I recently started using a feature on Podcast Addict and immediately wished I had learned about it years ago. That is archive mode. The immediate impetus was the posting schedule for the podcast version of Cartoonist Kayfabe. I believe they space out the posting of YouTube videos to one or two a day but they drop the audio podcasts in batches. I love them, but I don’t want to listen to 15 episodes of their show in a row (true story.) Thus, I learned how to use this mode out of self-defense of my own ear sanity.
I would imagine that all mature podcatchers on Android and iOS have something like this. Podcast Addict is the only one I use, so the only one I know how to work like this.
First, for the podcast you want to configure you need to open it up from the main list of podcasts. If there are no unplayed episodes, you will need to click the eye icon to make it show. Click the gear in the upper right to go into the settings menu.
Once in this menu, scroll down. There are two different sets of options you will need to override (unless you want to do this at the global level for literally everything you listen to.)
The first is “Download”. Toggle on the option to override global settings, then click the line under that to set options. You will want to have Automatic Download and Archive Mode enabled. You probably want “Download older first” enabled unless for some reason you want to listen to this front to back. I set “Batch download limit” to the same as the number of episodes I will want to keep. In most cases that is 1.
Back out of that menu and look down a few options to “Automatic cleanup”. Again, override and click into the set of options. This is what makes the heart of this work. Paired with the options above, this will keep one and only one (or whatever you choose) available in your playlist. Set “Keep at most” to one or the number you like. If you are starting this up at a time the number is greater than this, you will see no immediate effect. Once you get below this number, you will then see the behavior of downloading another episode once one is finished.
In practice for me, I will finish an episode of Cartoonist Kayfabe and then the playlist will jump to the next available podcast. This will be immediate. Even with the fastest internet, it will take a few seconds to download another episode. Unless a new show comes down with a higher priority (such as I set timely news shows and a few favorite programs) effectively ever other episode played will be one of these. It does work out pretty nice. I don’t want to listen to a whole bunch in a row, but I don’t mind a strict alternation with the rest of my playlist.
I do have a few shows where N is more than 1. For the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast I have it set to 2 episodes. That’s a bit moot because I have never gotten that low since I set this up. I went from automatically downloading episodes that I seldom listen to (mostly when I’m reading) to putting it in to archive mode to only have a few episodes at a time. It keeps the playlist from getting so redonkulously large while having the same net effect.
That’s how I do this. Let me know if this helps for you or if you have some other tips and tricks I don’t know about. Happy listening!