The short and to the point answer is because the Podcast app is now designed to be as frustratingly complicated as possible!
I wish I was joking.
However - all is not lost! Bear with me while I explain.
What you cannot do:
- There are no previous or next buttons. (Well, I haven't found them.)
- Some methods of playing Podcast episodes will list the next episode, others will not. If the next episode is displayed, you have to manually tap it instead of tapping a Next button. See the long list of steps below for further explanation.
- You cannot simply create a Playlist (such as an On-The-Go or On-The-Fly Playlist) to be played now. You appear to have to go through the steps below. (That will however, self populate.)
- If you go into the Recently Updated list, and select the Podcast and an episode to play, then the subsequent episodes will not be visible on the Now Playing screen. So two episodes from one show will not play one after the other by going in here. You need to follow the steps below.
- If you go into the Shows menu and select the Podcast and episode that you wish to play, then once again, the following episodes will not be visible on the Now Playing screen.
As I'm preparing the steps below, it is finally beginning to make sense to me. I have however, owned this iPod almost eleven weeks and I'm only now realising how to do this! I've been using the Podcasts App from day one! Well - attempting to...
How to play one Podcast after another (play next). Find a friend - and get that friend to read out the following steps while you complete them. (Again, I really wish I was joking!)
- To set up a "playlist" of several episodes, that can be played one after another without pause or manual intervention, you need to create a "Station". (I know - Huh? Why? What is this nonsense?)
- In your Podcast App, go to the Library (button on the bottom bar).
In this Library menu, if Shows is not displayed, turn it on in the step 3.1, (next). (This is important.)
- Tap the Edit button
If the Shows is not displayed (purple text), tap the circle to turn it On
- Tap New Station
- Name the Station (your choice) and tap Save. (In my example, I'll name it "My Personal Selection". (It will appear in step 18.)
- The screen will now change to the Settings page for this "Station".
- In Settings, the Play menu allows you to select the order in which episodes are played. (For example, I prefer to set mine to play oldest to newest.) Make your choice and tap the Back text. (Yes, I know, why isn't it a button that says "I've finished here"?)
- I suggest that for the time being, leave the Group by Podcast set to Off. (You can always revise that later.)
- Under the Include options, the following applies:
- Episodes - default is Most Recent, but you can change it to include more episodes if you wish
- Media type - default is All, but you can set it to include only video or only audio.
- Unplayed only - default is On, which means that once an episode is played it will be removed from the list. As a consequence, there will not be a "previous" button.
- Under the Podcasts option, next to the section named Choose Podcasts, the default will state 0 of X, where X is the number of Podcast shows you are watching or following. It is not just subscribed Podcasts. In this menu, you select the Podcast shows that you want to include in this "Station". When you tap a Podcast, a tick will appear to the right. Tap it again to remove the tick. (Alternatively, select the Include All Podcasts button. (Yes, there really is a button this time!)
- When you have made your choices, tap the Back text.
- The Choose Podcasts will now indicate the number of Podcast Shows (not the number of episodes) that you have added to your "Station".
- Below the Choose Podcasts header you will see the programmes listed and if you enter a show, you can choose how many episodes of that programme you want to include. I assume this will over-ride the step 9.1
- Having made all your choices, tap the infamous Back text (yes, still no "complete", or "I've finished here" button!)
- On the screen that is now displayed, tap the Done button. (Finally, a button!)
- On the screen that now appears, the episodes to be played will appear. (If you turned on "Group by Podcasts" in step 8, this display will be different, it will display the programmes and the episodes will be listed under the Podcast's title.)
- On this screen, tap "< Library" to return to the Library menu.
- On the Library menu now, you will see the "Shows >" and below it you will also now see the "My Personal Selection X >" (mentioned in step 5). X is the number of episodes. Tap on My Personal Selection to see the list of episodes.
(Note that when I set this up for this explanation, my list of episodes included one with a cloud next to it, in other words, one that was not downloaded onto my iPod. I dislike this intensely! It's confusing!)
- Tap on the first episode to begin playing your "station" from first episode.
- While playing, there will not be a previous button.
- While playing, to see the next episode, drag the Now Playing screen upwards to see the Up Next list. (If the current episode has any text in its description, the Up Next is below that.)
- Tap the next episode to start it playing. That's your "next" button.
While playing your "station", tap-and-hold any other Podcast episode and select Play Next. But note that that is exactly what it will do. I think that after that episode has played, it will continue from where you left off.
Well I'm exhausted now...
Can you let us know here (with a typed reply) whether this helped. I'm not concerned about points, I actually want to know whether you found this helpful - or not. If this doesn't work, let me know. Perhaps I can then I can modify it for other people.
It shouldn't be this complicated.