iPod shuffling problems

Q: The “Shuffle by Album” function doesn’t seem to work properly on my 5th-generation model. Shouldn’t it select another album from the artist I’m listening to, after I’m done with the album I initially selected? Right now, it just stops and returns to the main menu. Is this a known bug?

– Dustin

A: You’re slightly misunderstanding the iPod’s shuffling features.

The iPod’s “Shuffle by Album” feature and the similar “Shuffle by Songs” feature do not supercede the iPod’s “Now Playing” container, picking from any of the music stored in your entire library. Rather, when you play a group of songs – whether from an Artist, Playlist, or Album – the shuffle settings only apply only within that group of songs.

Thus, the “Shuffle by Album” feature would work as you’ve described if you had initially started playing the entirety of that Artist’s music by hitting the “Play” button while the artist name was highlighted. Since you selected a single album, the iPod simply ran out of music in its “container” at the end of the album you selected to play, and thus had nothing else to shuffle to.

The tradeoff with this method? You don’t get to decide what comes first. To get around this issue, try making an On-the-Go playlist before beginning to play music. Add albums to an On-the-Go playlist, starting with the album you’d like to hear now, then proceed with others you’d like to shuffle to randomly. Set the iPod to “Shuffle by Album,” and play this playlist.

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