Monday, August 24, 2009

Organizing Music, Podcasts, & Audiobooks in iTunes

I use my iPod most every day in three distinct ways. When I run or bike, I want my iPod set to shuffle through random songs. When I’m working, I listen to technology related podcasts in chronological order. Commuting to work in the morning can sometimes take up to an hour, and then I usually put on an audiobook to pass the time, and I want my audiobook to hold its place when I turn my iPod off, and pick back up in the same spot when I want to listen again.

The problem with these three uses is that by default, iTunes treats all these media in the same way. If I set my iPod to shuffle, I’ll get random songs, then all of a sudden shuffle to an hour long podcast. To get back to music I’ll have to concentrate on taking the player out of the armband, and fiddling with the click wheel to skip the podcast or navigate back to the music menu, which is not very safe if you’re biking on a public road. I’ve also invested three or four hours in an audiobook, my battery run out, then when I go back to my book it starts at the beginning, and I have to click forward trying to figure out where I left off.

So I finally took the time to learn to configure iTunes to treat all my media differently.


I leave my music albums in their default settings, which iTunes will play sequentially or in shuffle mode.


If you don’t want your podcasts popping up in your shuffle mode RIGHT CLICK on the title of one of your podcasts in the iTunes podcasts menu. This will bring up a menu and you’ll click on “GET INFO”.

Click on the fourth tab from the left labeled OPTIONS.

The third checkbox is labeled MEDIA KIND. You can categorize your podcast in two ways. If the dropdown menu shows MUSIC, your podcast will start from the beginning each time you play it. If you’d prefer iTunes to hold the podcast’s place if you have to stop listening and pick up later, click the dropdown arrow and choose AUDIOBOOK, then in the fifth checkbox(REMEMBER POSITION) choose YES.

To keep your podcasts out of your shuffle mode, check the fifth checkbox(SKIP WHEN SHUFFLING) and choose YES in the dropdown menu. iTunes will now skip all podcasts when shuffling your music.

Repeat the same steps for your audiobooks and iTunes will automatically tag and sync your media to your iPod with your new settings.


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