Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts app: exploring "mark as played"

I found myself avoiding Apple Podcasts, because its settings and options present so many choices. I wanted to explore them first, before deciding on a routine for retrieving and listening to podcast shows. The article Listen with Apple Podcasts is a nice introduction, but leaves many questions.

Here, I am sharing my observations regarding one particlar action: mark as played.

I have inserted a red flag where the appplication's behaviour is odd.

I did my testing with the show "SWR Wissen" which is set to keep the 5 most recent episodes.

I distinguish 5 types of episodes:

Listed under My Episodes:

  • Recent episode (based on the settings for the show)
  • Downloaded episode
  • Saved episode
  • Manually added episode (with the add button from Available Episodes)

Listed under Available Episodes:

  • Available episode

This is what happens, when you set an episode as played:

Recent episode:

gets delisted immediately from My Episodes

gets listed under Previously Played

Downloaded episode:

gets delisted immediately from My Episodes

🚩the file gets removed after 24 hours, yet "Remove Download" remains an option

gets listed under Previously Played

Saved episode:

gets delisted immediately from My Episodes

remains listed under Saved Episodes

the file is is still on the device (not marked for deletion)

🚩is NOT listed under Previously Played

Manually added episode:

gets delisted immediately from My Episodes

🚩is NOT listed under Previously Played

Available episode:

🚩is NOT listed under Previously Played

This is what happens, when you set an episode back to unplayed:

Recent episode:

gets added back to My Episodes

🚩oddly, it remains listed under Previously Played

Downloaded episode:

gets added back to My Episodes

🚩oddly, it remains listed under Previously Played

Saved episode:

gets added back to My Episodes

remains listed under Saved Episodes

🚩oddly, it gets listed under Previously Played

Manually added episode:

gets added back to My Episodes

Available episode:

🚩oddly, it gets added to My Episodes

Why so many red flags, Apple? What were your coders thinking? An episode can either be played or unplayed. An unplayed episode cannot have a history or play count. The app would offer all the options one needs to create beautiful lists of episodes, but the options have to work consistently in the first place.

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