Nano shuffle: exclude tracks?
December 4, 2006 4:13 AM   Subscribe

I have an iPod Nano and I love the 'shuffle' feature -- except -- I can't figure out how to make 'shuffle' EXCLUDE certain types of tracks. I.E.: I have audio book chapters on the iPod, kept in playlists; but during music 'shuffle' these random chapters get thrown in to the music mix and I don't need that! Anybody got a clue? Thanks.
posted by charris5005 to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In the past, you would have had to convert those to audiobook files that your iPod would recognize as such. Now, however, it's simply an option in iTunes (can't look up the exact wording at the moment, but it's something very much like "Exclude from shuffle" and it's just a checkbox).
posted by war wrath of wraith at 4:22 AM on December 4, 2006

on my big iPod, I just turn on the shuffle option and choose any playlist (in my case, a smart playlist which does a bunch of magic in addition to excluding non-music)

but yes, I wish 'shuffle' on the main-menu could source from other playlists...
posted by clord at 5:11 AM on December 4, 2006

An alternative (in case you have an older version of iTunes) would be to put everything except the audiobook chapters into one big playlist, and then shuffle the playlist using >Settings>Shuffle>Songs, rather than the Shuffle Songs option on the main menu.
posted by muhonnin at 5:13 AM on December 4, 2006

Make a smart playlist the excludes a bunch of tracks whose genre is non-music, such as "audiobooks," "podcasts" "comedy," etc, and play that one one shuffle.
posted by visual mechanic at 6:14 AM on December 4, 2006

There's a better way.
Select several (or all) of the audiobook chapters you wish to skip when shuffling and right click to Get Info on them. This should bring up Multiple Item Information window that will allow you to change tag info for many files at once. Look toward the bottom of the window. Assuming you're using a relatively recent version of iTunes, there should be an option called Skip When Shuffling. Set it to Yes. The check box next to the option will check, indicating that it will be changing this option on all your files. Then hit ok.
This should cause these files to never come up in shuffle play, in iTunes or on your iPod.
posted by raygan at 6:33 AM on December 4, 2006

Another alternative: I've found Shuffling for Experts to give me great random playlists, and I've been using it as my "shuffle" playlist forever. I found it linked on a blog a long time ago, and I've recommended it to tons of people. But if you're not into rating your songs, it won't work too well.
posted by AlisonM at 6:38 AM on December 4, 2006

I've found that "exclude from shuffle" doesn't work the way I expect it to. I usually set this for verbal tracks (such as the bits of interview interspersed with music on some CDs) or very short tracks (such as the 21 "fingertips" tracks on They Might Be Giant's Apollo 18). For some reason this will make them skip during party shuffle but they still seem to play on my 5g iPod when I turn shuffle on. Not exactly sure why. In my mind, if I drop albums into a shuffled playlist and specific tracks on some albums are set to skip while shuffling, they shouldn't be included. Manually removing these tracks from playlists isn't my idea of fun - I have some playlists in which I will occasionally want to hear everything non-shuffled.

They did fix the issue I had with earlier versions of iTunes, so that now you can at least set "skip during shuffle" on multiple tracks at once, but I haven't noticed whether it will actually skip on a shuffled playlist or if it only skips when shuffle is turned on during playback rather than on a preset list. I keep hoping for the intelligent playlist shuffle, one that randomizes all tracks in the playlist whenever it is brought up. As it is, any new tracks added to a shuffled list requires me to unshuffle then reshuffle the damn thing just to mix in the tracks.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:39 AM on December 4, 2006

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