Splash of Style...Macs, Photography, Design, and other Passions

iPod Shuffle Not Able to Play Podcasts

September 22, 2008 by debbie T | iTunes & iPhoneMac Corner

I was having difficulty with my iPod Shuffle (bought refurbished a couple of months ago). I could not play podcasts. It would play music, but when I tried to play a podcast, the little yellow light would flash, and nothing.

I reset several times (which by the way, doesn’t seem to work on my Shuffle anyway) and I tried deleting and adding several different files in iTunes.

I was all set to call Applecare and request a replacement, when I realized the “random shuffle” switch was on. I clicked it back on “normal” and voila, it now worked. sigh. I wonder why podcasts cannot be randomly played, and why it makes the shuffle choke.

As a whole, the iPod Shuffle is a bit buggy, and I probably wouldn’t ever recommend it to anyone. I only purchased mine because I needed a cheap replacement for my 20gb iPod until I decided on an iPhone or iTouch. But they are cute and small, and it does the job. It is a little irritating that there is no screen and I still don’t know why it won’t reset properly either. (Something for google another day)

At least I got it working again~

Untrained Applestore Salespeople

June 29, 2008 by debbie T | iPhotoiTunes & iPhoneMac CornerMac Software

We went into the Applestore in Salem, NH this afternoon to possibly purchase a new iPod Touch for my husband.

When we walked in the store, I asked the greeter if someone could help us with iPod Touch questions. She sent us over to what she thought was the iPod area, and I found a Touch. My husband had been previously been playing around with one, but I thought it might be nice to have someone officially show us around before we purchased.

The first salesperson (male) came over and he seemed knowledgeable enough, until I asked him about syncing photos, bookmarks, address book, etc. He didn’t know the answers, so he brought over another salesperson (female), and she started to push the new Mobile Me (dot Mac) service, telling me that I needed to use that to sync anything. I told her I have never been a fan of dot Mac, and that I was surprised that it couldn’t be done through iTunes.

She wasn’t too sure of the answer, so she went off to find someone that might know.

Another older gentleman came over. I assumed (wrongly) that he would perhaps have an answer about syncing. nope, more Mobile Me sales pitches. In fact, he took me over to a nearby iMac, and started to browse the apple.com website so he could show me more about Mobile Me. Again, I told the that I didn’t want to use dot mac or Mobile Me.

I spoke to no less than 4 sales people, and no one could tell me answers to simple questions, like syncing photos, address book, and iCal. Would you believe that no one actually knew the sales return policy either!!! That had to be figured out by asking another sales person as well.

I should have just went over to a Mac myself, and searched for the syncing answers on google (which is what I did when I got home). Truth is, you do NOT need Mobile Me or Dot Mac to sync your iPod. You can do it all through iTunes, which is what I originally thought, but no one in the store could confirm it.

Seems the Applestores have a lot of new sales staff, probably in anticipation of the iPhone release on July 11). But you would think they would go through a little bit of training. It’s almost like they were told if anyone asks about the iPhone or iPod Touch, just play stupid and push the Mobile Me sales crap.

I was really discouraged and disappointed. I expected more knowledge from the sales staff. The Applestores have always seemed to be a step above the Best Buys and Walmarts, in that they know their products. If we were an uninformed customer, we might have possibly been talked into purchasing a Mobile Me account, when it wasn’t even necessary! Very disheartening!

We left the store w/out an iTouch. My husband isn’t sure he wants one anymore. I told him that he should wait until July 11, just in case something (like a price drop) happens. Who knows, I have been eyeing an iPod Touch for awhile. I might get one after July 11!

Moving iTunes to an External Hard Drive

February 6, 2008 by debbie T | iTunes & iPhoneMac Software

I decided that I really MUST do something about the growing lack of space on my MacBook Pro. So, my iTunes library was a good place to start.

I found a detailed tutorial over at iLounge (Google search for “how to move iTunes library to external hard drive“) so I was all set, right? Yeah, but one problem is, I didn’t read the instructions very closely, and decided to improvise. LOL. Not good, but thankfully I had a couple of backups of my original iTunes library files and folders.

Important rule #1 – Before you do ANYTHING, backup backup and then backup. Don’t take it for granted that it will work perfectly the first time. Backup your whole iTunes directory onto an external hard drive. This saved my silly mistakes!

Okay, here is the condensed version of what to do, you will want to read over their instructions too:

  1. Keep your original files right where they are! Don’t move or copy them to the new location. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t backup the original files. But the backup should be located in a different folder or location.)
  2. Change the path to your content files in iTunes Preferences>Advanced – Choose a brand new (empty) folder/directory. This will not change where your iTunes database files are. You know, the files that actually ‘organize’ iTunes. The metadata, and stuff like that. Your external hard drive will only store the content (files from the “iTunes Music” folder), so it is very important to know what you are deleting later.
  3. Once you change the location of your content, iTunes will configure all the necessary files, referencing the new location. It might take a few minutes. This step will not add any files to the new location.
  4. Next, choose Advanced>Consolidate. This is when all the content files (from the iTunes Music folder) are copied over to the new location.
  5. Check to make sure the content looks okay on your external hard drive. Again, there will be no “library” or “database” files. Only the content from the iTunes Music folder.
  6. So the point of keeping your content on an external hard drive is to save space on your hard drive, right? So the old content files need to be deleted. DO THIS VERY CAREFULLY! Do not delete your whole iTunes folder! This is when your backup comes in handy. 🙂 If you do delete the wrong files in error, you can just drag over your backed up iTunes folder and start all over again, which is what I did at least three times!
  7. Don’t delete the files using the iTunes app, you need to use Finder to delete these files. Find the iTunes>iTunes Music folder on your hard drive. This is what you need to delete. Once it is deleted, check iTunes to make sure your music is still intact. If so, then bravo, you did a good job!!!