Q: I’ve got a number of podcasts that I sync automatically with my iPod classic, keeping only those that have not been played. However, there are a few podcasts that I’d like to be able to keep indefinitely. Is there a way to do this? Can the files be changed from “podcast” to something else in a way that works (I’ve tried it, but not successfully)?
A: In iTunes itself you can set individual podcast episodes to exempt them from auto-deletion simply by right-clicking on the appropriate episode and choosing “Do not auto delete” from the context menu.
This will exempt that specific podcast episode from automatic deletion. If you click on the same episode again, iTunes will show the context menu option as “Allow auto delete” to allow you to allow the episode to be automatically deleted again. Note that you can also adjust this setting for the entire podcast series by right-clicking on the podcast title instead of an individual episode.
With iTunes 8, you can also individually adjust the retention settings for each podcast subscription. Simply select the podcast you would like to change and click the “Settings” button found at the bottom of your Podcasts listing.
Uncheck “Use default setting” to override the default settings and specify your own preferences for how many episodes to download and keep for that particular podcast subscription.
If you want to be able to keep some of these older, played podcast episodes on your iPod itself but do not want to synchronize ALL of your podcasts, you can easily create a standard playlist or Smart Playlist in iTunes that includes the specific podcast episodes that you wish to keep on your iPod and then ensure that this playlist is synchronized to your iPod, either as part of all of your music content, or one of your selected playlists. Podcasts within playlists are synchronized in the same way as any other type of audio content.