Podcast Management and Downcast App
November 24, 2014 6:00 AM   Subscribe

After posting my last question, I have purchased Downcast and am ready to use it as my main podcast organization method/app.

As noted from my previous question here, I am beyond frustrated with the latest version of iTunes and its inability to allow me to manually manage my podcasts the way I want to listen to them. The way I used to manage them might have been archaic, but it suited my needs and I was able to listen to them in the order that I wanted, without fail. With the past couple of versions of iTunes (11 and 12), I have no idea what is going on and can no longer manage my podcasts the way I want to.

Anyway, it appears that from my last question, Downcast might be a good solution to my situation. So I went ahead and purchased it and I am now ready to use it. However, I have a couple of questions. I have played around with it a little bit, but I am not sure how to use it. And there isn’t a lot of help out there on the web that provides a lot of basic info. I read a couple of pages, but it didn’t really help me.

I manually added a couple of the podcasts that I listen to in order to try it out, so it seems fine, but I am not sure how to efficiently work it for my needs. Firstly, I subscribe to 32 podcasts. Is there a way that I can get these podcasts onto Downcast? Or do I have to manually update them one by one?

Also, as an example, one of the podcasts that I listen to is WTF with Marc Maron. I manually added this to Downcast and clicked on the View All Episodes link and it only loaded a few previous podcasts, but on my iTunes, I have WAY more podcasts ready to be listened to that didn’t load up with Downcast. For example, on my iTunes, I think I am at podcast #470 with WTF. Downcast started downloading at WTF podcast 503. Any way to fix this? I would like to be able to listen to the missed podcasts.

Also, any way to fix Downcast from downloading new episodes from all podcasts that I am subscribed to? I mean, there a couple of podcasts I subscribe to that I want to listen to the latest one, but most I am well behind and want to listen to older ones and only download the others when I am ready.

So…if anyone has tips, suggestions, advice, links to websites that I can access to learn more about this, I am all ears! I am looking forward to getting back to listening to my podcasts, but now on my new phone!

posted by dbirchum to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm pretty sure WTF pulls old episodes after a certain point - to listen to them you'd need the WTF app and to pay.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:30 AM on November 24, 2014

For importing your podcast subscriptions, you can create an OPML file from iTunes and import that into Downcast.

For WTF, it looks like the podcast feed XML now only goes back to episode 506. That episode appears to be a 'premium episode', even though the MP3 link in the feed works for me, so you might be out of luck on that without premium membership.
posted by smcg at 6:32 AM on November 24, 2014

Best answer: To prevent downloads of new episodes, go to Settings. Under the Settings change the 'New Episodes Action' to 'Do Nothing'. For the podcasts that you do want to download, you'll then want to go to the Podcast Settings (a separate icon attached to the podcast's screen), and change 'New episodes Action' there to 'Download All New' or 'Download Most Recent'.

You can add the podcast episodes that are no longer on published feeds by using 'Tools' -> 'Import Media Files' to manually add the missing files.
posted by wotsac at 6:47 AM on November 24, 2014

Best answer: Congrats! Downcast is the best podcast management app ever, in my opinion.

Anyway, in terms of adding podcasts, DC has a pretty good podcast database of feeds already loaded that you can search (Add > Search for Podcasts > type in distinctive part of name (like "WTF") > choose podcast > hit subscribe button in upper right corner.) I find this is a bit quicker than manually loading feeds in and only occasionally has something that I listen to not been in their database.

Also, everyone else is right about playing around with settings. A few that I know about and like: you can turn parallel downloading on/off, isolate specific podcasts for updates automatically but tell others to update only when you manually do so, create playlists of all your favorite podcasts so they just roll right into the next episode, and mark episodes for streaming (which will pull them into your queue for that podcast as though you've downloaded them but not actually take up any space on your device, which is great if you're routinely near Wifi.)

If you have a subscription to a podcast such as WTF, you can actually make that happen through Downcast as well. Go into the podcast, click the gear icon (settings), scroll down and you should be able to see "login credentials" at the bottom. I'm not sure how it works because I've never used it, but I assume you can put your info in there if it's a premium feed and Downcast will make it all happen for you, so you don't need a podcast-specific, proprietary app to listen.

Enjoy your new sleek podcastin' machine!
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:43 AM on November 24, 2014

Best answer: As others have mentioned, you are not able to download older episodes of WTF in Downcast because they are no longer available in the feed provided by WTF. It looks like you do have the episodes downloaded in iTunes on your Mac or PC. If you are able to put these files either on a web server, iTunes on your iPhone, or in iCloud, it seems that you can import them into Downcast via "More" tab > "Tools" > "Import Media Files".
posted by applesurf at 4:50 PM on November 24, 2014

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