Problems Copying Data to iPod shuffle

Q: I’ve got an iPod shuffle and I want to use it as a hard disk with my Mac. But when I copy files to it, I get a message saying that some files cannot be copied. I click Continue, presumably to copy the rest of the files, and the copy stops; nothing gets copied. Am I doing something wrong?

– Henry

A: The iPod shuffle is formatted in FAT32 format (a Windows disk format), to provide both Mac and Windows compatibility.

Since Macs can mount Windows-formatted drives this is not a problem. However, this type of formatting means that you cannot use the following characters in the names of your files:

* . ” / \ [ ] : ; | = ,

If you have files with any of these characters in their names, they will not copy. It seems that rather than copy the non-offending files, Mac OS X often just copies nothing.

You have two solutions: either find the files whose names contain these characters and change their names, or create a Zip archive of your files. To do the latter, select a folder, then select File > Create Archive of [Folder Name]. You’ll be able to copy the archive to the iPod shuffle.

If you plan to copy files to your shuffle often, make sure you don’t use any of the characters mentioned above.