Auto-deleting Episodes in iOS Podcasts App | iLounge Article

Article

Auto-deleting Episodes in iOS Podcasts App

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: Have you tried Apple’s Podcasts app? Having trouble getting it to auto-delete played episodes.

- Paul (via Twitter)

A: In order for auto-deletion of Podcast episodes to work in the new Podcasts app, you need to be subscribed to the Podcast in question directly inside the app and you must have enabled automatic downloading for that Podcast. The options for a given Podcast can be accessed by tapping on the title of the Podcast in episode view, which will present a series of cascading options—the Auto-Download option only appears if the Subscription option is enabled, and Episodes to Keep is only available if Auto-Download is enabled.

Choosing to keep “All Unplayed Episodes” will automatically remove any episode that you fully listen to within a few seconds after you finish listening to it. Note, however, that this will only remove the copy of the episode that has been downloaded to your device; the episode itself will remain visible on the episode listing, but the download icon will reappear to its right, indicating that it is no longer on your device.

Also keep in mind that you must listen to an episode through to the end for it to be considered “Played” and thereby automatically deleted; partially-played episodes are shown with a semi-circular blue dot beside them.

Further, if you choose to download an episode that is already marked as played, that episode will be kept on your device; since you specifically requested that individual episode it wouldn’t make much sense for the Podcasts app to delete it immediately after it finishes downloading. However, listening to the episode will not automatically remove it in this case, however you can delete it manually when you’ve finished with it simply by using a swipe-to-delete gesture.

Unfortunately, the auto-deletion feature doesn’t work as expected if you have subscribed to a Podcast directly within the Podcasts app and you are also syncing the same Podcast from your iTunes library. In this case, although it appears to remain set in the Podcasts app, the Episodes to Keep setting is ignored. Instead, the Podcast sync settings specified for your device in iTunes are enforced whenever you sync your device with your computer, in much the same way as Podcasts worked prior to the release of the Podcasts app.

In fact, many of the new features of the Podcasts app do not appear to be fully enabled for Podcasts that are synced from your iTunes library. This includes not only the automatic download and deletion features, but also wireless synchronization of Podcast playback status and positions. In short, if you’re syncing a Podcast on via iTunes, the app seems to rely on iTunes to continue handling all of this. Ideally, you should choose only one synchronization method for a given Podcast—either iTunes or downloading directly over-the-air.

Note that although Podcasts downloaded to your device are copied back to iTunes, this is simply a one-way copy operation; transferred Podcasts are not automatically selected for synchronization, although they will be included if you have set iTunes to sync ALL Podcasts to your device rather than only selected Podcasts (or none at all).

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that in our own experience with the new Podcasts app, we have observed a number of inconsistencies, particularly related to synchronization and downloading behaviour—problems that seem to occur with increasing frequency when combining iTunes-synced Podcasts with on-device subscriptions, even after disabling iTunes sync. Sadly, it’s clear that Apple still has some bugs to work out in this initial release.

The most asked question at iLounge.com:

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« Apple TV Screensaver, Photo Albums, and Videos

Disappearing iPhone Calendar events »

Related Stories

Comments

1

Great article. You identified are explained every one of the problems I have been having. It does seem Apple wants you to pick one way (sync with iTunes) or the other (sync from Podcast app) but no combination of both.

Posted by Proto732 on July 10, 2012 at 8:23 PM (PDT)

2

The last few paragraphs refer to things not working as expected and some syncing / downloading issues.  I’m experiencing this and thought I could fix them by unsubscribing in iTunes and only maintaining the subscription within the podcast app.  But that didn’t seem to help.  I suspect there’s a file somewhere, either on the phone or on my macbook that’s screwing things up.  Short of completely uninstalling iTunes on the macbook and the podcast app on the phone, then reinstalling and starting from scratch, is there any way to get the app to behave the way I tell it to via its settings for sync and save?

Posted by Scott on November 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM (PDT)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy