iPod queries #1

I love my iPod, even though I am convinced Apple’s software is rubbish. That cavil aside, I am trying to see if the iPod can do one simple thing. I have two or more copies of some songs on the iPod. I have them because the same track belongs to more than one album. For example, ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band rightly belongs on Born to Run and The Essential Bruce Springsteen. I also have live versions on Live in New York City and Live 75/85. I want to keep the two live versions of the song because they’re quite different, but I only need one copy of the studio version. I could simply delete one copy of the song, but that would mean every time I played either of the studio sets one of them would skip that song. Not acceptable.

What I need is something that doesn’t simply delete duplicate songs. What I need is something that redirects a reference to a song to a single copy of that song at my direction. I want it to search the iPod and tell me that four copies of ‘Born to Run’ exist, and then offer me the choice of merging or not merging those tracks. With the copies to be merged, I want to be able to choose which version to retain. It seems like a good thing and a sensible thing. Does anyone know if it can be done?

Oh, and if that’s too tough, anyone on how to shuffle a play list on the iPod, or even delete a track while on the go?

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