Shuffle on both PC and Mac

Q: I have a second-hand iPod shuffle that was formatted for use on a PC. I would like to format it for use on a Mac for my own use. How would I achieve this? There seems to be no obvious way of doing this using Windows XP, and with it plugged into the Mac, it does not show up in iTunes nor does it give you the option to erase or format through the Finder.

– Rob

A: First, iPod shuffles are designed to work on both Macs and PCs without special formatting. They are actually formatted using the Windows FAT32 file system, but, since Macs can read disks formatted like this, there is no need to reformat it.

The fact that it does not show up when connected suggests that you need to restore it to factory settings.

Launch the iPod Software Updater – if you don’t have this, you can download it here – connect your iPod shuffle, then click the Restore button to erase the iPod and reset it. You’ll lose its contents (data and music), so make sure you have them backed up.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage.