I would like for iTunes to check for new podcast episodes more often than it does, without having to click “Refresh” manually. Is this possible?
In the podcast section in iTunes, on the bottom on the screen there is a Settings… button.
Click that, then make sure you are setting the default settings. Then set the refresh to however often you want.
Beyond that, it depends on your OS. I have created an Automator script to check 4 times per day.