I love my Shuffle….but…

The only thing I like to listen to on my 512MB [iPod Shuffle](http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/) are Podcasts. I’ve been taking a few trips to Manhattan (to see doctors) and Washington, DC (for work) by train and nothing makes the trip go easier than plugging up. Certainly drives out that constant clicking sound of everyone around me on their Crackberries…I sat next to a woman the other day who was easily doing 70wpm on that thing.

For the 300-400MB worth of Podcasts that I haven’t listened to yet, the Shuffle is just fine. I have iTunes set to only save the latest episode. If I miss an old one I can download it. Most of the time, it’s like reading last week’s New York Times…if you miss it, it’s old news.

There are two reasons I’d love a “real” iPod.

1. The little screen to tell me what I’m listening to. Yeah, some you can tell right away. But many sound alike. And if I stop in the middle and then pick up later it takes a while to remember where I left off and I can’t back up a little bit to refresh.

2. Drag & dropping to my iPod is getting old. Autofilling with Podcasts doesn’t work. I’ve come up with a workaround that makes the job a little easier. I created a smart playlist that finds no more than 512MB of songs with the genre “Podcast” selected by least recently added. I added an additional criteria of selecting songs that have a Play Count of 0. I would think that I could just select that Playlist to autofill, but it doesn’t work. So I manually select everything in that list and drag it to the iPod.

What’s the problem with that? Same thing that drove me crazy about the Palm OS…the manual interaction means that there are times that I want it and it won’t be there because for whatever reason I didn’t do it. With my PocketPC and ActiveSync, when I grab my PDA out of the cradle it’s good to go. I didn’t have to think about manually updating it before I ran out the door. I like the idea of sticking a device in a cradle overnight and forgetting about it until I have to grab it and throw it in my bag. This happened when I went to Manhattan on Wednesday and forgot to update my Shuffle first. Nothing but old or outdated podcasts on my Shuffle makes for a long trip . You can listen to the same song over and over again. For me, a podcast…even a great one…is a one-time listen.

Problem is, a [Nano](http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/) tops out at 4GB and my entire library is now over 10GB. So to get that “sync it all and go” convenience I’d have to fork over $300 for the [30GB iPod](http://www.apple.com/ipod/ipod.html). Tempting, as it would be kind of fun to watch one of those new video podcasts or TV shows instead of just listen. But too much to spend now because I’m too lazy to remember to drag & drop before going out.

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