How to Subscribe to a Podcast on iOS or iTunes

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Apple's iTunes offers an army of podcasts covering a wide range of topics. If you want to subscribe, you can use Apple's Podcasts app on your mobile device or iTunes on your computer.

The trick is to choose the right subscription settings and make sure those settings are in sync on your iPhone or iPad and on your computer. Here's how.

Let's first subscribe to a podcast via the Podcasts app, which comes built-in to iOS. Open the app and tap on the Featured button at the bottom of the screen to browse "new and noteworthy" podcasts or shows by category. Tap the Top Charts button to see the top-ranked and most popular podcasts.

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Tap on the Search button to search for a particular podcast by name or topic.

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Tap on a podcast that interests you. At that podcast's main screen, tap on the name of a specific episode to listen to or watch it by streaming it. Tap on the cloud icon next to the name of an episode if you wish to download it so you can listen to or watch it offline. After the episode has downloaded, tap Play.

If you like a podcast, you can subscribe to it by tapping the "Subscribe" button. This means each new episode is downloaded as it becomes available and shows up in your list of podcasts.

Do this for each podcast that interests you. Now tap on the My Podcasts button at the bottom of the screen. From the list of podcasts, tap on one to which you subscribed. Tap on the Settings icon (the one that looks like a gear). Here you can control your subscription.

Under Settings, tap on the "Play" option to determine if you want to play the episodes from newest to oldest or vice versa. Tap on the "Sort Order" option to determine whether episodes are displayed from newest to oldest or oldest to newest. Keep the "Subscribed" button turned on. Turn on the "Notifications" button to be notified when a new episode debuts; otherwise turn it off.

Under the "On this iPhone" or "On this iPad" section, tap on the "Refresh Every" setting to determine how often you want the app to check for new episodes. Tap on "Limit Episodes" to control how far in the past you wish to go back to access previous episodes. The "Download Episodes" option determines how far back you wish to download old episodes. And "Delete Played Episodes" lets you control whether you want the app to delete episodes you've already heard or watched.

If you want to delete podcasts manually, you can swipe left and tap "Delete" to get rid of them one by one. To delete several at once, select Edit on the top right, tap the circle next to the podcasts you want gone, and select Delete at the bottom of the screen.

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Subscribe on iTunes

Alternatively, you can subscribe to podcasts using iTunes. Launch iTunes on your computer and make sure it's pointing to the App Store. Tap on the drop-down menu that lists the various types of content and tap on the entry for Podcasts.

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You can now browse available podcasts or search for specific ones by name or topic. Tap on a podcast that interests you and then tap on the Subscribe button to order up a subscription.

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Tap the Library link at the top of the screen to move to your iTunes library. Tap the drop-down menu that lists the various types of content and select the entry for Podcasts. Tap on the Settings icon to customize settings for each podcast.

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Finally, you'll want to sync your settings so you can listen to or watch any of your subscribed podcasts either on your mobile device or your computer. With iTunes open, connect your iPhone or iPad and tap on its icon. Then tap on the Apply or Sync button. Your podcasts and their settings should now be synced between the Podcasts app on your device and iTunes on your computer.

For more, check out:

  • How to Take a Free Apple Product Workshop
  • How to Share Your iTunes Library Among Multiple Devices
  • How to Manually Add and Organize Albums in iTunes
  • How to Turn On Apple Two-Factor Authentication
  • How to Use Apple Support
  • How to Cancel Apple Music

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