Working with Podcasts

In this lesson for iTunes on the Mac we look at Podcasts in iTunes including how we can discover them, subscribe to them, view unplayed episodes, and more.

Viewing and Discovering Podcasts
To view and discover podcasts you need to go to the store where podcasts are located. To do this, you first need to select Podcasts as the media kind you want to view in your sidebar on the left. From there, you’ll see Store towards the center of your display below the iTunes toolbar.

Once you click on Store, you’ll be able to discover new podcasts. To see what a podcast is about, you just click on it. There will be a description of the podcast. Below that you will see a list of the episodes in the podcast. If you are not familiar with podcasts, they are similar to tv shows. They can be both video and audio only, usually audio only. A podcast is comprised of episodes. These episodes are played individually. You’ll see next to each episode a play button. You can also download the episode by click on the download icon to the right of each episode. Also, episodes can be either audio or video.

Subscribing to Podcasts
If you like a podcast, you can subscribe to it. When you subscribe to it, when a new episode is released, it will show up in your iTunes library. You will also be able to see and play all the past episodes to that podcast without going to the store. To subscribe to a podcast, you just click on the Subscribe button below the podcast cover art.

Viewing Unplayed Podcast Episodes
When you are looking at your podcast library, and you have a specific podcast selected, you can see just the unplayed episodes for that podcast by selecting Unplayed below the podcast name. To view all the episodes again, click on Feed. To mark an episode as played or unplayed, you click on the three dots or ellipsis or you control-click on it. You’ll see an option in the menu that drops to change the episode to watched or unwatched.

To view all your unplayed episodes out of all your podcasts, not just a specific podcast, you click on Unplayed below the toolbar above your podcast name.

Default Settings for Podcasts in iTunes
iTunes has a few settings for podcasts. To access these settings, you click on Default Settings in the towards the left corner of the iTunes interface. Make sure you have Podcasts selected in the sidebar. When you click on Default Settings, you’ll see four options – Refresh, Limit Episodes, Download Episodes, and Delete Played Episodes.

Refresh sets how often iTunes looks for new episodes. By default, it is every 24 hours. You can select how often you want iTunes to look for new episodes here. If you want to refresh manually, you can click on Refresh next to the Default Settings button.

Limit Episodes
With Limit Episodes you can set how many episodes you want for each podcast. You can set for a number of recent episodes or by week or month. This applies for all your podcasts.

Download Episodes
With this setting, you can set if you want to download the episodes to iTunes. If you are trying to save space and have access to the internet, you may want to turn this off.

Delete Played Episodes
With this setting, you set what you want iTunes to do when you are finished playing an episode. Again, if you are tight on space, you will want to delete played episodes.

Changing the Settings for individual Podcasts
You can also set the settings for individual podcasts. As an example, if you have iTunes set not to download podcast episodes, you can set for a specific podcast to download the episodes. You also have sorting options. To view these options, you first have to select the podcast you want to change the settings for. Then over to the right of the podcast title, you’ll see a gear icon. Click on that, and you’ll see various sorting options as well as where you can unsubscribe to a podcast. You will also see where you can set if you want to download or delete the episodes for that specific podcast.

Syncing Settings
You can also set if you want to sync your subscriptions and settings with your other devices. To access this setting, you go to your iTunes Preferences, which is under iTunes in the menu bar. When you select Preferences a new window will open. For there you need to select Store. Under there you’ll see ‘Sync podcast subscriptions and settings.’ When this is elected all your podcasts will sync with all your devices, also any settings will also be synchronized.

You can create a podcast station in iTunes. Essentially what this is is a playlist of unplayed episodes from your podcasts. The default station is located below Podcasts in your Sidebar. This station will play all you unplayed episodes from all your podcasts. If you want to create a new station, you click on New at the bottom of your podcasts. From there you can select which podcasts you want to be included in this station. Just select the podcasts you want to add on the right. You can also access Station Settings at the bottom of this list of podcasts on the right. Just set what you like to include.

See this Lesson in Action
If you want to see this lesson in action, take a look at the video above.

Lesson tags: Mac Tutorials
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