iTunes Match and Podcast Playlists: A Fix!

Posted by on Dec 24, 2011 in gadgets, Geekery, OSX, Podcasts, tips | 7 Comments

In my last post, I described the problems I was having syncing manual podcast playlists between iTunes and my iPhone after I upgraded to iTunes Match/iCloud. Well, it looks like I got an early Christmas present from YouOverRotated, who commented:

I was in the same exact situation, except mine’s a BMW, not a Mini =). I found that if you disable podcast syncing, do a sync, and then re-enable podcast syncing and sync again, your podcast playlists will come back. I hope that works for you too.

As soon as I got back to my iMac, I tried this workaround. Here’s what I did, exactly:

  • I double-checked my phone. There was definitely no “MINI4_Podcasts” playlist.
  • I docked the iPhone with my iMac.
  • I selected the iPhone in iTunes’ left-hand pane.
  • I switched to the “Podcasts” tab of the phone management screens.
  • I unticked the “Sync Podcasts” checkbox.
  • I hit “Apply”.
  • I waited for the sync to finish.
  • I re-ticked the “Sync Podcasts” checkbox. Handily, all the options about which podcasts to sync were remembered from before.
  • I hit “Apply”. This time, the sync took quite a while, as it had to re-copy the podcasts (all 36 of them, in my case) back to the phone.


So, did it work? I fired up the Music app on my phone. Now, my MINIn_* playlists are all in a folder called “iPod Playlists”. Bizarrely, when I launched the “Music” app on my phone to have a look, I now had two identically-named “iPod Playlists” folders. The first was as it was before — it contained only the Smart playlists, “MINI1_RecentlyAdded”, “MINI2_Recent_Podcasts” and “MINI5_5Star”, with no sign of the manual podcast playlist, MINI4_Special.

However, the second copy of the “iPod Playlists” folder had “MINI1_RecentlyAdded”, “MINI2_Recent_Podcasts”, “MINI3_Audiobooks”, and “MINI4_Special”, the manual playlist that was missing. (Oddly, this “duplicate-but-not-quite” folder is missing “MINI5_5Star”. I’ve no idea why.)

So, though it looks a bit broken, at least the manual podcast playlist seemed to be back on my phone. I headed out to my car, and tried it, and my stereo found all the MINIn_whatever playlists just fine, regardless of which of the two odd duplicate playlists they were in.

W00t! So, thank you very much, YouOverRotated, looks like you’re quite right — turning off podcast syncing, and then turning it back on, seems to be a workaround to this odd problem. Yet another wacky workaround to make podcasts work properly in iTunes — but at least it’s working!

I hope this helps anyone else who’s been having trouble. Happy holidays!

« iTunes Match and the Podcast Playlist Problem | Marco, on whether the e‑reader is “doomed” or not »


  1. iTunes Match and the Podcast Playlist Problem |
    December 24, 2011

    […] EDIT: Whoop! Looks like YouOverRotated’s comment below was spot-on. Thanks! See my new post on how that suggestion got my playlist syncing working again. […]

  2. YouOverRotated
    December 24, 2011

    Cool! I’m glad it worked for you too. Now we can carry on with our podcast addictions. 

    Merry Christmas or what-have-you.

    - John in California

    • Wiredgoose
      December 30, 2011

      I may have missed something here, but I had the same problem (couldn’t sync a non-smart playlist of podcasts via iMatch) and I solved it as follows:

      In iTunes (PC version) I created a smart playlist using the single rule: Media Kind is Podcast

      Then I updated iMatch, and this smart playlist immediately appeared on my iPhone, which I play via an audio cable in my car.

      • Matt
        December 30, 2011

        Hi Wiredgoose. Yes, my smart playlists synced fine from the start, but it was specifically a non-smart playlist I wanted to sync, because then I can have the tracks in an arbitrary order. Maybe I’m a bit odd, but I like planning a journey with my podcasts in a particular order (normally starting off with something light and fluffy for the first “city traffic” section of the journey, then settling down into fiction podcasts for the long motorway sections!) It’s far harder to make a smart playlist with the tracks in a particular order than it is to drag around the ordering of a non-smart playlist…

  3. Streets
    January 8, 2012

    you can also create an aac version of your podcast and then upload it to the cloud. That was my original work-around.

  4. Heather
    March 5, 2013


    I was going crazy with this issue (and I signed your petition). I found a work around that works with ios 6 and it’s simple.

    Delete the podcast app and then turn your phone off and on. If your on the iphone 4 you may have an extra set, but have a look at this thread: