just get a 'real' iPod and not worry about this stuff. It's what Steve wants.

Hiren Joshi *

Steve's RDF is looking a bit weak at the moment - possibly straining with trying to convince the world that the Apple/Intel thing is a really good idea. (It's starting to work on me now)

butercup *

I just got me a iriver H10 and I'm much happier than you ... No prat-like white earbuds for me. Sennheisers, man!! I got Sennheisers with mine!!!

Though I guess the free nature of the shuffle is a bonus, but every time you look at it you'll be reminded of Pissel. Bad.

Hiren Joshi *

Meh to Sennheisers! Real pros use Grado! (Audiophiles - Don't argue with me) Although I'd still feel just as stupid wearing headphones which are bigger and more expensive than the actual player. Anyhow - the patch is up on the Geek page now.

Anonymous *

So plug your Sennheisers into the iPod. I only use the supplied white earbuds when my usual black Sony buds are going through the wash for the 20th time because I've forgotten to fish them out of my pocket (earbuds are remarkably resistant to washing and tumble drying it turns out).

Meh. iRiver. Have you seen the ads they are running on SBS for them at the moment? It looks like an ad for the Holden Commodore ute or something. MORE COCK ROCK DUUUUUUDE!!!! RAWKIN!!!!!

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