Apple explains iTunes changes in macOS Catalina

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Apple Music in macOS Catalina
So long, iTunes!
Photo: Apple

Apple’s plan to ditch iTunes starts this fall with the release of macOS Catalina, which will offer standalone apps for Music, Podcasts, and TV.

WWDC offered a brief glimpse at how other things — like syncing iOS devices — would work after the update. Now Apple has published a new support document that explains everything for those who are still confused.

The document promises that “all of your favorite iTunes features” will still be available in Catalina. And it tells you where they will be.

How to subscribe to a podcast from the beginning

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Rewind lets you listen to a podcast from the very beginning.
Rewind lets you listen to a podcast from the very beginning.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

With a podcast like the CultCast, you can drop in and start listening at any time. News-based podcasts are meant to be listened to, and then discarded. Another one will be along soon. But what about more structured podcasts? Podcasts that work episodically, like a TV series? With those, you want to listen from episode one, and listen in order — episodes 2, 3, 4, etc.

But podcast apps don’t let you do this. They’re geared towards disposable, periodically-updated podcasts. They may show you a list of previous episodes, so you can tap to download them manually, but then it’s no longer a podcast.

What you need is a service that takes any podcast feed and rejigs it, serving you a new episode each week as if the series had just started.

How to share podcast clips with Overcast

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Overcast clip sharing
Share podcast clips in Overcast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You’re listening to an awesome podcast, and one of the hosts makes a super-smart point about a fascinating subject. It’s so good that you just want to share it with people. But how? Tweet a link to the podcast along with a timecode so folks can hunt down that pithy quip themselves? Good luck! People on Twitter are too lazy to… well, they’re just too lazy.

But if you use the Overcast podcast player app, then you can now share a short audio or video clip of any podcast, to Twitter, Instagram, or anywhere else. It’s dead easy, and it might be the best thing to happen to podcasts in quite a while.

Apple reverses course on episode numbers in podcast titles

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Learn the equipment and skills it takes to create compelling podcast content.
Don’t worry, your favorite podcast can keep episode numbers in the titles.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple is walking back yesterday’s warning to podcast producers that putting episode numbers in titles risked the podcast getting kicked out of Apple’s service.

It’s likely complaints from users brought about the change in this policy.

Apple warns podcasters not to use numbers in episode titles

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Apple's podcasts app is deeper than you might imagine.
Apple has contacted podcasters with guidelines.
Photo: Incase/Flickr CC

Apple is contacting podcast producers requesting that they optimize the metadata for their shows — or risk having them removed from Apple’s podcast service.

The cautionary email mostly concerns guidelines on including detailed, nonredundant written descriptions of episodes. However, the Apple Podcasts email contains a few surprising directives — like the fact that titles should not include numbers. Provided that’s read as intended, this could cause a few problems!

It only costs $5 to game Apple’s Podcast charts

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podcast
Making a "chart-topping" podcast isn't that hard.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Scoring a top spot on Apple’s podcast charts is a lot easier — and a lot cheaper — than most listeners probably realize.

Many podcast fans use Apple’s charts on iTunes and its iOS app to find new shows and gauge what’s popular right now. However, an intriguing new report reveals that some shows are paying for a place at the top and its shockingly inexpensive to game the charts.

How to turn any YouTube channel into a video podcast

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Turn any YouTube channel into a proper video podcast with PodSync.
Turn any YouTube channel into a proper video podcast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you ever wish you could take your favorite YouTube channel and subscribe to it as a video podcast? Instead of having to go check in on the YouTube website over and over to see what’s new, you could just subscribe. Every time a new video became available, it would automatically download and show up in your favorite Podcast app, ready to watch offline. Better still, you could watch it in the native iOS video player, full-screen or Picture-in-Picture, without all that YouTube junk surrounding it.

If this sounds like a dream come true, then you’re in for a real treat today, because it’s super-duper easy with a service called PodSync.

Waze adds podcast controls to brighten up your commute

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The Waze Audio Player puts podcast controls right next to your driving directions.
The Waze Audio Player puts podcast controls right next to your driving directions.
Photo: Waze

Long trips and podcasts go well together, and Google’s Waze navigation software just added support for controlling some popular streaming audio services from right within the app.

The goal of the new Waze Audio Player feature is making it less dangerous to adjust what you’re listening to while driving.