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I am a big iPod user (especially podcasts). I have used iPod touch, iPod classic and iPod nano. I noticed that iTunes stops downloading podcasts that you no longer listen to and stops downloading them. Is there a way to force iTunes to download all episodes of podcasts irrespective of whether you listen to them or not?

I am not interested in just clicking a episode to make iTunes think that I'm listening. I need some kind of programmatic work around or batch script that runs and updates all podcasts/episodes automatically.

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migrated from Oct 23 '09 at 14:14

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Okay folks - I started a bounty on this one. Someone's gotta help solve this, because I'm sure @user15660 and I aren't the only ones with this problem. On iTunes for Windows (no applescript solutions!), how do you keep iTunes from discontinuing podcasts if it thinks you haven't listened to them. Often, there's a podcast like TAL that you have to get every week or you will miss that episode. – mattmc3 Jul 31 '10 at 11:39

As a workaround, you can select all items in the podcast list (Cmd-A on Mac, should be Ctrl-A on Windows), open the context menu and select "Update Podcast". This forces all podcasts to update, including the ones iTunes thinks you're no longer listening to.

See also here

If you're on Mac OS X, you can try using AppleScript. Open /Applications/Utilities/AppleScript and enter the following:

tell application "iTunes" to updateAllPodcasts

This script will launch iTunes and update all podcasts.

You can save as script and e.g. execute this by running osascript scriptname.scpt in Terminal.

Alternatively, enable the Scripts menu for your menu bar in AppleScript Editor's preferences and execute from there whenever you're in iTunes, after you saved it in ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/iTunes.

Alternatively, you can save it as an application and run it manually, or put in in your Login Items in Accounts preference pane in System Preferences.

You can even use Automator and the Run AppleScript action to create a Service that executes the code above, which is placed in the Services menu. Select all applications or iTunes in Automator to determine in which applications' Services menu this script appears. You can then configure a keyboard shortcut in System Preferences » Keyboard » Keyboard Shortcuts » Services.

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Not bad. At the very least, I make this a (bad) habit every time I open iTunes. – mattmc3 Aug 4 '10 at 1:21

By default, iTunes will only download the most recent new podcast. You can change this in the podcast settings ("Settings" button at the bottom of the Podcast view):

iTunes podcast settings window

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Comment from user15660: "Thank you for answering. I know about the drop down you mentioned long ago. but download all will not download everything once itunes finds that you are not listening to those podcasts. I have 25 to 50 podcasts and many of them don't fetch the latest episode from the server becasue of the apple itunes policy. I hope this makes my point very clear. thanks & please advice if you have any solution." – Gnoupi Aug 1 '10 at 6:47

GET Available Podcast Episodes v2.1

This script will let you GET any or all un-downloaded episodes of the Podcasts you have subscribed to, rather than clicking the "GET" button for each one individually in the Podcasts playlist.

This does the same as castmaster – at least the bit on this thread, and is free. That site also has tonnes of great scripts.

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From Apple's Spport Podcasting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: In iTunes, when I selected the Podcasts setting, "When new episodes are available, download all," I didn't get any additional episodes. Why?

A: This setting only applies to new podcast subscriptions.

The answer may be then to apply the "download all" option to new podcast subscriptions, rather than to existing ones.

See also:
How to manually add missing podcast episodes so they show up correctly in iTunes

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iTunes won't download recent episodes of video or audio podcast if you haven't watched the last five or so. Here's how I fixed this problem.

Go to the last five or so episodes of a particular podcast and right click it and choose the option to mark it as played or watched. You don't have to actually play or watch the episode to fool iTunes into thinking you did anyways.

After you have marked all your episodes as played or watched, close iTunes and then restart it. It didn't work for me unless I restarted itunes after I marked them.

Then tell each subscription to update again and it will update with the latest podcast for you. Just keep the recent episodes marked as played and watched, iTunes will keep feeding you your subscriptions.

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For Mac Users:

My new app Castmaster solves this problem by forcing iTunes to download all podcast episodes, even those that haven't been listened to recently.

It's available on the Mac App Store, Castmaster on the Mac App Store

To enable this, check "Keep Subscriptions Active" in the Settings window.

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Stolen from Re-download podcasts without subscribing again:

The following works on the Windows version of iTunes:

  1. Delete podcasts with grey exclamation mark from your podcast list. (Right-click » "Delete")
  2. Download episode list (Right-click on the podcast title » "Show all available episodes")
  3. Click the "Get all" button.
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