Podcast fans should update iTunes pronto

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Along with the OS X Mavericks update it released this morning, Apple also published a new version of iTunes that will make sure you never miss an episode of your favorite podcast again.

iTunes 11.2 adds a couple of improvements to the Podcast section of iTunes that make browsing between subscribed podcasts easier by showing you which episodes you haven’t listened to, thanks to a new Unplayed tab.

You don’t have to go to the iTunes store to stream episodes anymore now that iTunes has added the ability to browse available episodes to stream in the feed.

The iTunes update relieves your hard drive from storing a backlog of episodes you’ve listened to with a new option to automatically delete episodes after you’ve played them. A favorites tag can be added to prevent the best episodes from being deleted automatically.

Apple also fixed an issue where iTunes became unresponsive when updating songs through Genius, and of course there are tons of bug fixes, stability enhancements and overall performance improvements.

For those of you still using Apple’s iOS Podcast app for syncing episodes with iTunes, Apple recommends jumping up to the new 2.1 version which just got Siri and CarPlay integration, as well as improved browsing.

The free update can be grabbed through iTunes’ Software Update menu, or you can pluck it directly from Apple’s website.

  • Steve Sheehan

    I want to know why I can watch/listen to podcasts @ .5,1.5,2x on the iOS device, yet in iTunes I can only watch @ 1x.. I guess my MBP Retina or MBA is not as powerful as my iPhone..

  • amcgrath

    Yeah, thanks for the advice. Two hours later, still can’t open the stupid thing, so now no podcasts, 2:00am, not very impressed

  • Francisco Salazar

    Why is Apple insistent on making iTunes less user friendly? This Podcast “fix” actually reintroduced a annoying “feature” that was fixed in the last update. In list view the action to show old episodes is gone. To bring up a list of old podcasts you have to mark as unplayed and it automatically starts downloading from the very first episode. To stop this you have to pause downloads but the downloads will start again unless you go to the download popup and delete every single paused download in the entire history of that podcast. This forces you to use My Podcast view but that view only only lets me view 7 podcasts at a time on my 13 inch Macbook Pro. (And that is the only user friendly aspect of that view option.) I don’t get this urge to take away functionality and overcomplicate things.

  • CongressCritter

    On the contrary, the new version of iTunes has ruined the podcast feature for me. As Francisco mentioned they removed the “Show old episodes” option. But the “refresh podcast” option also does not work anymore. It used to function like “show old episodes” except that it would also download the latest episode. Now it refuses to either update the list of podcasts or download the latest episode. These options are essential for me because I have many podcasts that are in my list even though I am not a subscriber. I don’t want to have every new episode of every podcast downloaded. I want to see all the available episodes and pick which ones I want to download. I can’t do that any more. Whether this is a bug or “feature” it has forced me to reinstall the old version of iTunes. I don’t have high expectations for new versions of iTunes, just don’t screw up the existing functionality. But that is exactly what they have done. If they don’t fix this I will be forced to stop using iTunes to manage podcasts and if I have to do that there is no reason for me to continue using Apple hardware.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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