Do you use iTunes for syncing podcasts to your iPhone or iPod and want to take whole process to a next level? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

I listen to podcasts a lot and am very happy with all the features that iTunes provides to make any listener’s life a lot easier. Do you want to have all episodes; just 10 last episodes or maybe just 5 episodes that you haven’t listened to yet in your device? Any of these options can be done with just a few clicks using the automatic syncing.

Of course, you could do all that just by manually moving specific episodes to your device but after you try to automate this process, you will never go back.

Podcast syncing essentials

Let me start with the basics of iTunes podcasts syncing:

1. Make sure that you have some podcasts episodes downloaded in your iTunes library.
2. Connect the iPhone/iPad/iPod to your Mac/PC. It will appear in iTunes in few seconds.
3. Click on it and then click on the ‘Podcasts’ button at the top of the iTunes windows. This will take you to Podcasts window.
4. Check the ‘Sync Podcasts’ checkbox and now you can choose any episodes of any podcasts by checking them in the left panel like on this screenshot.

podcast syncing selected

Only selected episodes will appear in your device

Automatic podcast syncing

Now, imagine you have 10 podcasts with average 50 episodes and you want to have only some of them in your iPhone. Better way than manually selecting them is to let iTunes choose which episodes will be copied to your iPhone.

To do this, check the ‘Automatically include’ option which will enable the menu in which you can select which episodes will be synced.
podcast syncing automatic options
You can see that the options are quite comprehensive but there are basically four options:

– no description needed for this one, simply all episodes.

Most Recent – all recently released episodes in your library. Either played/not played ones.

Unplayed – these are all episodes that you haven’t listened to thoroughly yet.

New – these are all newly downloaded episodes that you haven’t listened to yet and haven’t been synced to your iPhone.

Generally, use the ‘most recent’ option or ‘least unplayed’ to make sure that you catch up with all episodes and you listen to them right order.

After you select the option that fits your needs select the episodes that you want the rule to be applied to. You can also select “all podcasts” from the episodes options menu if you want to apply the rule for all podcasts.

podcast syncing episodes options

After selecting the right options click on “Sync” (or “Apply”) button at the bottom right side of the iTunes window.

My workflow for the iPhone usually is to sync all 10 least recent unplayed episodes which will make sure that I listen to all episodes chronologically and my iPhone will contain always only the maximum of 10 episodes of selected podcasts. The played episodes will get deleted automatically during the next sync.

I hope this guide helped you and you will start syncing your podcasts to iPhone automatically. I also use an iPod with less space for some podcasts and for this case I will show you more complex syncing technique using iTunes Smart Playlists in next article. Check it out!