Can I take a friend’s iPod shuffle and browse or play its content on my machine (like I can with other iPods)?
No, there is no manual mode that allows you to view or play the content from a friend’s iPod shuffle on your computer. This also means that you cannot load music from multiple computers or iTunes libraries onto iPod shuffle like you can with other iPods.
Can I use iTunes to view the songs on my iPod shuffle like I can with other iPods?
No. The iPod shuffle icon that displays in the iTunes Source list is actually a special playlist (like Party Shuffle).It lists which songs in the library are currently configured to be sent to iPod shuffle, but not what’s currently on the unit. If you see a bullet by a song, it indicates that the song was not sent to iPod shuffle. See “Some songs in your iTunes library aren’t copied to your iPod” for reasons why songs were not sent to iPod shuffle.
In sum, once you have loaded music onto the iPod Shuffle from one computer, you can’t plug the Shuffle into any other computer to listen to the music. You can either load it up with music at home and listen to it on the way to work, or you can load it up with music at work and listen to it on the way home. What you can’t do is plug it into your work computer and listen to the music you loaded up at home. This is different from how other iPods work.
If this situation is someone’s sick idea of copyright protection, it’s just stupid.