An annoyance in the iPhone Podcast app

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I contacted Apple Support about ANOTHER problem--my iPhone does not have all of the books that Apple Books on my MacBook Pro has, missing about 25 titles--but while we were waiting for a report to be compiled on my MBP I asked about a problem that I have with the iPhone Podcast app. For some reason ALL of the podcasts have been changed to show the podcasts in reverse date order which is irritating because while I have been listening through my backlog of podcasts, when a given episode--which is always the earliest one I have--ends, the app selects the "next" one in the list meaning the first one in that reverse date order AKA the last episode. This is problematic for programs like Futility Closet because they have weekly puzzles plus updates to past stories including past puzzles, so listening to Futility Closet in reverse date order can lead to revelations on solutions and somewhat mysterious mentions of past stories which the podcasters naturally do not go into much detail, relying upon the listener to have heard that previous episode.

My Apple Support guy told me:
1) open the Podcasts app,
2) click on Library in the bottom menu bar,
3) click on Shows,
4) select one of the podcasts,
5) on the next screen for that podcast, tap on the purple icon with the white ellipses,
6) choose Settings in the menu which appears,
7) see which order is set in the "Episodes" section. For my iPhone I saw "Custom Settings" then in the "Custom" section I see for "Episode Order" "Newest to Oldest".

He also warned me that this is a setting for each individual podcast so I would have to do this reset one podcast at a time.

EXCEPT that I didn't. While I had my iPhone's Podcast app open I did have to change a couple of the podcasts that way, I decided to do this with only those podcasts I am actively catching up on and to leave the rest of the podcasts until a later time. Well, now is that later time and to my surprise I see that at least those podcasts that I have checked that all of them have been changed to "Oldest to Newest". It appears that the order is global for the Podcast app (even though the Settings segment has a "Subscription" slide-button at its top). Still, it takes a while for ALL of my podcasts to be re-ordered. I tried switching that option back to "Newest to Oldest" then let my iPhone sit for bit while I got a drink of water. A spot-check found that a few had been changed to "Newest to Oldest".

AND there is the mystery of why this was set in the first place. I know that my record of knowing how to work with my iPhone is spotty, but in this particular case I had NEVER checked Settings in the Podcast app. Even more annoying is that I can recall the switchover from oldest first to newest first happened rather slowly with only some in newest first order. That switch happened over a couple of weeks AFTER I left the hospital. If I had known about the Podcast Settings then I NEVER would have selected "Newest to Oldest" for any of my podcasts, so what gives?
BTW my other problem with iTunes: apparently it has something due to how my iTunes Library was set up. What my Apple Support guy suggested was to create a new iTunes folder (quit iTunes, then Cmd-click on the iTunes icon and you will be given a choice to make a new folder [which I chose] or to select one that has already been created. If you do not use Cmd-click on the iTunes icon then iTunes will continue to use that selected library). While he was reluctant to suggest this since doing this possibly could bork something ELSE, I hooked up my iPhone to THIS version of the iTunes library and checked to see if I could see all of my Apple Books. THAT worked, but there were problems with everything else.

I should mention that I had to export my Music Playlists because these are part of the old iTunes Library and thus would not transfer using the process below.

Under Favorites in the sidebar of the Finder window I had to choose "Music". There I could see both the original but broken iTunes folder and newly created one called "iTunes 1". Because I lacked the space on my MBP, I opened a new window for iTunes 1, then positioning them so I could see the contents of both the original iTunes folder and that of iTunes 1. The former had a folder named iTunes Music while the latter had the equivalent called iTunes Media. I quit iTunes then copied all of the contents of iTunes Music into iTunes Media (my Apple Support guy warned me NOT to use the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder within the iTunes Media folder). Now I restarted iTunes then placing the iTunes Media folder someplace where I could see its contents I drag-n-dropped that same contents into the iTunes window with its Music window selected. This took a while since I have 6,400 music files and 4,200 podcast files (yeah, yeah, I'm WAY behind).

Having my music files working again, I then imported those saved Music Playlists which worked when I tried one of them.

THEN I had to go through my Podcast library which had a bunch of problems with MANY of them set to attempt to download their entire back catalog of episodes, plus for some reason iTunes decided to separate a given podcast into several podcasts. I suspect that one of the reasons is that sometimes over the years the makers of given podcast have fiddled with the name of each episode so they might have begun with "Episode 1: <description>" then changed to "Ep. 56: <description>" then changed to "Ep 127 <date>: <description>", BUT it was readily obvious that there must have been other criteria for making such divisions. I guess I might check to see if I can consolidate these separate listings but this likely would involve having to download many already downloaded episodes.

But I can see all of the Apple Books in the iPhone's listing within iTunes now sometimes. Grumph, I just checked iTunes now and it showed the number of available titles to be copied was only one "book" (a pamphlet really), but I was able to quit iTunes then restart it and NOW I can see that my 91 unread or partially read e-books will be copied to my iPhone.

Here's hoping that the division of iTunes into separate apps including ones specifically for podcasts and for books will fix these problems.

I have just downloaded that latest Tor Books free e-book and have added it to my Apple Books.

Then I cheked on iTunes. THAT book was the only book in my list of books to be transferred to my iPhone.

I restarted iTunes then checked the iPhone>Books entry. Good, now I have 91 books BUT I cannot find The Emperor's Blades. Yes, I checked under both E's and T's just in case this is one of those titles which has the lead article in the title being unignored.

In Apple Books, I clicked on the Book Store button, then click on the Account option after logging into my account. Oh, look: I see that Hidden Purchases has appeared in the "iTunes in the Cloud" section. Previously that option disappeared when there are NO hidden purchases, but when I clicked on the Manage option I read "You have no hidden purchases.

I do NOT want to have to rebuilt my iTunes library again because that was VERY annoying. I cannot wait for that iTunes "update" which will break it apart into separate Mac apps.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Wait, can't you just download directly from the browser and copy it to your SD card? Oh, right... nevermind. :trollface:
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An annoyance in the iPhone Podcast app