Is podcasts the worse software Apple have ever made?
I do not believe that they have a professional software developer working on this project. I think someone greenlighted something an intern put together. Whomever is working on it does not understand threading in iOS, basic UI element interaction, or have a plan for syncing the metadata through iCloud.
These are just amateur problems - e.g. I notice now that they have attempted to get played status syncing, they did not bother to reconcile the played status of files already on the devices... they only seem to sync changes to played status. And they do not actively sync the deleted status of individual files, *however* if you make a play status change then all of the sudden the delete status gets synced too... It's as if the developer is struggling to fix specific problems and has no general plan or understanding of how to address these issues.
The reason this is so frustrating is that I really want it to work so that we can get desktop syncing with the upcoming iTunes... Otherwise I would have abandoned it long ago for some alternative.