iEcosystem iPod nano

Shuffle songs playback order + enable / disable shake to shuffle

Your iPod nano can play songs (and other audio content) in listing order (default), or in random order (shuffle mode). The latest, 5th generation, iPod nanos also come with a new feature called "Shake to shuffle", which allows you to skip to a random song simply by shaking your iPod. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to turn shuffle on or off, how to place the Shuffle command right on the Main Menu, how to play in shuffle (random order) an entire artists songs or playlists, and how to enable or disable "shake to shuffle".

Turn on shuffle for all music on your iPod nano

By default, your iPod nano plays music in the order in which it is listed; but you can listen to your music in random order, using either "shuffle by song", which plays one song after the other, in random order, without regards for album or artist, or "shuffle by album". In that case, your iPod will play an entire album in the "correct" order, and then switch to playing a completely random album, regardless of artists or playlist. To enable shuffle by song or shuffle by album for all music, follow these steps:

  • Go to your home screen (Main Menu)
  • Select and go to Settings
  • Scroll to select Shuffle, the second option
  • By default, it shows "Shuffle - Off", which means that songs are playing in album or playlist order (no randomness)
  • Click once with the Click Wheel's Center button to switch to "Shuffle - Songs" to enable shuffle-by-song
  • Click another time to toggle to "Shuffle - Albums" and enable shuffle-by-album
  • Click a third time to disable shuffle and revert to "Shuffle - Off"

This global setting affects how your iPod nano plays back your music. The rest of this tutorial explains other, manual, options to switch to shuffle's random mode as desired.

Enable or disable "Shake to shuffle"

Using its built-in accelerometer, the latest version of the iPod nano can sense when you shake it, and determine whether or not to play a random song at that point. For "shake-to-shuffle" to work, it needs to be enabled:

  • From the Main Menu, go to Settings
  • Scroll down and select "Playback"
  • Scroll to select "Shake - Off" (or "Shake - Shuffle", depending on your current settings)
  • Click once with your Click Wheel's Center button to enable (Shake - Shuffle) or disable (Shake - Off) shake-to-shuffle. Your iPod nano will now react accordingly when you shake it.

If you run, or move about a lot, disabling shake to shuffle may be a good idea, as you'll probably switch to random songs by mistake. You can always turn on shake-to-shuffle as needed, and leave it off most of the time (we have, for this reason - now way currently to customize the shake-to-shuffle sensitivity).

Manually enable shuffle for an artist, album, all-songs, playlist, genre, etc.

As mentioned earlier, you can have your iPod nano's shuffle function turned off all the time, but switch to shuffle manually, as desired, without having to have shake-to-shuffle enabled either.

To play an artists songs, album, playlist, genre, (etc.) in shuffle mode, temporarily, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Main Menu (home screen), and select Music
  • For this example we'll choose to select "Artists", but you can choose Playlists, Albums, Songs, Composers, or Compilations - to access Compilations, see how to customize your iPod nano's Music menu.
  • Once you made your selection, keep going by selecting sub menus (this depends on your initial choice), until you see a Shuffle option at the top of the listing. In the case of Artists, we selected an artists, then either "All Songs", or one of the artist's album, and ended up at that point with the Shuffle command listed at the top.
  • Scroll up to select "Shuffle", and press the Center button to play your selection in random order

This manual method has the advantage of (1) allowing you to leave shake-to-shuffle turned off on your iPod nano, and (2) not have to have shuffle-by-song or shuffle-by-album enabled by default. In other words, true shuffle available on demand!

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