Why Do Apple Podcasts Not Play in Order?

Apple podcasts are a convenient way to listen to your favorite shows.

But if you’re a regular listener, you might have noticed that they don’t play in order.

That can be confusing and frustrating! Fortunately, it’s not the end of the world.

Here’s why Apple podcasts sometimes play out of order—and how you can set them to play in chronological order.

What is the best way to listen to podcasts?

If you’re a podcast listener, you know how frustrating it can be when your favorite shows aren’t playing in order.

That feeling of despair can be especially strong if you use Apple Podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

If that sounds like you, don’t worry—we’ve got a few simple solutions that will help keep your episodes in order.

The first thing to do is make sure all the episodes are downloaded and ready to play by clicking “Downloaded” under My Podcasts in the iTunes Store app on any device (iPhone/iPad/Mac).

Once they’re downloaded, try playing one at random; if it starts at the beginning of that episode instead of where it should be (at least according to iTunes), then Apple is ignoring its own rules and displaying an outdated entry as “current”.

Whether this issue happens with a single show or many different ones doesn’t matter—the problem lies with how Apple sorts podcasts into its directory system.

If an episode has been updated since its last update date but hasn’t yet been re-downloaded from iTunes onto the iCloud server used by Podcasts app software available across all iOS devices then those updates won’t get picked up until after another sync takes place between devices either manually or automatically through WiFi hotspots like Starbucks locations which allow users to connect via personal hotspot without paying extra fees each month thanks to features like Starbucks Rewards linked credit cards!

Is it true that Apple Podcasts do not play in order?

Many people have asked us why Apple Podcasts does not play in order.

The reason is that the episodes are downloaded at once, and then played from beginning to end.

If you download all of your episodes at once, Apple Podcasts will play them in order for you.

If you start listening with one episode and then pause/stop listening for a while before starting another episode, later on, Apple Podcasts will not keep track of what’s been played so far and will begin playing from the beginning again (even though you’ve already listened to part of it).

Why do podcasts not play in order on Apple Podcasts?

Apple Podcasts is a streaming service, not a download service.

When you subscribe to a podcast and start listening, Apple Podcasts starts playing the episodes in order from the beginning of that podcast’s archive.

However, if it’s been several days since you last listened, Apple Podcasts will skip back and play the next episode from where you left off—which may be out of order from what you actually want to hear.

You can fix this by setting up manual downloads for each podcast:

  1. Go into your library and click on [Show More…] next to an episode title; then select “Download Episode.”
  2. Now when you get back into your library and click on [Show More…] again for that same episode title, there should be an option called “Open In iTunes” or “Open In Overcast,” which will let you play it locally instead of streaming it from Apple’s servers

How can I listen to podcasts in order on Apple Podcasts?

To listen to podcasts in order, you can:

  1. Click the podcast artwork.
  2. Click the ellipsis (…) icon in the upper-right corner of your podcast episode list.
  3. Select “Playback Order.”
  4. Choose “Play In Order.”

Can I listen to my podcast episodes in order on Apple Podcasts, even if they are all downloaded at once?

Yes! You can listen to your podcast episodes in order on Apple Podcasts, even if they are all downloaded at once.

You can do this by downloading the episodes individually or by downloading all of them at once.

If you subscribe to a podcast with a lot of episodes during its first season, it may take several days before they all appear in your library.

That’s because Apple Podcasts needs time to process your subscription request and then download each episode as it becomes available.

Once those episodes have been downloaded, however, they’ll be sorted correctly according to their date published—and that means that any subsequent seasons will also be sorted correctly according to their publication dates (as long as you don’t delete any of them).

Is there any way to make sure my podcast episodes always play in order on Apple Podcasts?

The first and easiest way to ensure that your episodes play in the correct order is by using the “Play Next” button.

As soon as you finish listening to one episode, hit this button and it will automatically start playing the next one.

If you’re looking for more options, Apple Podcasts also offers up a few other ways of keeping things organized:

  1. The Up Next feature allows users to add multiple episodes at once—but unlike the Play Next button, this can only be done after each separate episode has been downloaded.
  2. The New Episodes section displays all new shows added since you last opened Apple Podcasts. You can access this by clicking on “Edit” in the menu bar and selecting “New Episodes” from under “Your Podcasts.” This is good if don’t want to wait until each individual episode finishes downloading before switching over to another show but don’t want all of them playing simultaneously either (for example when traveling).
  3. Similarly, the Recently Added section organizes episodes by date so they’ll play consecutively when starting up Apple’s app again after being away from it for a while

How can I make sure my podcast episodes always play in order on iTunes and Apple Podcasts?

There are a few things that could be going on here.

The first is that you have the episodes in the wrong order.

If you use iCloud to sync your podcasts, Apple Podcasts will automatically play them in alphabetical order.

But if you have any episodes stored locally or synced with iTunes, they’ll be played in their recorded order (which may not match up with the actual episode titles).

To avoid this confusion and ensure that all episodes play in order:

  1. Add all of your podcast episodes to a playlist by selecting them all at once and creating a new playlist with them. In iTunes 12 or earlier, choose File > New Playlist; in iTunes 13 or later select File > New Playlist Folder then drag and drop into it.
  2. Make sure this playlist appears under My Music > Playlists (or wherever else it should go based on how you organize it).
  3. Make sure when syncing with an iOS device that this playlist is selected for synchronization so Apple Podcasts knows where to find it when playing back audio content from its library instead of using locally stored files like music tracks might be doing instead!

How do I listen to my podcast episodes in order on iTunes and Apple Podcasts?

If you’re using iTunes or Apple Podcasts on your Mac, follow these steps to listen to your podcast episodes in order:

  • Open the app and click on the Library tab. Click Podcasts at the top of the window and then click a show’s name from within your list of subscribed podcasts. If you aren’t already subscribed, search for it in the Search field below My Podcasts (in more recent versions), or just make sure that “Subscribed” is checked in this section.
  • Click Show Info if it isn’t already open, then look for an episode listing under “Downloaded Episodes.” Select one episode at a time that you want to listen to first—this can be done manually or by hitting Command+A (Command+Select All) if you want all episodes selected at once—and click Play (or double-click). Your device will begin playing back through its first chapter automatically without having any input from you needed!


I hope that this article has helped you better understand why your podcast episodes do not play in order on Apple Podcasts.

If you have any other questions about how to listen to podcasts in order on iTunes and Apple Podcasts, feel free to reach out!


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