iPod shuffle shows no content

Q: My iPod shuffle does not show any “Content” tab so I am unable to see which music is being synced. It plays fine but I can’t see what music is on it in iTunes. I have restored settings in the Summary tab but there is no change. The only tabs I see are Summary, Music, Podcasts, and iTunes U.

Any ideas?

iPod shuffle shows no content


A: The third-generation iPod shuffle is handled by iTunes a bit differently from previous iPod shuffle models. The first- and second-generation iPod shuffle only supported a single, flat listing of content, so there was little need to organize this any further than simply listing it on a “Content” tab in iTunes. On the other hand, the third-generation iPod shuffle supports multiple playlists and podcasts, and content on the 3G shuffle is therefore handled in the same way as it is for other iPod models.

This means that rather than seeing a “Content” tab on the main screen, you see similar sync options that appear for other iPods: Music, Podcasts and iTunes U.

To actually see the content that is stored on the shuffle, you must expand the shuffle in iTunes by clicking on the small triangle that appears to the left of your iPod in the Devices listing. This will display a view of the categories of content and playlists that are stored on your device.

iPod shuffle shows no content

Selecting any of these items will show you a listing of content for that particular category or playlist. Note that you may see the items in this listing appear greyed out; the 3G shuffle now syncs in the same way that other iPods do, and if you want to manage the content on it directly, you must enable “manual mode” by going back to the Summary screen and choosing the option to Manually manage music and clicking the “Apply” button.