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