Strange iTunes behaviour when configured to automatically sync music to iPod

January 1, 0001
tips gripes

In one of my recent posts I thought I had stumbled upon a great way to synchronize all of my podcasts to my iPod and still be able to use smart playlists to listen to them on the iPod. However, it turns out that when you have your iPod configured to automatically sync with your iTunes library it is not possible to play that music/podcast/whatever from within iTunes. You can play the content without any problems using the iPod directly, but with it connected via iTunes all of the tracks are greyed out and you can’t click on the play button in iTunes (even on the computer you are sync’ing with). This is particularly annoying for me because I have all my music at home and I want to listen to the music on the iPod at work through iTunes. As of yet there is no iTunes store purchased content on the iPod since the New Zealand store just opened days ago, hoorah! So, it seems pretty weird that I can’t play any of the content via iTunes. Initially I thought that it was because I hadn’t authorized my work computer since I’d just opened an Apple account. It wasn’t though - authorization didn’t do anything. Reading the iTunes help it even mentions:

“To use your iPod with more than one computer, set up iTunes to manage songs manually.”

Oh well. The workaround at the moment is to switch between manual synchronization turned on at work, and automatic synchronization at home. A little bit painful but seems to work as needed.

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