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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions Apps
iTunes has a "feature" where podcasts that haven't been listened to in some amount of time are no longer updated automatically. To fix this, I simply run an AppleScript daily from iCal (I could use cron to do this instead) that increments the play count of Podcasts that haven't been played (granted, this ruins the accuracy of the play count, if you actually care).
tell application "iTunes"
  set pl to (some playlist whose special kind is Podcasts)
  set ofi to fixed indexing
  set fixed indexing to true
  repeat with t from 1 to (count of file tracks of pl)
    set tr to file track t of pl
    try
      if tr's played count is 0 then
        set tr's played count to 1
      end if
    end try
  end repeat
  set fixed indexing to ofi
end tell
Just save this to a file, create an iCal event that repeats daily, and in the event's Alarm field, choose Run Script and select the script file you just created.
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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions
Authored by: lokon1979 on Feb 14, '07 08:48:10AM

it is not a "feature". it prevent careless users from filling up the harddisk with forgotten podcast, especially if one subscribe a lot of video podcast. i do know some people subscribed to lots of podcast and then totally forget about them.



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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions
Authored by: Dan_ on Feb 14, '07 01:12:23PM
I think you mean it is a feature. And you're right; I just would like it if this feature could be disabled. It's a poor design choice on Apple's part to not make this configurable.

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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions
Authored by: AquaX on Feb 14, '07 10:05:22AM

Unfortunately, this script marks all Podcasts as played, which can be problematic if you only sync unplayed podcasts to your iPod. I wonder if there would be a way to mark it as played, then unplayed, tricking iTunes in to thinking it's being played enough to keep downloading it.



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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions
Authored by: Dan_ on Feb 14, '07 01:16:11PM

Good point. I didn't think of that (because I primarily listen on my Mac).

One easy solution would be to have the script add the tracks to a playlist, "NotReallyListenedTo," say, and then sync that playlist with the iPod.

Downside to this approach is that if you then listen to them, you'd have to remove them from the playlist; the solution is to script the sync end with a script that, say, syncs those tracks that are in NotReallyListenedTo and only have a play count of 1--since if you listen to them again, the play count will get incremented again.

I don't really have any interest in doing this, since it's not a feature that I use, but you should be able to do it from the AppleScript with a few modifications. Hope that helps.



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So that's what's happening
Authored by: dumas on Feb 14, '07 11:46:49AM

Good grief - is that why iTunes keeps stopping downloading my podcasts? I don't listen to them very often and then I catch up in a big batch on a road trip or something - I figured iTunes was just broken when it wasn't downloading my podcasts anymore.

Is this documented somewhere?



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So that's what's happening
Authored by: robleach on Feb 14, '07 03:39:34PM

I assumed the same thing! I listen every day on my iPod, but I go awhile between downloads and I never understood why I always had to manually select "update podcast". This "feature" shouldn't be in effect when you only keep the latest X number of episodes! My hard drive's in no danger of overflowing. I can't believe there's no way to change this behavior from the interface!

I have no desire to increment the playcount: that way I'd never be able to find where I left off. And is there a way to keep iTunes from removing a "played" podcast from my iPod when there's less than (or equal to) the limit I set (e.g. 3 episodes). Sometimes, I'm not done listening or I want to show a 'cast to my girlfriend, but it was removed the last time I synced!



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So that's what's happening
Authored by: Wodgy on Feb 14, '07 06:26:53PM
It's documented here:
http://www.apple.com/itunes/store/podcaststechspecs.html

Automatic Unsubscribe

iTunes automatically unsubscribes from a podcast if the following conditions are both met:

1. The user has not played any episode downloaded in the past 5 updates (there may be more than one episode downloaded per update.
2. More than 5 days have elapsed since an episode was played.

I suspect this feature is not meant to "save users from themselves" -- it's to defend podcast providers from excessive bandwidth usage. It's a tradeoff that makes podcasting affordable for more people.

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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions
Authored by: rixm on Feb 14, '07 01:00:14PM

It's documented in iTunes. When a podcast goes idle like this, if you click on the little symbol (I think it's a exclamation or triangle, not in front of mac now & no iTunes on this puter to check) it tells you what's up.

R



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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions
Authored by: chally on Feb 14, '07 05:06:50PM

Correct. Whenever software has features designed in to "save the user from himself" they should at least have the common courtesy to allow users with brains to turn those features off.



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Hidden preference setting for increasing the unsubscribe criterion?
Authored by: lionel77 on Feb 14, '07 09:30:31PM

No offense, but I agree with others that have pointed out that this script is a clumsy solution to the problem.

In general, I think automatically stopping to download further episodes of a given podcast if old episodes are not listened to is a great idea, but the problem is, the "past 5 updates/days" rule is imho a bit too strict. I usually sync my iPod only once a week and that causes the daily podcasts to be put on hold on a regular basis.

Long story short, has anybody maybe figured out if there is a hidden preference setting that let's you adjust the unsubscribe criterion? If I were able to set that to 10 days that would make my life much easier.



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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions
Authored by: DougAdams on Feb 15, '07 04:46:58AM
I could only try this once, since all my podcasts got updated and I'd have to wait five days to test it again ;).

This AppleScript will update all podcasts without altering any playcounts and so on:
tell application "iTunes"
	set podcast_playlist to some playlist whose special kind is Podcasts
	set all_podcasts to album of every track of podcast_playlist
	set each_podcast to {}
	repeat with this_podcast in all_podcasts
		set this_podcast to this_podcast as string
		considering case
			if each_podcast does not contain this_podcast and this_podcast is not "" then
				copy this_podcast to the end of each_podcast
			end if
		end considering
	end repeat
	
	if each_podcast is not {} then
		repeat with this_podcast in each_podcast
			set the_podcast to (some track of podcast_playlist whose album contains this_podcast)
			updatePodcast the_podcast
		end repeat
	end if
	
end tell

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

[ Reply to This | # ]

This Script available for download
Authored by: DougAdams on Feb 15, '07 05:37:08AM
BTW: I have posted this script at my site.

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

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Fix iTunes' expiring of unplayed podcast subscriptions
Authored by: loren_ryter on Jul 25, '08 02:05:12PM
Cast Away has a feature to force iTunes to continue to update podcast subscriptions. It more or less accomplishes what Doug suggests above, but since it can be scheduled you can just forget about it.

Just stumbled on this thread while searching for something else.

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