Keeping played podcast episodes on iPod

Q: If I listen to a podcast on my iPod completely all the way to the end the next time I sync with iTunes the podcast disappears off my iPod and I can’t listen to it on my
iPod again, even though it remains in iTunes itself. How do I fix this so I can listen to a podcast more than once when I want to? This didnt always happen so I know it doesnt have to work this way.

– Rachel

Keeping played podcast episodes on iPod

A: You can definitely change this behavior, and the setting for this can be found on the “Podcasts” tab in your iPod sync settings within iTunes. Simply connect your iPod to your computer and select it from the devices list on the left-hand side of the iTunes window.

From the tabs that appear in the main window, select “Podcasts” to manage which podcasts are synced to your iPod from iTunes.

The drop-down menu beside the “Sync” option at the top of this screen allows you to choose whether iTunes syncs all podcasts, only unplayed podcasts, or only new podcasts. You can also choose to sync only a certain number of the most recent or least recent episodes of each podcast. In this context, “unplayed” indicates podcast episodes that have not been played through all the way to the end, while “new” indicates podcast episodes that have not been listed to at all, so if you choose the “new” setting then podcast episodes will be removed from your device if you have listened to even a portion of the episode.

In your specific situation, you probably want to change this setting to include one of the “All” settings, although if you have a large number of podcast episodes stored, you may want to limit this to the 1, 3, 5 or 10 most recent episodes to conserve space on your device.

Note that this setting applies to ALL of your podcast subscriptions, so if you subscribe to a lot of different podcasts, you may find that you’re keeping more episode than you would otherwise like to. If you want more granular control, you can easily create a Smart Playlist for your specific podcast that keeps the old episodes for a specific podcast on your device, while still using the “Unplayed” option for your other podcast episodes. As an added benefit, you can use the “Last played” criteria to limit how long an old podcast episode stays on your iPod.