Lazyweb request: iTunes breaks track ordering on my shuffle

Dear Lazyweb,

Prior to iTunes 7.2, I had my loading-tracks-on-shuffle workflow down pat:

* Download the latest episodes of all podcasts

* Mark all new episodes as “Skip when shuffling: No” [1]

* Jiggle slightly: eg, the new KATG episodes (daily) need to be bounced to the top, as they’re the first thing I hear on my way to work. Kermode episodes (weekly) go next, and everything else pretty much stays in the order in which it came in.

* Plug in shuffle, sync.

Now that 7.2 is out, I’ve had to add an extra step:

* Fix the fucked-up ordering that iTunes has applied to the tracks on the shuffle, “Copy to play order”, resync.

That’s right; when it copies from a playlist onto the shuffle, it doesn’t respect the order I so painstakingly created – it randomizes the tracks!

There’s an option for this: It’s labelled “Choose items randomly”. If I wanted this behavior, I’d choose that option – but I don’t want it, so I leave it unchecked. Still, my tracks get rearranged. This latest time, it seems to have sorted the tracks in Album order: all I have to do to fix the order is choose to sort by that-column-on-the-left-with-numbers-in. Despite the fact that the numbers don’t change, the tracks associated with the numbers rearrange themselves into the right order, magically. So, I know that iTunes knows the order I want – and I know it’s choosing to give me some other order instead.

So, my dear lazyweb, can anyone tell me how I can make iTunes revert to sensible, pre-7.2, behaviour, that preserves the order of the tracks?

[1] That’s a darn nuisances, that is. Apple promote Podcasts heavily; Apple promote making it easy to get your podcasts on your iPod heavily. iTunes[2] marks all downloaded podcast episodes as “Skip when shuffling: Yes” when they’re downloaded, so that they don’t pop up in party shuffle unexpectedly (quite a good thing, really – who wants their non-stop Kylie/Madonna/Debbie Summers megamix to be interrupted with 45 minutes of Science Show in the middle of the org^H^H^Hparty?). Then they go and make iTunes refuse to load “Skip when shuffling: yes” onto the best podcast player they’ve got, the shuffles. I can’t get over how stupid this is.

[2] So what’s the go when the first word of your sentence has unusual capitalization? Should that be ITunes?

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