How to Subscribe to Podcasts and Manage Your Library on iOS, Mac, and iTunes

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Apple offers an army of podcasts—Over half a million at last count — which cover a wide range of topics. And you can listen to them on several different platforms. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac with Catalina or higher, you can use Apple’s Podcasts app. Those running Windows or using an older version of macOS can turn to iTunes. Here’s how to set up and manage apps so you can easily follow and access your favorite podcasts.


How to use Apple’s Podcast app on mobile

Let’s first see some podcasts via the Apple Podcast app integrated with iOS, iPadOS and also available for Apple Watch. Open the Podcasts app on your device and tap the Browse at the bottom of the screen to browse “new and awesome” podcasts, top shows, and podcasts by different categories.

To search for a particular podcast by name or subject, press the button To look for and type in a keyword or term to best describe the podcast you’re looking for. Press the See all Link to view all podcasts associated with your search term. Tap any podcast that interests you to view a description and a list of episodes. Tap any episode to start streaming it.

Podcast

If you like a podcast and want to listen to it regularly, follow it up by tapping the plus icon at the top right. Follow means that each new episode is downloaded to your device as soon as it becomes available and appears in your podcast list so you can listen to it offline.

podcast episodes

You can download an older episode of a podcast if you tap the ellipsis icon next to it (or long press the podcast icon) and tap the Download the episode button. Once the episode has downloaded, press the button To play to read it even if your device is not connected to the Internet.

library

After watching podcasts that interest you, press the Library at the bottom of the screen and select the icon Shows possibility to see them all. Tap the ellipsis icon and you can sort your podcasts by title, date tracked, date updated, or by moving them manually. To use the manual option, tap the ellipsis icon again and select Edit shows. Tap and then drag and drop each podcast on the screen to rearrange them.

podcast menu

To manage a specific podcast in your library, long press its icon. From the context menu, you can unsubscribe, read the next episode, read the last episode, share a link to the show with someone else, copy the link to the show, or report an issue.

settings menu

In the context menu, press the Settings icon. Here you can follow or no longer follow the show, activate or deactivate notifications on each new episode, change the order of episodes from oldest to newest or vice versa, choose to hide played episodes, automatically get downloads of each new episode, limit downloads by most recent or by date, and choose to delete downloaded episodes after playing them

episodes menu

Tap the icon for a specific podcast. In that podcast’s window, tap the ellipsis icon next to a specific episode. In addition to downloading the episode, you can report a problem, copy a link to the episode, share a link to the episode, mark it as read or unread, save the episode to the Checked in section, play the last episode of the podcast, play the next episode of the podcast, and remove the download.

last episodes

In the left pane of the Library window, by pressing the Shows The entry displays all of your podcasts that you have subscribed to. Type it Checked in The entry displays the episodes you have recorded. By tapping on the Downloaded the entry displays all downloaded episodes. And by tapping on the Latest episodes The entry displays the latest episodes of each podcast. On this screen, tap the ellipsis icon to control how far back for the latest episodes.

listen now

To listen to a specific episode of a podcast, listen to it from your library. To automatically listen to the episode after the last one you played, touch the Listen now at the bottom of the screen, then select the podcast that contains the episode you want to listen to.


How to use the Podcasts app on a Mac

Apple podcasts mac

If you have a Mac running macOS Catalina or later, you can use the Podcasts app on your desktop. Click on the entries to Browse and The hit parade to view different podcasts.

to follow

To find a specific podcast, enter your keyword or term in the field To look for field in the left pane. You can then open a podcast that looks interesting. Play a specific episode, then click the button To follow button, if you like the podcast.

show list

After watching a few podcasts, click on the entry to Shows in the Library section of the left pane. Click on a podcast you want to manage, then select the ellipsis icon and you can unsubscribe, hide played episodes, and take other actions.

podcast settings

In the context menu, click Settings to change the order of episodes, limit the number of downloads, or delete played downloads.

episode settings menu

Right-click an individual episode or click its ellipsis icon to download or delete it, save it, mark it as played, and run other commands.

Synchronizing Finder

You can have all of your favorite podcasts saved on your computer, but you’ll need to sync your device to get them on your iPhone or iPad. Open the Finder app and click on your device listed in the Site section. The first time you do this, you need to click the button Confidence button to synchronize your computer with your device. Click on the header to Podcasts. Check the box next to Sync podcasts to [name of your device].

Check the box next to Automatically copy. Click the drop-down menu and select the podcast episodes you want to sync based on the most recent and unread. Otherwise, leave this box unchecked, then click the names of the podcasts you want to include and select the individual episodes you want to sync. When finished, click To apply.


How to access podcasts on iTunes

ITunes store

If you’re using Windows or haven’t upgraded to macOS Catalina yet, you’ll access podcasts through iTunes. Launch iTunes on your computer and click on the title of Shop. Click on the drop-down menu that lists the different types of content and select the Podcasts Entrance. You can now browse the available podcasts and search for specific podcasts by name or topic.

subscribe to the podcast

Click on a podcast that interests you and press the Subscribe button to order a subscription. You can then see all the podcasts to which you have subscribed by clicking on the button Library title and selection Podcasts on the side panel.

itunes library

To control a specific podcast, select it, then click the ellipsis icon in the top right. From the menu, you can delete it as a download, add it to a playlist, play it, like it or dislike it, unsubscribe and remove it from your library.

itunes settings

For additional settings, click the button Equipment top right icon. From this menu you can sort the episodes and control the downloaded and played episodes.

itunes episodes menu

To control a podcast episode, right-click on it or click on its ellipsis icon. From the menu you can download or delete the episode, mark it as read, add it to a playlist or device, get podcast info, like or dislike it, view it in the iTunes store, save the episode, copy the details about it, view the downloaded file on your computer, copy its URL or delete it from your library.

itunes sync

To sync iTunes with your mobile device, connect your iPhone or iPad and click the little icon in the upper left corner. Click on the entry to Podcasts in the Settings section. Check the podcasts and individual episodes that you want to sync with your device, and then click To sychronize.


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