By chance I figured out the trick that stopped the episodes from being deleted in my case. If subscribe to the podcast while the episodes are in iTunes, they stay. Even if I immediately unsubscribe, they stay.
If I simply download a few episodes while unsubscribed, the episodes disappear upon launching iTunes again. That is, the episodes are still listed in the finder even when iTunes closes. But when it's opened again, they just wink out of existence. I watched it happen by keeping a window open behind iTunes but partially visible. The files don't go to the trash; they just disappear.
I hope this isn't Apple's desired behavior; I find it baffling that simply toggling the subscription on and off would signal to iTunes to keep certain files.
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.
Thanks for this, and oops. The podcast order that finally stuck for me was indeed arranged on the iPhone, and then synced back to iTunes. Maybe it doesn't go the other way as easily as I thought.
As for managing in the podcasts app: yes, absolutely. **IF** you don't listen to podcasts on your computer, then the Podcasts app seems perfectly adequate. It's when you want to listen to podcasts on both your computer and an iOS device that the Podcasts app becomes a nightmare.
I've noticed something similar to the settings - there are individual settings in the My Podcasts view, and global in the List view. But I'm not entirely sure if those settings actually do anything, given the near-random behavior deletions and re-appearances I keep seeing.
General point on the My Podcasts and My Stations view: it's not very "interactive" - it doesn't do a good job of showing you what's going on, unlike the old spinning circles of the List view. I'll refresh podcasts and it seems like nothing's happened, then suddenly 1-2 minutes later an episode will appear in the list.
I'm coming more and more to the conclusion that Apple wants to move the podcast model entirely away from downloaded files: I get the sense a lot of this would work moderately well if I were content with just streaming files. But that is not a direction I want to go.
Ever since I updated to iTunes 11.1 on my iMac with 10.8.5 every click in iTunes, iTunes freezes for at least 25-60 seconds. Some of my podcasts are missing in iTunes now (due to the new unpopular method iTunes sorts and labels podcasts), and they were there before the update. Some only show in 'My Podcasts' view, while some show in 'List" view. Some are only showing as in the cloud, but I had already downloaded these podcasts months and years ago and they are still in the same location on my hard drive. Playing these podcasts that I already downloaded are playing from iCloud not the downloaded file location on my hard drive.
I tried to uncheck all the options in Preferences > Store, but nothing was improved, even after a rebooting OS X. I did find that if I disabled my network connection, iTunes would respond appropriately. However, re-enabling my network connection fouls up iTunes.
There is obviously a bug with how Podcasts sync across devices and in iCloud. Right now, Podcasts are not unusable for me. I have used iTunes feedback to report this issue.
It's time for Apple to recognize that podcasts are important to many of us, and they need to stop treating podcasts as a ******* feature. But since most podcasts are free, Apple cares less about supporting them in iTunes.
I haven't resolved the terrible lag in iTunes 11.1, but I did find a way to restore the podcast library issue from this post: what happened to my playlists? I just loaded version 126.96.36.199 and all my playlists and songs uploaded from CDs to iTunes disapeared!!!! using turingtest2's suggestion of restoring the iTunes Library.itl.Most likely, the 11.1 update created a backup for you and stored it in the Previous iTunes LIbrary folder.Just look at the date and time, and you should see one right about the day and time you upgraded to 11.1.
The interesting thing is that after restoring the file, iTunes gave me the podcast setup screen, and this time I unchecked "sync podcasts subscriptions, settings and stations". (I'll probably sync them after this issue is fixed.) The My Podcasts view is still unsorted, but using click and drag I can re-sort them alphabetically or any way I want.
I have another update:
Just now while writing this post I just got a thought and decided to uncheck the View Option (cmd J) "Show Artwork" option for Podcasts in List view. VOILA, iTunes completely sprang to life!
After iTunes 11.1 re-added List view, I ran around iTunes and checked the "show artwork" option for all views I could in iTunes. I have a very large library with thousands of custom album art, so I like to see my album art in List view. However, the problem for me was in the Podcasts List view with showing artwork. Turning only that one off, fixed my lag and freeze issue. All other areas of iTunes that have this option doesn't affect iTunes speed at all (i.e. Movies, TV Shows, Music (Song View), ONLY Podcasts List view with Show Artwork option set froze up iTunes.
Now I'm going to try and turning sync back on to see if I lag again or not. I'm crossing my fingers and hope it was only an album art malfunction in Podcasts that was fouling it all up. I'll report what happens after I turn sync back on.
Turning Sync back on for Podcasts didn't cause lag, so I'm assuming it was the artwork issue I talked about in my previous posts.
However, now some of my podcasts now have a subscribe button which seems to be the culprit of my missing podcasts. Subscribing changes my downloaded podcasts to cloud podcasts and then they stream and not play off my hard drive, but unsubscribing changes it back to playing off my hard drive picking up where I left off.
For now, syncing podcast subscriptions across devices seems to ignore your downloaded podcasts in iTunes and streams them instead and ignores ones that can't be subscribed to (i.e. older, discontinued podcasts). I'm not sure I like how that works out, so I'm not going to sync using iCloud until it's changed to not ignore downloaded podcasts.
Preludio and others with recommendations such as Downcast and Instacast: thanks for the tips. I've looked into them a little, but have not tried them yet: the reviews seem to be quite mixed, and I gather they all are weak on exactly my main issue: finding a way to sync podcasts between my computer's iTunes 11.1 library and my iPhone's iOS7 system.
I still haven't found a new system that I like. In general: if you are content with ONLY listening to podcasts on your iOS device, then the Podcasts app is fine.
- If you only want to listen to one episode: put it in On-The-Go in the "My Stations" section. (Remember that "My Stations" = "My Playlists".)
- If you want to play a bunch of podcasts in succession, use one of the "My Stations". It works fine, although I'm not sure about the detail of how it'll play episodes in succession.
- Note that smart playlists you've made in iTunes 11.1 will appear in the "My Stations" pane of the Podcasts app (well, if, when you're syncing the iOS device, you go to the "Podcasts" tab and check off the relevant boxes). Note that ONLY "Media Kind = Podcast" files will appear in that "Station"/playlist, because Apple no longer allows "Media Kind = Podcast" files to play in the Music app, and the Podcasts app will only play "Media Kind = Podcast" files, so if you're iTunes 11.1 playlist has mixed media kind, only some of that list will show up in "My Stations."
And then there's iTunes 11.1. Ugh. I really really miss the old List view: that could show you all the new available episodes, and you could download just the ones you wanted. "My Podcasts" can somewhat duplicate that, with the major hassle of needing to dig into each podcast to see the available ones, and choose accordingly. Now I just download all and wait to see what comes before deciding whether or not to get rid of them. I don't have a bandwidth cap, so that's not a big deal, but for others with slow downloading speed or bandwidth cap, that system wouldn't work well at all.
What I did for a while: set everything as "Media Kind = Audiobooks", with no Podcasts app on my iPhone.
- Procedure: in iTunes 11.1, have podcasts set to refresh manually only. Refresh podcasts; wait interminably until they'd downloaded. Go into a smart playlist set as "Media Kind = Podcast", select all of them, and change to "Media Kind = Audiobooks". Then, refresh podcasts again - because it'll download all the same episodes! Mark all those redundant episodes as played. Sync again - they'll disappear.
- Pros: files behaved reliably; the playlists on iTunes matched the ones in Podcasts; easy to decide if I want to keep or get rid of a podcast after listening to it.
- Con: major hassle and kludge. Refresh, wait 5 minutes, retag, refresh again, wait another 5 minutes, make sure that the ones just re-downloaded don't include any new episodes, mark as played, refresh, wait 5 minutes again. Blech.
- Con: you can only get new podcasts on your iOS device by syncing it with your computer; you can't get new podcasts when you're out and about.
What I'm doing now: I'm trying, again, to use both iTunes 11.1 and the Podcasts app.
- Pro: I do, so help me god, like iOS's Podcasts app now. It refreshes my podcasts, they're on my phone, brilliant. I don't need to reconnect to my computer. "My Stations", however horribly named, has smart playlists that work well.
- Con: I'm still wary of losing episodes. This was happening to me last week: podcasts I kept redownloading AND NOT PLAYING kept disappearing before I could play them. I haven't noticed that happening in the past couple of days, but I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I have to really be paying attention to notice this.
- Con: god knows what is happening with syncing between the computer and my iPhone. The Podcasts app seems pretty good at syncing play data from the computer, but the computer is hopeless at getting play data from the Podcasts app: if I play an episode on my computer, the Podcasts app seems to very quickly mark it as played, and remove it from the different "Stations"/playlists. Great. But, if I play an episode in the Podcasts app, the computer doesn't have a clue what's happened.
- Even more bizarre: even if I sync the computer and the iPhone, the iTunes 11.1 still won't reliably know what's going on. This morning I listened to two podcasts on my iPhone. I believe both episodes had been downloaded to directly from the cloud to the Podcasts app, without any syncing from my comptuer. No problem on the iPhone: after being played, they both disappeared from the iPhone's "Stations"/playlists. But, both episodes had separately been downloaded in iTunes, and iTunes didn't know they were played. So far so expected (if unfortunate). Then I plugged the iPhone into the computer: for one episode, iTunes did as expected - it marked the episode in its own library as played. But the other podcast? Nope - still unplayed in iTunes. So basically, syncing the iPhone with iTunes does NOT reliably sync played/unplayed status. Now, despite just being synced, the episode is somehow played in iOS's Podcasts, but unplayed in iTunes.
If you don't want to keep/archive podcasts (but I often do!), and your home sound system allows it, I'd just recommend using the Podcasts app with Airplay to any speakers you've got. Entirely forget about podcasts through iTunes. That seems the best way to keep straight what you have and haven't played. This doesn't work for me, because in my computer room my speakers ARE my computer, and I've always liked listening to them from iTunes. So I guess what I'm doing is using both iTunes and Podcasts and periodically cleaning up the playlist unplayed/played chaos that results.
Thank you Lost in Asia (and all the other contributors) for this excellent discussion. At least I know I'm not going crazy since updating to iOS 7/iTunes 11.1. Like many, my carefully constructed podcast system was rendered immediately useless, and I've strugged for the past week to figure out all the new behaviors and bugs. Basically I'm trying to accomplish the same thing as Lost in Asia--with the added requirement that I want to separate podcasts into several lists based on star rating--and have come to the same conclusions, namely:
1. The podcast app is pretty good for managing podcasts on the device and managing "stations." Used in isolation it behaves as expected, which is a good first step.
2. Syncing between devices and iTunes doesn't work in any way that's useful, and thus should be abandoned, since the libraries essentially need to be managed separately anyway. I'll probably develop something like what Lost in Asia is doing and use iTunes strictly for managing podcasts I want to archive semi-permanently while using my iDevices with AirPlay for general playback.
I would like to add, for anyone else trying to engineer a semi-complicated podcast download/curation system, that smart playlists DO NOT sync correctly either, at least in some cases. I have one particular smart playlist with fairly complex rules involving played/unplayed, number of stars, and episode/podcast names, and it does not sync properly. Specifically, starred (rated) podcasts will sync, while those without ratings will not. I haven't done a lot of testing to see which particular criteria are causing the problem, or if there are work-arounds, because all the other paradigm changes and bugs have rendered my system useless for other reasons, so not much point in wasting time.
With that, alas, Apple has screwed up every conceivable way to acheive the functionality I want, so, like everyone else, I'll construct the best new system I can and live with it until a better solution comes along. It's a pity they managed to make it both less useful, and harder to manage. That takes a very special kind of incompetence and/or apathy. Or perhaps "strategic apathy" if they are indeed trying to move people away from the download model.
If anyone else has encountered smart playlist syncing problems involving stars and figured out a workaround, I love to hear about it.
Enchantr, you wrote that "Apple has screwed up every conceivable way to achieve the functionality I want" - ain't that the truth! I keep thinking, "Oh, I've found a way!", then Apple's suddenly standing there with some bizarre feature saying "Where would you like to go today? Sorry, you can't."
I think I'm heading the same way you are:
- In iTunes / Preferences / Store: uncheck "Sync podcast subscription and settings." You've now got different podcast settings on different devices. (Caveat: if you're listening to the same podcasts on multiple iOS devices, this will mess you up.)
- The podcasts I want to keep as part of my library: subscribe to those on my computer. As soon as they're downloaded, change "Media Kind" to Audiobook. Then resync, they'll download again; mark the redundant copies as played; resync, and they'll disappear. And try to avoid syncing with the iPhone at this point, because, well, god knows what'll happen.
- The transitory podcasts that come and go: subscribe to those on my iPhone. Mind you, I seem a lot happier with the Podcasts app **on its own** (leaving aside syncing) than many others.
- To play the iPhone podcasts on my computer: plug in the iPhone (I do this all the time anyway for charging). In the iTunes window, go to the iPhone under "Devices", and then go into the podcasts or smart playlists to play the downloaded podcasts from the iPhone that way. (I can't believe I didn't know this was possible until earlier this morning!) (Caveat: I'm not entirely sure how or if the iPhone records plays done from the iPhone library, but on the iMac.) (Caveat 2: ah, great. I've just discovered that syncing while playing a podcast through iTunes apparently stops playback.)
So basically I've got a different set of podcasts downloading two different ways: ones I want to keep, to the computer; ones that I don't care about archiving, to the iPhone.
Ugly, ugly, kludge, which requires quite a bit of library management.
Editted ten minutes later: well, after doing that, syncing the iPhone apparently takes 10 minutes or so, and plus the new podcasts are then copied over from the iPhone to iTunes anyway (I should have expected that), which sort of negates many of the benefits. Argh! WHY HAS APPLE MADE THIS SO DIFFICULT?!?!?!?!?!
Ive had a problem syncing the podcasts between itunes 11.1 and the new OS. i could transfer everything but my podcast .
After the upgrade my devices had the lastest version of the prodcasts via the new Podcast app.
I typically use a smart folder to download/transfer files to my devices. My Smart Folder is usually full of older podcast.
When I try to sync , Itunes hangs (viewed via the monitor , "not Responding")
I just found a setting under "My Stations" . "Include All Podcast".
I turned it off and my machines are back to normal.
Looks like that the importance of this setting hasn't been properly communicated.
hopes this helps some.