Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

iPod How To Properly Sync Older iPods in Big Sur/Catalina


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2019
I have an iPod shuffle 1st generation. I've experienced weird behavior like:
• Music synced to the iPod not showing up in the Music app
• Finder giving an error while restoring (even though appearing to do it successfully)
• Endless loading screens

I have read a few post describing these behaviors under Catalina. With my experience, Big Sur doesn't fix it and possibly no update ever will. However after some researching, I found a workaround.

Use Retroactive to reinstall the latest iTunes on these OSes. As far as I could tell, doing this doesn't mess up anything including my Music Library. It connects, and you could still drag and drop music into the device from there. It works just like before. As a side note, I downloaded a free trial of iExplorer and it recognized the files on my iPod.

Hope this helped someone!
  • Like
Reactions: 4sallypat

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
An original 5 GB FireWire "spinning wheel" iPod works fine on Big Sur for me - even on an M1 Mac. (Through a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, then a Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter.)

But I hadn't heard about Retroactive - seems great to run some of the older apps!
  • Like
Reactions: 4sallypat
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.