With the "Google Podcasts" app, I have been downloading episodes of several podcasts that I listen to, but am months behind and the podcasts only leave a month's worth up.

I thought that downloading them to my phone would keep them around even after they expired from the Podcast's stream, but apparently it doesn't, because the old, unlistened to, downloaded ones are not there.

What the heck? How do I keep old episodes until I am ready to listen to them?

  • This is not a new problem, and is mainly a part of the underlying XML that controls the feed. The "current" XML feed is the one the owner defines how many episodes to backlog, and is what most podcatchers rely on to synchronize. If it is defined to maintain X weeks history, that's all they keep until the next synchdate. I have used up to a dozen podcatchers and found all will do the same. I have accelerated my podcast listening periodically to catch up with the oldest files, just because I know a flush is coming. I also use some variable speed; spoken audio does not require high integrity. – wbogacz Aug 2 '19 at 16:48
  • I just switched to android from iPhone this year, and the Apple Podcast app would hold them indefinitely, as long as I downloaded the episodes to the phone. – Kestrell Aug 2 '19 at 17:03
  • Good for Apple. Maybe their app only synchronizes forward, without enforcing the defined backlog. I have not encountered an app that does it this way. – wbogacz Aug 2 '19 at 17:23
  • I'm surprised that Apple is doing it better than Google. It is good to know, though disappointing, that you've tried a bunch of Android podcasts apps and haven't found one that will hold on to expired episodes. – Kestrell Aug 2 '19 at 19:05

This may be a feature to ensure continued payment, many Pay-Per-View services will block viewing after a certain period, DMR or Digital Media Rights licensing is applied to the files, these are only licensed for a certain period of time and usually as soon as the license has expired, you'll need to download a new licensed file.

Sometimes DMR is not the case, sometimes this is a programming limit set by the developers.

Usually the correct way to update the XML List View, would be to increment an array by each addition and display the total items in the array.

However, some developers take in to consideration - the time it takes to select each item for removal..

If you saved 500 items, the list would take hours to navigate and also take forever to clean up/remove items, it is easier to limit the list length than to have search functions alongside multi-select items.

Some ROOT Access applications will let you stream your system audio into an mp3 file, this would let you Back them Up.

  • While this answer attempt provides some good background information about why podcast owners may want to limit the number of back episodes available, it does not answer the question "How do I keep old episodes until I am ready to listen to them?" – Kestrell Aug 6 '19 at 22:44
  • I am outlining the fact that it is not possible. – Gadget Guru Aug 13 '19 at 10:50

This is definitely something under the control of the podcast app. I have found "Castbox" which keeps all of the old episodes, as well as allowing you to download and listen to expired episodes.

I'll be switching from Google Podcast app to this one. I'm sure there are others that do the same thing, but I got tired of looking for something that should be basic and built into the Google Podcast app.

  • The current reviews to this app show a severe dropoff from its former height. Random pauses or shutoffs, ad intrusion, podcasts that fail to play, etc. Uncontrollable to the user ; they all outweigh a known controllable issue. – wbogacz Aug 7 '19 at 13:27
  • Assuming the "known controllable issue" that you mention is that the stock Google Podcast app deletes expired episodes even if you have downloaded them to save them, please tell me, how do you control this issue? – Kestrell Aug 7 '19 at 15:09

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