MacMost Now 138: Managing Podcasts in iTunes 8

Gary Rosenzweig looks at how to manage podcast subscriptions in iTunes 8. You can now manage your subscriptions on a per-podcast basis in iTunes 8.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 138: Managing Podcasts in iTunes 8.

Hi, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's look at how to manage your podcasts in iTunes 8.
So iTunes 8 added the ability to manage each podcast individually, having different settings for when new episodes are downloaded, and how they're kept. So here we are in iTunes 8. And I've selected podcasts from the left, so these are the podcasts that I subscribe to. The blue dot means there's an episode of that podcast that I haven't listened to yet. If I click on the little triangle here, I can expand and see the episodes. So I can see here in black, the episodes I've downloaded, and in grey, the ones I haven't. The ones I haven't, I can click on the get button to actually get that episode.
Now, if I want to control how I download episodes of a podcast, I select the podcast and click on the settings button. Now, the only way to get to this is clicking on the settings button. Control clicking or right clicking won't bring up this menu. So I click on settings and I get a podcast settings dialog. Now its settings for, and you can see MacMost Video Podcast. I can actually change that to look at the settings for any of the other podcasts I listen to, or click on podcast defaults to see the default settings. So for MacMost Video Podcast, it's now set to default settings. I can uncheck that, and I can go ahead and say when to download new episodes: download most recent one, download all of them, or do nothing and let me manually click the get button to get episodes. I can also say how many episodes to keep. The default is last 3 episodes, so it'll delete episodes older than that. Then also select when to check for new episodes, so check every day, every week, every hour, or manually. And you can set this for every podcast individually, and also set the default settings that will be for any podcast that you're not managing manually like that.
Now, one of the things that you may do is you may go through some of these old episodes here and decide you don't want them listed anymore. So, you go ahead and select them, press delete, and remove them from your library. And this cleans up the listing and only shows the most recent episodes, or whichever ones you want. Now, if you've done this, and you want to actually see the old episodes again and get the chance to download them, all you need to do is hold down the option key when you open up the triangle here, and it'll actually go out to the feed, and get all the episodes again.
Now there's several different ways to look at podcasts in iTunes. You've got the list view, like this. But you can also do the new grid view, which is new in iTunes 8, and you can go through all the different podcasts you download that way. You can do it by category, and you can just look at new as well. You can even adjust the icon size if you like. In addition, you've got, of course, the cover flow view, like this. And below that, it will actually list some information about the podcast, in the same view as the list view. Some other options you have is to see a browser at the top. Command B will bring this up, and then you can look at your podcasts by artist, and album, just like you would look at music. It usually doesn't apply, but sometimes it can be useful. Another thing you can do is you can look at the artwork by clicking command G, and you will see the artwork for the different podcasts on the left. If you want a customized list view, you can click on command J and come up with view options. So, you can remove or add new things to display in the columns. For instance, if you want to click on size, you can go ahead and do that, and you'll get a new column to the right here, that shows the size of each of these podcasts. You can also go ahead and adjust your columns, like that, and move things around. Then, when you select a podcast, you can go ahead and click the arrow to the right, to be taken to the iTunes Store, directly to that listing. And there you can go ahead and click on a link to the website, you can read reviews, and you can leave your own review as well.
You can also create your own playlist, with podcast. Just go down here to the plus sign (+) at the bottom, and go ahead and add a new playlist. And then you can go back to podcasts, and drag and drop episodes into that playlist. And then those episodes appear there. And these will sync with your iPod and iPhone.
One of the ways I like to manage my podcasts is by creating a smart playlist. You do that by going to file, new smart playlist, and you get this dialog. Then I can go ahead and say I want to create a smart playlist that contains only podcasts, and I want it to limit to 25 items, selected by the most recently added. So it'll be the 25 most recently added podcast episodes. And then I said select live updating, so it'll constantly be updated as new podcasts are downloaded. I'm gonna go ahead and name this, and I've got my playlist right here of all my most recent podcasts in the order that they were downloaded. Now I can go ahead and sync this with my iPod and iPhone, and I've got a really convenient way to listen to the new podcasts while driving in the car, without having to go and look through each podcast artist and find out which episode is new.
So the advantage of subscribing to podcasts and iTunes is you get your content automatically downloaded to your machine, you don't have to remember to go to the website and see if there's a new episode, and they'll automatically sync with your iPod and iPhone. Now, if you don't want to keep that much stuff on your hard drive, it's also great, because it'll automatically delete older episodes, only keeping the most recent one. And it's easy to go back and find older episodes and re-download it if you want.
So, you're probably already subscribing to this podcast, but if you have friends that use Macs and iPods and iPhones, you might want to tell them about iTunes and how to subscribe to podcasts. And be sure to mention this one as a good one to start. Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

FYI: My Twitter name just changed to @rosenz.

Comments: 9 Responses to “MacMost Now 138: Managing Podcasts in iTunes 8”

    11 years ago

    Very good and detailed show!
    Had things I knew and some that where new to me. :-)


    10 years ago

    Great show ! I learned a lot . Thanks

    George Scafidi
    10 years ago

    Excellent primer. I came to your video while searching for the way to change the time of day that iTunes searches for the new eprisode. Currently my podcasts update at 1:52 pm. This is too late, as I would like to have the update in the morning so I have fresh content to listen to in the car. Any ideas?

    10 years ago

    George: I set mine to update manually instead. Another good solution is to set it to update hourly — if your machine is on all night, then why not? But I heard if you change to update manually, then update at the time of day you want, and then switch back to daily, it will inherit the time of day from your lasy manual update.

    10 years ago

    Thanks for the informational video. I learned lots of new stuff. My current problem is that I have too many lists containing the same stuff including about 200 songs or music files that are repeated again and again. Any idea where to find this information for cleaning up so that I do not have more than one list where these appear and also get rid of the duplicates?
    Your help in directing me to the right source for info is highly appreciated.

    10 years ago

    Paul: You mean you have too many playlists? A playlist is just a custom list of songs in your Library. You can remove playlists and still have the media in your Library. Maybe just starting with fresh new playlists is your best bet — but I’m not sure I understand your problem completely.

    10 years ago

    iTunes 8 is fine, but I’m really annoyed that I can’t manually manage my podcasts anymore. I don’t want Apple to think for me!

      10 years ago

      Why can’t you manage your podcasts? What “management” feature are you missing?

    8 years ago

    Thank YOU! Without geeks like you…I’d never get my best of you tube, Escape Pod and Stuff you should know, updated with most recent podcasts on my i pod. Love you Geeks! Before I was manually making a playlist, then taking time to sift thru and update what I’ve listened to on long road trips. Smart Playlist makes sense, but I didn’t understand how to filter it until your video. thanks!

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