iOS bluetooth podcast audio tech support question
December 13, 2017 4:37 PM   Subscribe

Sometimes when I press the play button on my bluetooth headphones, my iPhone launches iTunes and plays random music at me, and that is not what I want!

I am lucky enough to own an iPhone 7 Plus with iOS 11 and Bluetooth headphones with a play/pause button on them. I use these to listen to podcasts using the PocketCasts app. I *never* use them to play music using iTunes.

When I'm listening to PocketCasts and I hit the play/pause button on my headphones, I expect PocketCasts to stop playing, and when I hit play/pause again, I expect PocketCasts to resume playing. That's usually what happens, and that's the desired behaviour. It's great.

Sometimes though, when I hit the pause/play button, the iPhone launches iTunes and starts playing a random song in my library. When I hit play/pause again, it pauses iTunes. When I hit pause/play a third time, it begins playing iTunes again. So, instead of stopping playback in PocketCasts, play/pause switches to iTunes and stays there. To get back to PocketCasts, I have to unlock my phone, switch to PocketCasts using the touchscreen, and press play in the app. It is awful.

What triggers this behaviour and how do I make it stop?
posted by chrchr to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This isn't just limited to bluetooth, it's a problem with this functionality in general. It sounds like the app is crashing, or at least not behaving reliably. I don't know enough about the particular iOS internals to comment, but have observed similar issues occasionally with unrelated apps.
posted by Alensin at 5:47 PM on December 13, 2017

Ok. Alensin's answer gave me the idea that this was a problem with PocketCasts. So I restarted PocketCasts, and play/pause works correctly again. Thank you!
posted by chrchr at 5:54 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've noticed a lot of bugginess with play/pause especially via Bluetooth, lock screen, and Control Center since iOS 11. It's not just you.
posted by primethyme at 6:22 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

My theory is that if you don’t use it for a while iOS will suspend it and close its audio session or whatever and then when you press play there’s nothing running that can play so it just defaults to the Music app (which, btw, is no longer named iTunes)
posted by aubilenon at 6:43 PM on December 13, 2017

My experience (with iOS10, actually) is that if I use my phone for anything audio related between playing podcasts, it will do this "play a random song from your library" thing when I reconnect to Bluetooth.

So, I get out of the car and my podcast pauses as it disconnects from Bluetooth. If I then get right back in the car, it's fine. However, if I watched a YouTube video in between those times, it's playing a random song when it reconnects.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:18 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is an iTunes problem, and the only way I could figure out how to fix it was to remove iTunes from my phone (I wasn't really using it).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:21 AM on December 14, 2017

I've noticed the same thing and I believe it is just that iOS is a pOS. It is especially annoying in the car, and usually happens when I do something like check a map, then try to resume listening. The advice to "remove the music app" would be good, except that I did it and no other audio would play on my iPhone 6S+. It violated what Apple said, but I tried it three times--take the app off: no audio; put it back: audio. So I just restart Overcast when it happens. Manually. Like an animal.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 11:59 AM on December 17, 2017

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