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Figuring out podcasts in iTunes 11.1 and iOS 7.

26891 Views 60 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2014 11:26 AM by marxug RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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Lost in Asia Level 2 Level 2 (330 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 19, 2013 7:28 PM

Like many here, I'm dismayed by some of the ways that iTunes 11.1 now handles podcasts: that appalling view of "SHOW ME EVERYTHING" in the List pane in particular.


What I'm providing here are a few tips and suggestions for things that seem to be working for me.


  • In iTunes: List view is now basically useless, so lots of us are moving to the previously-disliked My Podcasts pane. (I don't like it either, but it currently seems the best option.) Your podcasts are probably in no order whatsoever, BUT you can drag and drop them to your preferred order. Yeah, this takes a while and is annoying, but a good part of the (improved?) syncing with iOS: the same order will also appear in your Podcasts app on the iPhone! And vice versa: I actually reordered them on my iPhone (hey, I was bored on the subway), and to my surprise the new order appeared on iTunes when I got home.


  • Deleting podcast episodes: in iTunes, don't delete them. If you delete them, they'll download again the next time you sync. Instead, mark them as played, and then re-sync - that's the only way I've found to get rid of them in iTunes. On the other hand, you CAN still delete in the Podcasts app, and then, once iTunes is synced again, those deleted episodes will also disappear from iTunes (which I believe is actually an improvement). (They'll still appear in that stupid List view, but now with a cloud icon.)


  • In iTunes, you can choose the podcast subscription settings: the option that seems to work best for me is Download ALL. That sounds scary - like you're going to get all 400 episodes of Stuff You Should Know - but as best I can tell it doesn't mean Download All; it means Download ALL NEW (big difference!). This is especially useful for podcasts that often put out a few episodes at a time (Fresh Air, Bill Maher): if you just Download Most Recent, you'll be missing some.


  • Note that podcast subscription settings seem to automatically sync across iTunes and the Podcasts app. If you unsubscribe in Podcasts, then you also unsubscribe in iTunes. (I suspect this lies behind how many people suddenly found themselves unsubscribed to their Podcasts.)


  • For those with a big collection of podcast episodes that they want to keep: change the Media Kind! Spoken, I change to Audiobooks, and Music, to, well, Music. I've done this for years, and this is probably the only reason I didn't lose massive collections of podcasts with 11.1. It makes managing your library a lot easier. EDITTED ADDITIONAL NOTE: Unfortunately any epsidodes that are changed like this will then be re-downloaded, because, well, because iTunes wants to make your life miserable, I guess. Mark the re-downloaded episodes as played (because deleting doesn't work ), and they'll disappear again.


  • Use smart playlists. "Media Kind = Podcast", and "Plays = 0". Such a playlist is more useful for viewing than anything left in the Podcasts section in iTunes, although unfortunately you can't refresh from that playlist - you still have to go to the now-appalling Podcasts section.


  • Using the Podcasts iOS app isn't actually that bad. "My Stations" is the foolish name for what is called "Playlists" everywhere else, and your iTunes podcast playlists should appear there (with the usual too-complicated syncing nonsense for setup). You can play podcasts quite well in "My Stations", although unfortunately you can't mix it with audiobooks or music.


Good luck.

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5), Late 2009
  • preludio Level 2 Level 2 (190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 20, 2013 7:29 AM (in response to Lost in Asia)

    Thank you for this list of tips! I had given up using the Podcasts app on my iPhone because it had limited functionality and couldn't do it's core feature (sync). I split my listening: stuff in my office stayed on iTunes's main computer library and stuff that I mostly listened to elsewhere was on my phone. If I want to listen to it in the office, I use AirPlay. Ridiculous, I know, but at least it was an understandable system!


    I was happy to hear about the "improvements" to iTunes 11 and 11.1 and thought maybe I should switch back to a single podcast library—until I opened iTunes 11.1 and saw the utter mess that Podcasts had become. Since there is no longer an alphabetical listing that isn't bewildering, I can't find a dang thing.


    I was ready to give up entirely and delete all my podcasts in iTunes and simply use Instacast and AirPlay, but your list of tips and explanations has made me rethink that. However, even with your help, I'm going to have to spend hours figuring it out and setting it up again. Goodness knows what podcast episodes I may have lost.


    In the mean time, my precious, impossible-to-download again episodes are now being converted to audiobooks to save them from future deletions.

  • Andre Vandal Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 20, 2013 8:39 AM (in response to Lost in Asia)

    One more note:


    - If you see podcasts that you know nothing about, don't delete them right away, first check with your family cause your list now includes podcasts from everybody and every computer on the same account. If you delete them them on your iTunes it will then go and delete them on theirs.


    I learn this this morning with my wife's podcasts that I deleted from my computer cause I did not know them and she was left with no podcasts before she left for work.


    Hopefully Apple will fix this soon

  • Rickyscv Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 20, 2013 7:33 PM (in response to Lost in Asia)

    Glad I came across this post! I was just getting ready to upgrade my iPhone and Macbook Pro. With almost 8000 podcasts (pack rat-ish, I know,  but if I'm ever stranded somewhere, I've got months/years of listening), I just don't have the time or desire to be manually re-labeling or sorting them all. So I'll stay with iOS 6 until Apple gets it right and "it just works". Hopefully, it won't take them long. But, bad on them for releasing the new software with this very

    damaging glitch!

  • Rickyscv Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2013 12:02 AM (in response to Lost in Asia)

    Thanks so much for your input. I've liked the way all my podcasts were in their places in the podcast section of the older iTunes. I've already got a number of audiobooks in the book section and I'm not sure how it would be like if I dumped all my podcasts in there. But you've given me an option that if things don't change, I'll probably be following your lead. For the time being though, I will wait and see how this all transpires.

  • What I am Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2013 11:00 AM (in response to Lost in Asia)

    Lost in Asia, you're a prince!  Doesn't get us back to where we want to be, but I think fo me it will allow me to limp along and not have to go through the trouble of reverting to 11.05. 

  • Dan Bargen Level 2 Level 2 (335 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2013 11:17 PM (in response to Lost in Asia)

    As others have mentioned podcasts are being synced across devices. This sounds like a useful feature (I listen to my podcasts my Mac Pro @ home, my old PowerBook at work, and the iPad while on the go). However, there are some quirks that are throwing off my usual setup.


    When using a Mac to do playback, I will almost always use the 'right-click -> show in Finder' option and open the podcast in QT 7, set the play back somewhere between 1.5x and 2.0x (depending on the podcast). I'll have itunes play music at a lower level in the background to fill all the dry air from these spoken-word-only podcasts.


    This doesn't work when iTunes erroneously seems to think I've already listened to something and then marks it as played and deletes it off my local HD. Gaah! I'll re-download it, only to have it be gone minutes later.


    I've looked around iTunes and System Preferences and haven't seen any control options. Please tell me there's a command-line method to turn off this syncing...

  • Dan Bargen Level 2 Level 2 (335 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2013 5:21 AM (in response to Lost in Asia)

    Wow, how did i miss this setting? I guess I didn't look at the 'store' pane too closely.


    That being said, this is something I would want to use because of the multiple devices I use for podcast playback. However, until they allow one machine to delete podcasts from *all* devices, it seems like it is too much of a hassle to deal with for the convience of keeping one's place.


    Do you know what the official word is on how to delete podcasts from the sync list? Do they have to be deleted on *all* devices, or what?

  • preludio Level 2 Level 2 (190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2013 7:37 AM (in response to Dan Bargen)

    So, yesterday I downloaded three episodes of a podcast that I used to subscribe to. (Months ago I had subscribed and had listened to these podcasts, but they were all removed from iTunes.)


    I listened to one of them partway through.


    Shut off the computer last night. Started up today, and started up iTunes. The three episodes are gone.


    The podcast is still listed on the left hand side, but there are no episodes. They are not in the trash. They are not in my library in the folder Podcasts.


    Other podcasts are there and seem to be complete (but I have so many podcasts that I'm not sure). They seem to play just fine.


    I did not listen to this podcast on any other device that I used last night (iPhone, iPad). I believe I opened the Podcasts app on the iPhone, but I didn't play anything.


    The only thing I did was turn on iTunes Match, which should have no effect as it only affects music.


    I do not trust my iTunes library any longer.


    Clearly, things are screwed up. When I was looking on my disk for the files, I discovered that the podcast still has a folder there, complete with episodes that I deleted long ago. It's totally out of sync with what iTunes is reporting.


    Maybe it's time to "nuke and pave" my iTunes library. I wish I had a spare few hours to research how to do this safely and without screwing up iTunes match and my saved podcasts. Given the problems people are reporting with podcasts, however, maybe it's not possible to do this without risking podcasts. Grrr.


    Edited to add:


    The podcast settings are:

    Subscribed unchecked

    Keep: All

    Download: All


    I just closed iTunes and reopened it. The three episodes have disappeared again.

  • Weather Servo Nine Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2013 9:42 AM (in response to Lost in Asia)

    It seems to be easier to manage the podcasts in the podcasts app than it is in the new iTunes. I reordered them in the app and my new order showed up in iTunes like magic, whereas when I was trying to reorder them in iTunes in the "My Podcasts" window it kept refreshing all the feeds and then losing my new order anyway. Very strange. I hope the next iTunes fixes some of these podcast bugs, though it seems like Apple is intentionally trying to make it more difficult to use iTunes for podcast subscriptions and syncing with other devices.


    A second big flaw that I've noticed in the list view (other than all the old episodes reappearing) is that you can't make individual settings (what to download, what to keep) for podcasts anymore. If you change the settings for one podcast it changes them for all the podcasts. In the My Podcasts View, the individual settings for each podcast still work. At least, that's been my experience so far. Anyone else notice this, or am I doing something wrong?

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