12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 18, 2009 2:43 AM by mark1x
mark1x Level 1 (5 points)
What do the little blue dots mean next to the podcasts in itunes? there are also next to movies, on the left hand column. Most of my podcasts display this blue dot but not all, and there is no pattern for example podcasts which have been synced will display the dot as will podcasts that haven't yet synced. Likewise podcasts that don't display the dot have also synced!! be glad to know thanks.

Toshiba Qosmio, Windows XP
  • necronym Level 4 (1,350 points)
    The dot indicates the file hasn't been played. If it's been part played it's a half dot (I think)
  • mark1x Level 1 (5 points)
    Ahhh! that makes sense thank you for taking the time.
  • necronym Level 4 (1,350 points)
    You're welcome
  • the fiend Level 6 (8,285 points)
    The "half-dot" next to an episode is only on the iPod Touch (and iPhone I assume), not in iTunes or on any other model of iPod.

  • mark1x Level 1 (5 points)
    Actually the dots i'm referring to are in itunes, in the left hand column. I have one such podcast that I have downloaded and synced with iphone, itouch and ipod and yet there is no dot half or full! Thats really why I'm asking, I realise now in the device the dots shows if the item has been part played etc but in itunes it kind of makes no sense to have some items not display a dot at all? Any thoughts?
  • the fiend Level 6 (8,285 points)
    mark1x wrote:
    Actually the dots i'm referring to are in itunes, in the left hand column.

    Yes, I know that. Okay - let's start again!

    Before the iPod Touch - +there was no half-dot!;+ it was mentioned by necronym and I was explaining it.

    In iTunes, next to an unplayed episode of a Podcast (both in iTunes and on an iPod [with display, obviously!]) a blue dot meant that the episode had not yet been played _at all._ As soon as the episode had been listened to, the blue dot was removed on the iPod, and at the next Sync it would be removed in iTunes. However, to be precise, the dot appears to be removed after an episode has been playing for about 30-60 seconds.

    So, if you left all Podcasts on your iPod, some would have a blue dot (not yet played) and some would not have a blue dot (fully or partly played). The idea was that you could (and still can) select options that automatically remove an episode from your iPod when you have listened to it. iTunes must use the "blue dot" to decide which Podcasts to remove.

    Unfortunately, I believe this means that an episode that had been partly played would be removed from the iPod at the next Sync because iTunes thought it had been fully played, because that's how Apple thought it would be used by us - the end users! That's why I leave all episodes on my iPod and un-check anything I wish to remove. It also meant that if you listened to only part of an episode, the blue dot would be removed and there would be no indication that you had not listened to all of that episode and you could then lose track of it.

    SO - in iTunes;
    blue dot means episode not yet played
    no blue dot means episode part or fully played...
    If you have a Podcast in your iTunes that does not have a blue dot, then it's a Podcast that you have started playing in iTunes or on the iPod and then Synced the iPod again.

    ... and to explain the half-dot:
    This only applies _on the iPod Touch and iPhone._ It does not appear on earlier iPod models and since Apple do not make any model called itouch, if that's what you have, it ain't Apple!

    Currently, since the introduction of the iPod Touch there has been the half-dot, but only on the Touch itself - not in iTunes! Due to customer feedback, Apple introduced this method of identifying a part-played episode, so that users could recognise them amongst all other Podcasts. However, this feature is not in iTunes, so what happens is that a part-played Podcast becomes a half-dot on the Touch _but no dot at all_ in iTunes.

  • stevestevenson Level 1 (0 points)
    itunes has half dots now.

    and its really annoying me. partially watched podcasts show up as unwatched instead of watched. I wish I could go back to the old system because it suits the way I listen to podcasts (often skipping the end).
  • Rickety222 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes, I also find the new half-watched/half-played/half-circle/half-dot feature to be very annoying. Is there anyway to turn off this new feature?
  • the fiend Level 6 (8,285 points)
    I'm not really sure why anyone would find it annoying to be kept informed about which episodes had not yet been fully listened to - but everyone to their own I suppose!

    I like the feature - very much! I downloaded several episodes of a Podcast that are four to five hours long (yes - each episode!) There is no way I can listen to any one of them all at once. (Not sure I'll finish even one at this rate!)

    I don't think the half-dot feature can be turned "off", but you can mark an episode as "watched" by (in Windows) right-clicking the episode and choosing *mark as watched* from the context menu. Sorry, I don't know what the "right-click" command is on a Mac, but hopefully you know how to find the context menu.

  • mark1x Level 1 (5 points)
    Yes I'm happy with the dot indicating watched not watched or part watched. But in truth I'm still not getting why one of my podcasts is behaving the way that it is. Here it is:

    I downloaded a new podcast and synced with my iphone and touch but have not listened to it on any device including itunes. There is no dot!! and never was a dot for this podcast. I'd have thought if I haven't watched it there would be a full dot but there is no dot at all. I have re synced both phone and touch and still no dot!!
  • the fiend Level 6 (8,285 points)
    That's right, there should be a full dot. Did you download it through your iTunes, either by choosing it in the Store or via a "subscribe to Podcast"? If not, that's probably the problem.

    In the meantime, if it's in the Podcast section of your library, you can "mark it as unwatched". That will put the blue dot back on until you play it. (Notice that iTunes now uses the term watched/unwathed, even for an audio only Podcast. It used to say played/unplayed.)

  • mark1x Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks the friend...I did download the podcast via itunes and marking the item as unwatched has solved the mystery. Thanks.