Tracking which podcast episodes I've listened to
January 4, 2019 6:01 PM   Subscribe

I've been binge listening to a bunch of podcasts lately. Is there a web-app or something I can use to track which episodes I've listened to? I'm aware that some podcasts (Radiolab, This American Life) have apps that do this, but the podcasts that I'm listening to do not have apps like this. So far, I've just been using a spreadsheet, but I'm hoping a better solution exists.
posted by NoneOfTheAbove to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How are you listening to the podcasts? The standard Apple podcasts app (and I expect, many others and probably all of the most popular ones) shows whether you've listened to a prior episode. I think most podcasts show up on all the major apps if you want to start listening there (or if you are already on a major podcast app, maybe share which one so we can see if there's a "listened" indicator you're missing?)
posted by jouir at 6:20 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I listen to them either using my iphone or through my browser (if I'm on a desktop or laptop). As far as I can tell, there's no way to mark a podcast as being listened to in the ios app. So, I can't update the app if I've listened to an episode on my pc.
posted by NoneOfTheAbove at 6:22 PM on January 4

I use Overcast on iOS. It tracks played/unplayed. I expect the other top podcast apps do as well.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:41 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]

Most people rely on their podcasting app telling them if an episode has been listened to. I'd be surprised if there was another solution. HOWEVER if you have to uninstall the app for whatever reason, you lose all that data, so keeping your own track isn't a bad thing to do. I would recommend using a google form that you can keep as a link on your phone screen or browser to make it easier to update.
posted by bleep at 6:55 PM on January 4

If you're already using the Podcast app on iOS you can use iTunes to listen to them on the computer. It shares your list of subscriptions and synchronizes your listened-to episodes and even where you are in a currently-playing episode.
posted by odinsdream at 7:30 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I thought most podcast apps did this? I know Overcast does. It will tell you which episodes have been played. Now, I can't 100% guarantee it, but considering Overcast also has a web app version I am pretty sure whether or not an episode has been played is stored in the cloud. Since you mention you're on an iPhone (there's no Android version) I'd definitely suggest you check Overcast out.
posted by cgg at 7:31 PM on January 4

If you were listening via a web browser that changes the appearance of followed links, and you never clear the history, you could keep track that way. You might need something like Stylish to override the stylesheets of web sites if they prevent followed links from being visible. Or, I would think if you're clicking on the episode from the RSS feed as displayed in the browser, that will always retain the default followed-link styling?

You could also use a separate web browser “profile” for this, so that you can still clear the history when you want to in the web browser you normally use. For example, on my system I run “firefox -ProfileManager --new-instance” to get access to the little dialog that lets me manage multiple profiles in Firefox.
posted by XMLicious at 7:58 PM on January 4

To build on what qxntpqbbbqxl said, Overcast tracks played/unplayed episodes, has a web player for listening on your computer which syncs with the iOS app, and allows you to export your data via OPML (including which episodes you listened to) if you wanted to do some kind of processing after the fact.
posted by JDHarper at 8:07 PM on January 4

I also use Overcast. It has a smart playlist feature, which lets you automatically include or exclude podcasts. I use this to create a separate 'Backlog' playlist for podcasts that I am working my way through from the start. Then I download then in 2-3 episode batches (to avoid using crazy amounts of storage) and just work my way through them. It will add a 'Played' note to each episode you have listened to as well, so I can quickly scan through a podcast index and see which ones I haven't got to yet.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:44 AM on January 5

On iPhone, my favorite podcast app is Downcast. It tracks all your listening magically, and has great options for sorting, making playlists, and playback control. I never investigated whether you could use some desktop app to sync play progress, but I don't think it exists. So if you listen on desktop, you need to manually pick the episode on your phone and scrub to the place you were at on desktop. Not perfect, but it works. Of course, I just always listened on my phone.

Now that I'm on Android, the best I've found is Podcast Addict. Not quite as good (none of the Android podcast apps seem to have good playlist creation like Downcast), but good. Same limitations apply. But same opportunities too; it'll keep track of all your podcasts, download whatever you want to the phone (manually or according to rules, WiFi only or on cell too) or stream.
posted by Pacrand at 10:43 AM on January 5

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