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iTunes Downloading Old Episodes. Why?

by nickerbocker79 / January 19, 2007 10:36 AM PST

Recently iTunes decided not only to download the newest episode of Buzz Out Loud, but to also download ones that I have already listened to from November. Any ideas on what is causing this?

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by aplardi / January 19, 2007 10:50 AM PST

I had been e-mailing back and forth with V about this for a while. It appeared at the time that I was the only one having this problem. And it's only with this feed.

Really, really annoying.

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Me to...
by jsgerhard / January 19, 2007 11:20 AM PST

It has been happening to me as well, and not only w/ this podcast, it happens alot w/ diggnation (and others, I can't list them because I am pretty anal about deleting them when they pop up)

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by kellenjb / January 19, 2007 11:41 AM PST

Happened here... on many feeds at random times.

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Re: iTunes Downloading Old Episodes. Why?
by nickerbocker79 / January 19, 2007 12:40 PM PST

For me it is only the Buzz Out Loud podcast. Of course I only listen to three other podcasts - TWIT, Security Now and Windows Weekly. I have not had any of those randomly download old episodes. Just today it downloaded a late October and two November podcasts and they were not even back to back episodes.

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that is so weird! i've never had it happen to me, but maybe i'll finally ping my friend at apple and ask what the deal is. we'll get to the bottom of this!


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Thanks V
by nickerbocker79 / January 19, 2007 12:57 PM PST
In reply to: man

If it helps it just started very recently. I first noticed when I accidentally left iTunes open all day while I was at work. I came home and had found that 10 podcasts have downloaded. Most of them were old episodes of Buzz Out Loud.

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may i please...
by aplardi / January 19, 2007 1:20 PM PST
In reply to: man

may i please say... told you sooo Grin

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This has been happening for a while
by Owyn / January 19, 2007 11:36 PM PST
In reply to: man

iTunes has intermittent problems with seeing old episodes as new. BOL has been picking up some November 2006 episodes recently. I have seen this in many other podcasts. I also saw the problem when I was using Juice.

No known solution. But, simple fix for the symptom. In iTunes -> Edit -> Preferences -> Podcasts set "When new episodes are available" to "Download the most recent one".

This will prevent download storms. You will still have to manually select the old episodes (the ones in grey with a "Get" button) and delete them to remove from the iTunes Podcast episode list.

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good tip

i have my itunes set that way, and i've never had the old episode problem. but it could be other factors as well.

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I think I know why this is happening...
by gomer43 / January 21, 2007 1:16 PM PST
In reply to: man

I figured it out after it had started happening to me, too, a couple of months ago.

Occasionally I delete the backlog of episodes of a show (you know how it shows in grey all the past episodes?), and I think it was after I did that with old episodes of BOL, that it started downloading them again.

I've solved this by unsubscribing and resubscribing and remembering not to delete those again! Might want to give that a try, maybe it will help.

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me too
by raftos / January 21, 2007 3:13 AM PST

Not only the mid november episodes keep there are no further episodes available.
Until yesterday all the episodes where listed, even if the november ones where what Itunes keep downloading.
I've set iTunes to "download last episode".

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Delete BOL in iTunes and resubscribe
by Owyn / January 21, 2007 3:31 AM PST
In reply to: me too

This will clear all of iTunes history for the podcast.

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been there done that
by aplardi / January 22, 2007 3:56 PM PST

many times. and it happens on my PC and my Mac

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Listen to them old ones
by nickerbocker79 / January 23, 2007 2:47 AM PST

I have just been playing them and then have it play the last bit of it so that iTunes marks it as played. Hopefully that makes them not come back.

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by lil ramZ / January 22, 2007 10:42 PM PST

I noticed too.

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Apple response:

"It's not a Store issue, because these are existing subscribers who are connected directly to your feed. And it's nothing new about iTunes, since we haven't released a new version in a while. So it must be something that some iTunes clients are doing when they hit your feed. My guess: some change was made in the xml of those old episodes, so iTunes thought they were new in the feed, and those subscribers who have their iTunes preferences set to "get all new episodes" saw a bunch of old ones start downloading. Luckily, that preference setting is a minority of users (most are set to only download the most recent) and I would think that whatever might have changed in your xml probably won't happen again? That's my guess for now, but I reserve the right to a do-over--definitely let me know if you continue to see that problem. "

For the record, I haven't made ANY changes to ANY old episodes in the feed, so that idea is completely out. The only thing I can think of is an issue with the way the dates are formatted? What do you guys think?


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XML looks good
by Owyn / January 23, 2007 5:41 AM PST
In reply to: Apple response:

I saw old episodes in iTunes feed for 11-23 and 11-21 yesterday. Took a look at the xml for the feed and everything looks good.

All items have unique title, link, enclosure, guid and pubdate.

Only other thing to do is to compare the item info to a backup of the feed xml (which I do not have). I still think this is a iTunes glitch but have no way to prove it.

Hmmmm. Need to do some playing with a test feed on my local network. See if I can get a reproducable test case. Later.

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by Veronica Belmont-20381073359499778927797251280312 / January 23, 2007 6:14 AM PST
In reply to: XML looks good

let me know what you find. tomorrow, i'll cut out most of the old episodes (they were going back too far anyway) so itunes won't be able to download episodes from that far back.

maybe that will help.

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iTunes is "reliably" picking up 2 month old episodes as new
by Owyn / February 5, 2007 7:38 PM PST
In reply to: great

iTunes has a definite bug. It is adding old, previously played and deleted episodes to the current episode list, when a real new episode is available.

Two podcasts which have a similar publication schedule to BOL,
- 60 Second Science
- Matt's Today in History

exhibit the symptom. This may be a count and not a date problem.

The CNet news podcast, eg, does not have this problem because it keeps the episode list pruned to approx 2 weeks of content.

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Looks like a combination of factors
by Owyn / February 13, 2007 12:19 AM PST
In reply to: great

Conditions to cause problem seem to be:

- Podcast has a large number of episodes in feed. Large ~> 45.
- Feed set to Allow auto-delete
- iTunes current episode list is empty. May also be a factor of setting auto-delete option to delete when played.
- Episode not previously manually deleted.

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I thought it was just me....
by scotty9781 / January 23, 2007 10:58 AM PST

Wow, glad to know this isn't something I'd managed to do to my setup - but it's not recent for me, it's been doing this for some time. Only on BOL and a few other podcasts. It's not driving me insane, but it would be interesting to find out what's causing it.

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