How to Use an iPod shuffle with Mac OS X

This page is for people who bought an iPod shuffle and are disappointed because they weren't able to use it as expected. If you have not already purchased an iPod shuffle, you may want to look at some of the competitors' products first.

The Problem / Why You Can't Use It "Off the Shelf"

Either due to poor programming on Apple's part or due to an attempt to thwart music piracy, the iPod shuffle as it comes "off the shelf" can only load MP3 files from one computer.  If you try to load MP3 files from another computer all previously loaded MP3 files are deleted. (NOTE: The older, larger iPods do not have this problem.)

What follows is one way to overcome this problem.

Step 1. Download

This software allows you to use the iPod shuffle as a regular MP3 player.  You will be able to upload MP3 files to the same iPod shuffle from both Windows computers and Macintosh computers.

Step 2. Set Up the iPod shuffle Preferences

Your preference settings should look something like this.  (This is a screenshot on a Macintosh. Windows looks slightly different.)

Step 3. Putting MP3 Files on the iPod shuffle

The folder names don't matter. However, in "non-shuffle" mode, the files will play alphabetically, so sorting them into sub-folders can help force the order that you will hear the files.  This is how I set mine up, since I like to listen to the new podcasts first, then study, then listen to music.  I put a copy of "Termianl" on my iPod shuffle.  However, you probably won't ever need to have it there.

Step 4. How to Use

Step 5. Eject Your iPod and Listen to the MP3 Files.

For more information, visit this page.