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.
Q: I mainly use my iPod nano for podcasts. However, if I have a large number loaded at any one time it’s easy to lose track of which ones I have listened to, especially if I mix them up a bit rather than play them sequentially. Is it possible to delete podcasts once they have been listened to? I can find no such function. Alternatively, what’s the best way of managing the playing of podcasts, other than restricting the number residing on the iPod?
A: While it is not possible to delete podcasts from the iPod interface itself, these can be automatically removed by iTunes on the next synchronization, leaving you with a list of only those podcasts that you have not yet listened to.
The easiest way to do this is to simply select one of the “Unplayed” or “New” settings from your podcast synchronization options found under the “Podcasts” tab for your iPod device within iTunes:
From the “Sync” option at the top, you can choose to either sync all episodes, all unplayed episodes, or all new episodes, or you can further limit these selections to the only the most recent episodes, unplayed episodes, or new episodes:
In the context of podcasts, a “New” episode refers to one that you have not listened to any portion of, whereas an “unplayed” episode refers to an episode that has not been listened to completely through to the end. “New” episodes are indicated with a blue dot to the left of the episode title in iTunes, whereas the played status of an episode is indicated by a play count greater than zero (in the same manner as with music tracks and other content). This allows for more effective control over which podcast episodes are retained based on your normal listening preferences (ie, dependent upon whether you normally listen to a podcast episode through to the end or not).
Another method that can be used for more effective podcast management is to create Smart Playlists for your podcasts. This will allow you more flexibility over the content loaded onto the iPod, since you can select a different number of episodes, based on different criteria, and can also perform selections based on things like least recently added. A Smart Playlist has the added bonus of updating “live” on the iPod itself, so if you listen to your podcasts from a Smart Playlist, and use a criteria such as “Play Count” you can easily maintain a list of only unplayed episodes of each podcast without having to return to your computer and resync your iPod to update the content.
A Smart Playlist such as the following, for instance, will select the 5 least recently added (oldest) episodes of a given podcast that have not yet been listened to:
Once you listen to an episode, it will be removed from the Smart Playlist the next time you select that particular Playlist, leaving you with a list of only those episodes that you have not yet listened to. When playing podcast episodes using a playlist or Smart Playlist, the iPod will play them all in sequence if the shuffle setting is turned off (on the iPod, under Settings, Shuffle), or will play one episode and stop if the shuffle setting is enabled. This can be used for more effective control over how you want to listen to your podcast episodes.
You can combine normal podcast synchronization (via the iPod “Podcast” settings in iTunes), with the selection of Smart Playlists (which would be selected under the “Music” tab) to control how many podcast episodes are actually loaded on your iPod. The Smart Playlist will still only reflect those episodes that actually meet the playlist criteria, but all episodes selected under the “Podcast” settings in iTunes will actually be transferred to the iPod itself (and available through the “Podcasts” menu on the iPod).
The only limitation to the Smart Playlist approach is that there is presently no Smart Playlist criteria for tracking “New” episodes, so this will only work if you normally listen to your podcast episodes through to the end of each episode.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Iovine fuels speculation about Apple’s interest in scripted TV shows
- Report: ‘iPhone 8’ to include upgraded water resistance
- U.S. appeals court resurrects App Store antitrust lawsuit against Apple
- Apple increases maximum tvOS app size to 4GB
- Apple releases fourth iOS 10.2.1 beta
- Apple looking to produce original TV content for Apple Music subscribers
- FBI releases heavily redacted information about cracking iPhone
- Apple partners with Tresorit to offer encryption option to CareKit developers
- ESPN’s iOS apps add support for Single Sign-On
- Spigen AirPods Stand coming in mid-February
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10