How to play albums in order on an iPod Shuffle

The iPod Shuffle remains a solid choice for playing music while working out. It’s small, lightweight, and relatively inexpensive. However, the absence of a display can make the Shuffle a little confusing to use. It’s not intuitive how to play songs in the order you’d like. If you load your albums into the Shuffle, you’ll get the “all songs” playlist, with songs in alphabetical order. This isn’t how most people listen to albums. It’s certainly not how you’d listen to Dark Side of the Moon. Here’s a cheat sheet on how to handle album playback with songs in the expected order:

1. In iTunes, find an album you’d like to load into the Shuffle and right-click it. Select the option Add to Playlist->New Playlist. This will create a new playlist with every song in the album, in the correct song order. Repeat this step for each album you’d like loaded into the iPod.

2. Connect your iPod Shuffle to your Mac.

3. In iTunes, click on the device icon and select your shuffle:

iTunes shuffle

4. On the Summary page for the shuffle, make sure Enable VoiceOver option is checked.

5. On the left-hand bar, click Music (under Settings.) Make sure Sync Music is checked and the Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres radio button is selected. You should see a list of your playlists, including the playlists you created in step 1. Click the checkbox next to any playlist you’d like loaded into the Shuffle.

6. Click the Apply button. Your music will be loaded into the Shuffle. This might take a few minutes, depending on how many playlists you’ve selected.

7. Eject your Shuffle, disconnect it from your Mac, and reconnect your headphones.

8. Turn on your Shuffle, with the switch in the middle position. To play back a specific playlist, press and hold the VoiceOver button. Each playlist name will be spoken. You can use the next and previous buttons to skip through the playlist listing quickly. When you hear the playlist name you’d like, press the play button.

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