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IPOD Fast Scrolling – I need help scrolling! Any suggestions? August 10, 2006

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Uncategorized.

Don’t get me wrong, I think my IPOD is great.  While on vacation, though, I found myself in need of a feature/function.  How can I get to the bottom of my song list or scroll through the list faster?  I have thousands of songs, and sometimes when I am looking for a song, the click wheel scrolling gets very tedious.   I need a way to quickly jump either to the middle or the bottom of the list.  For example, when I go to my song list, the songs are listed in alphabetical order, and I can quickly get to those songs that begin with the first half of the alphabet.  But what if the song I am looking for begins with a “w”?  Do I have to sit there and work the heck out of my thumb scrolling through the entire list as fast as my poor thumb can spin the wheel? or Is there a way to scroll from z to a? or is there another way to quickly get me to the end of my list.  As I use these devices it occurs to me that I can’t be the only one that is wishing for this type of functionality.  Especially if younger folks probably have 10 times as many songs as I do.  It must be heck trying to get to the bottom of a 10000 song songlist.

I am hoping that I just didn’t read the manual and there is a way to do this.  Help me out before my thumb falls off.  Then I won’t be able to beat Fast Follower in golf any more! 


1. Tell it like it TI is! - August 10, 2006

Looks like I am not the only one with this wish….


2. address - August 10, 2006

@Comment 1–that link actually talks about how the author wants to Rio to act like the ipod in scrolling: i.e. the faster and longer you scroll on an ipod, the more lines it’ll jump. which may be a solution to your post above.

3. Tell it like it TI is! - August 11, 2006

You are correct. In my frustration, I guess that I was eagerly looking for someone with the same desire for a quick scroll function. Though I understand that the scrolling goes faster as you continue to scroll, it still isn’t fast enough. I only have about 1500 songs, and it takes quite a while for me to get to the bottom of my list. With all of the well-thought-out functionality, I find it hard to believe that the Ipod folks overlooked something like this. I will continue to believe that the fault is mine, and that I am overlooking this feature until someone tells me it doesn’t exist.

4. Fast Follower - August 12, 2006

Well, TI, you don’t have to scroll by song. I agree the most challenging way to scroll is by song. I normally find myself scrolling by artist. For whatever reason, I’m better at remembering artists, not the artists’ song titles.

5. bivster - August 15, 2006

I have almost 8,000 songs and used playlists almost exclusively to avoid wearing off the skin off my thumb. When I had to send ipod into the shop for repair, it was returned empty. I reloaded all the songs but had lost my playlists. I can’t live with my ipod and I can’t live without it. p.s. I’m a senior citizen–too old for this!!!!!

6. Fast Follower - August 15, 2006

TI – If you overlooked the quick scroll feature by song, then don’t blame yourself. Blame Apple. If quick scrolling exists, but users can’t find it, then it may as well not exist. Stop letting companies off the hook for bad designs (products or processes).

I have this suspicion, however, that quick scrolling by song doesn’t exist on ipods.

7. Tell it like it TI is! - August 15, 2006

You are right, but sometimes it is fun finding the secret functions of new devices. The folks at Ipod have to have thought of this. Maybe instead of calling it a Fast Scroll feature, maybe it should be sort options..similar to looking at email. You can look at the most recent emails first or last. At the very least you should be able to flip your song list and start scrolling from the last song. If the song is in the exact middle, you can get to the songs that start with w’s a lot faster! Bivster is right, you cant live with your ipod, but you can’t live without it!

8. Jim Holland - August 21, 2006

This is great. I have the same problem, I also thought I was the only one. But who cane solve it. Or should we write to Apple ? I need fast scrolling feature, my thumb is sore ! I suggest an extra sub-menu which is an alphabetical sroll list so you can select “D”, press “Select” and then you are are the “D” and can scroll downwards. (Jim, from Holland)

9. Jim Holland - August 21, 2006

We all should put our request in


I just did.


10. Tell it like it TI is! - August 22, 2006

JH, great idea! I will submit my request, as soon as I can. I like the alphabetical suggestion. This would work for me. I just need a way to get close to the song in the list and let the thumbwheel do the rest! Hopefully we can get someone to listen to us.

11. Tell it like it TI is! - August 22, 2006

JH, I just contacted Apple. I even offered the link to this post, and offered them the opportunity to respond directly to the blog. Let’s see what happens!

12. Fast Follower - August 22, 2006

I can sympathize with you all that this is a real problem. But I’m a little befuddled why you insist on searching by song title and not by artist. You’ll always have far fewer artists than songs. Thus, scroll to “Prince,” then to “When Doves Cry.” It’s a lot faster this way.

13. bivster - August 23, 2006

Sounds great Fast Follower, but with almost 10,000 titles back on my ipod that’s still a LOT of artists. I hope we hear from Apple.

14. Tell it like it TI is! - August 23, 2006

bivster, I have known Fast Follower for a long time, and some times you have to IGNORE HIM.
What kind of advise are you giving out??? Bivster and I and the other folks are trying to provide userful, customer-driven, feature enhancement advise, and the best you can come up with is… DON’T USE THE FEATURE????? That’s the problem with your golf game, you keep trying to buy your way to a low handicap when sometimes you have to work with what you have and make it better!! … I had a bad day with this driver, therefore I will tee off with my putter! Maybe you should try to work the bugs out with your driver and give it anothe shot!

Bivster, I hope we hear back from APPLE too!

Can you believe this guy????

15. mat - August 31, 2006

I have 350 + artists, this makes even searching by artist tedious (esp. ZZ Top!). The best solution so far is to be very careful with tagging your tracks so that searching by genre reduces the number of artists to a minimum!

I have spent 2 days getting my tagging right, and its bearable. But an artist alphabet feature would be ideal!

16. mat - August 31, 2006
17. Tell it like it TI is! - August 31, 2006

mat… thanks for the information, although not a direct feature, it is a great workaround! I have invited the others to join the conversation anytime. After thinking about it, what we really need is some type of alpha numeric entry scheme that lets us search the entire list. Similar to the iTunes search feature. That would be great!!! Take care and remember always…Tell it Like it TI is!!!!

18. Fast Follower - September 1, 2006

Ok, Ok! I concede. I guess it IS a problem if you ipod experts say it’s a problem. Question: Has any other mp3 player manufacturer solved this problem with their device? At a minimum, you can give Apple evidence that a competitor “gets it.”
Unlike TI, I am willing to explore potential alternative solutions. Trust me, there are times when he should hit his putter off the tee. I’ve seen him stubbornly hit his driver all over the golf course for 18 holes.
Don’t let him drive you guys down the path single of solution problem solving. You can tell a lot about a person when you watch his golf game.

19. Kevin - October 2, 2006

Look at the Zen:M. When you are in the artist/album/song view, if you press the ‘next track’ button, a list of letters pops up. Then when you scroll you scroll by letter instead of through the entire list. It is very fast.

20. Fast Follower - October 3, 2006

Thanks, Kevin. See TI, there’s somebody out there who’s willing to explore new devices and methods. Not everybody is like you – stubbonly holding on only to “what you know.” Why don’t you and your “search by song” iPod friends make Apple aware of the Zen solution?

21. Fast Follower - October 4, 2006

TI – Maybe you had a hand in Apple listenting to you. The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg today described one of Apple’s new iPod feature: “There’s now a search feature that lets you find items alphabetically, by using the scroll wheel to select letters. In our tests, it worked well.”

I guess you and your alphabet buddies were on to something afterall.

22. Tell it like it TI is! - October 5, 2006

We were absolutely onto something. Like I said I will always TELL IT LIKE IT IS!!! I should be on Grey’s Anatomy cause I got my finger on the pulse!

23. Ryan - October 17, 2006

alright guys….. all you have to do is when you’re in your song list, scroll the thumbwheel as fast as you can…. it will then start scrolling alphabetically and the respective letters will pop up while scrolling through the list…… try it out (it does it on my 5th gen ipod video)…. great built-in feature without having to make seperate playlists

24. Tell it like it TI is! - October 19, 2006

OK, Ryan. I am currently in Germany, but when I get back to the US I will certainly try this out. Keep the info and discussion flowing. Surprised, though, that as popular as Ipod is, no one knew about this prior to your post.

25. Tell it like it TI is! - October 19, 2006

I forgot that I had my Ipod in Germany. You might have to walk me thru this or maybe i am just a slow scroller… I tried to scroll as fast as I could but I never saw the alphabet pop up??? Where do the letters appear? In the middle of the screen? Near the bottom? Has anyone had any luck with this tip? Let us know.

26. epdm - November 18, 2006

The letters appear in a grey translucent overlay with white letters (over the screen with the names).

It appears when you’re fast scrolling through a long list of names. It then jumps to the start where these letters begin. This way you can skip a lot of names quickly.

Works great.

This is standard in the 5.5G iPod and is installed with the 1.2firmware upgrade for 5G iPod.

Hope this helps,


27. Tell it like it TI is! - November 20, 2006

I have the 30G IPOD Video. Not sure that I have all of the updates (how do I get firmware updates?). I still can’t get the letters to appear. Has anyone else had any luck? Tell it Like it Is!!!

28. PCIpoder - December 5, 2006

It works intermittently on my 80G, but whenever I want it, it never seems to appear.

29. PCIpoder - December 5, 2006

Check that…I just experiemented and it works with albums (and probably songs) but not with artists, which is usually what I’m scrolling for.

30. Tell it like it TI is! - December 5, 2006

I tried on every category albums, songs, and artists. Still not able to get the scrolling letters… Not sure what I am doing wrong. I will keep trying……

31. Fast Follower - December 6, 2006

I’ve got it on my 30 gig ipod as well. But it doesn’t seem to work well every time I want to use it.

32. Ipod's great! - December 21, 2006

What’s wrong with scrolling by song? when i scroll from song a to z, after maybe a few seconds it starts showing big blocks of alphabets from a to z and I just stop when I get to the right alphabet, I don’t know what all the fuss is about?

33. Tell it like it TI is! - December 21, 2006

Apparently, there are some of us that don’t have this feature. Not sure if it is an issue with a firmware update or what. I have read all of the comments, and I have yet to see the blocks of letters??? What type of devise do you have?

34. Fast Follower - December 22, 2006

PCIpoder – Mine works with artists as well as the others

35. Quick Thumbs - December 31, 2006

Hey IT,

I have no prob with this coz i have a super speedy thumb! i have over 10, 000 songs (11 289) and i get to the bottom in less than 10 seconds. i dont know about u guys complaining but u must have grampa thumbs. its sinchy!

but i can see ur point of view aswell coz my thumb catches fire everytime i do it and full on kills my iPod. so i have to do it kinda at a safe speed.

36. Tell it like it TI is! - January 1, 2007

Not sure what the issue is. I am not the fastest thumb in the west, but I doubt that I am the slowest pistol in the park! Sounds like you better slow down Quick Thumbs, and remember.. Where there’s smoke there’s fire!

37. Fast Follower - January 1, 2007

Mr. Quick Thumbs – Over 10,000 songs! Not only do you have thumbs on fire, but it “sounds” like you’ve got good set of tunes as well.

38. late contribution - February 2, 2007

I was trying to scroll down on my 4th Gen 30GB ipod last week, and suddenly the alphabet started appearing, letting me scroll by letter, which speeded up the process a lot. I can only get this function to kick in if I’m scrolling with my thumb directly onto the ipod (i.e. not when the ipod’s in its scroller-friendly case, which just isn’t sensitive enough I guess). I got this function when I updated my ipod/itunes software most recently, and I think it’s standard with 5th Gen ipods.

39. Tell it like it TI is! - February 2, 2007

Hmmm so updating the software makes the scrolling appear. I will certainly be doing some updating this weekend to see if the theory holds true. I will let you know. Thanks, late contribution…. remember, a good tip is always “right on time”!

Tell it Like it IS…

40. Everette - February 3, 2007

ok so I stumbled across this site looking to find out why I didn’t have that feature on my 30G. Upon reading the thread, I realized that I had turned off my auto-updater check for iTunes. I have iTunes 7, but I didn’t have the recent firmware for my iPod. I installed it, and the scroll feature works great! This just makes me love my iPod more and more 🙂

Thanks for the help!

41. Tell it like it TI is! - February 4, 2007

Looks like we finally have confirmation. It took a while, but I will try updating my ipod tomorrow (getting ready for the Super Bowl right now). Thanks, Everette for confirming and sharing with the rest of the PTIers. We finally know the solution. Just wondering why it took so long, and why this wasn’t common knowledge. Oh well, I guess they were spending their time announcing iPhone and iTV that they forgot about us iPoders for a while.

Thanks for Telling it Like it IS!

42. Karolis - February 18, 2007

I had the same issue. My iPod couldn’t scroll fast. With new upgrade it scrolls but not if you have a protective case on the iPod. If I take it out of case – it WORKS, if its in the case – it doesn’t work.
Also the newest models of iPod have another great feature – Search.
Here’s the article:

43. Tell it like it TI is! - February 19, 2007

This looks like the feature we are all looking for. Can someone explain to me how hard it would be for the folks at Apple to simple include this function in some type of update? Here we are the tried and true users that have been with you all along and you mean they can’t throw us an upgrade here and there?


44. pizxer - March 6, 2007

Rio Karma automaticall makes subsets of the alphabet. It will also search by year, author/artist, genre. Using their scroll wheel that also pushes in, I was able to navigate within my playlists (4k songs) in a few seconds.

45. RockJonny - March 22, 2007

Is anyone else getting the problem where the iPod keeps flicking o the letter T in the quick scrolling part? Mine seems to be thinking that all songs that begin with the world “The” are under a T category, so when scrolling through it goes 123 T A T B T C T etc… very frustrating. Is there some other firmware or something without this problem, or is it just my iPod being buggy?

46. Eric Boston - March 31, 2007

So does that mean that the songs are played in alphabetically. That sucks. But I dont think so. There should be a way to scroll by song number. I usually remember what song number I’m at cuz I listen to classical and foreign music. So I don’t know the songs. I have over 5K songs. So if the iPod resets then I have to click thru all the songs. I’m at 2480th song now. So that’s a lot of clicking. Is there a fix for this?? I’m really thinking of ebay-ing mine off because this.
please send tips to ericboston@hotmail.com

47. Tell it like it TI is! - April 1, 2007

Hmmm… Interesting. Not sure if scrolling by number is possible. PTIers does anyone have any solutions for Eric? Would a Tivo like search function be the answer? Funny how Apple thought of this originally for the iTunes software when searching on your desktop, but didn’t have the function on the portable unit. I was on the Apple website (http://www.apple.com/ipod/features.html), and I saw the following statement…

“With up to 20,000 songs on your iPod, you need an easy way to search and enjoy your collection. A brand-new, built-in search function lets you use the Click Wheel to type out the name of the song, artist, album, audiobook, or podcast you’re looking for, and your iPod returns results instantly as you select letters.”

Is this function someting you can get via firmware download or something?

Eric, I know this is not the solution to your dilemma, but PTIers are pretty creative. Let’s see if anyone has a solution for you.


48. NanoUSER - April 29, 2007

I have an iPod nano (1st gen) and, although it does not hold a lot of songs, it does not have the scrolling alphabet or the search feature. However, WHY NOT? The fact that it does not have great capacity does not beat the fact that the alphabet and search feature are not included. I just hope in a future update, Apple remembers that there still are users with nano (1st gen) and integrate this features

49. Tell it like it TI is! - April 30, 2007

You are right Nanouser, just cause you don’t have the top of the line doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some of the standard features…. Imagine buying a Ford Focus and not getting a steering wheel! Totally unacceptable!

Apple, don’t forget the folks that made you what you are today!

Tell it Like it Is…..

50. cheekybutter - June 9, 2007

how do i get this function of the a b c scroller on my ipod, i can’t connect to the internet on the computer that holds my music 😦

51. Tell it like it TI is! - June 20, 2007

Hmmmm… though not an expert, here is what I would do. I would install iTunes on a working computer. I would then use my CopyPod software to transfer all of my music to the new computer. I would then go ahead and perform all of the updates to get the function.

Do any other Ptiers have suggestions. Let us know.

Tell it Like it Is!

52. Isabella - August 16, 2007

i thought i ought to point out a little discovery i made – the default gray iPod alphabet doesn’t pop up for me unless i take off the terrific Belkin case i have it in. i have the case covering my trackwheel and screen – just for protection/aesthetic reasons – but it means the usual speed-thru iPod alphabet (which overlays the trillions of random compilation artists i have) doesn’t pop up.

53. Tell it like it TI is! - August 16, 2007

Hmmmm… interesting. Not sure why that is. I too have a protective rubber-like covering on my ipod, and the feature works fine. However, since updating iTunes and the iPod to get this feature, I have had one problem after another! I almost wish I would have never made the upgrade cause the alphabet feature wasn’t worth all of the hassles it has put me through! If you have any suggestions, Isabella, let me know. Check out this post. https://pardontheinteraction.wordpress.com/2007/07/15/need-ipod-helpwrong-album-art-on-my-ipod/ . I have given up for a while.

PTIers, any suggestions for Isabella’s issue?

Sorry for venting about my issues! Just telling it like it is!!!

54. Dave - August 25, 2007

I was so glad to find this post. I have thought it was a great feature since I first learned about (except when in a case). However, just recently I found that when I scroll fast enough, it jumps by letter, except the grey boxes with letters don’t appear. Not major, but a small inconvenience.

Also, when playing a video, when I click the center button to show the scrubber bar, to fastforward/rewind, the scrubber bar doesn’t appear! I can spin the wheel, and the video will advance, but I can never know how far i’m advancing.

this is the first prob i’ve had with my iPod (5th gen) and all my software is up to date.

55. Tell it like it TI is! - August 25, 2007

Yeah, ever since I tried upgrading to get the scroll feature I haven’t been the same. I have gone from about a 100 on the user experience scale to about a 30! I can’t get my ipod to sync correctly since I hit the upgrade button to get the feature. I wish I never tried to get the scroll feature! You are right this is the first bad experience I’ve had with the iPod, but this is starting to get major. And is it me? Or ist the Apple help site the most ridiculously complicated piece of work ever put together??? I get a headache just trying to navigate through this thing. Then it appears that they want you to pay for help! WTF! I hate the scroll feature and wish I never thought of the feature! I still can’t sync my videos, I have wiped everything clean twice, and I am still not sure that all of my album art is correct.

So much for upgrading. Just telling it like it is….

56. Dave - September 3, 2007

GOOD NEWS! (for me at least)

I simply reset my iPod and everything works now. Both the quick scroll with letters displayed and the scrubber bar for movies. I don’t know if resetting it will help anyone else, but give it a try if you haven’t.

57. Tell it like it TI is! - September 4, 2007

I will try resetting again. I have an upcoming trip to China, and I will be on an airplane for 20 hours. I really need for the iPod to be working properly with video and song!!!! I will let you know how it works out, though I have a pretty low confidence level.

Just telling it like it is…..

58. Angel Serrano - May 20, 2011

Its been a while since last post but I encounter a problem related to this one. On a I phone 3gs 32gigs connected to an Audi R8 2012 in media mode I have the same problem with the scroll. While driving how do I scroll to the bottom of my list fast so I won’t CRASH! There most be a way to quick scroll on the car menu!

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