Excluding songs from Shuffle

Excluding songs from Shuffle 1

Q: I have a 5G 30GB iPod. While I love iTunes and the iPod interface, and also enjoy listening to comedy and other talk tracks (like podcasts). Unfortunately, this results in having comedy come up while I’m listening to music. It’s annoying and distracting, but I would like to keep the comedy for when I feel like it. Is there any way to designate tracks or podcasts to not show up in shuffle?

– Justin

A: There are several ways to do this.

In iTunes, you’ve probably noticed the checkmarks next to each track. When unchecked, a song will not be “shuffled to” in iTunes. In fact, it won’t play at all unless you specifically ask iTunes to do so. However, this behavior does not transfer to the iPod’s “Shuffle Songs” feature.

Luckily, there is a second way of accomplishing this that does. In the latest versions of iTunes, there is a checkbox in the “Options” panel of any song’s “Get Info” window called “Skip when shuffling.” This option does apply to the iPod’s “Shuffle Songs” feature.

However, this still isn’t our ideal solution, since because the setting isn’t available when editing multiple tracks, it’s very time consuming to apply the setting to more than a few individual songs.

How do we exclude comedy and podcasts, and still emulate the “Shuffle Songs” feature? We simply create a smart playlist like following, and use it instead:

Excluding songs from Shuffle 2