Warning: iTunes 11.1 Update Can Reportedly Delete Your Podcast Library

Is this a genuine error, or a way of forcing you to buy content you have already owned in the past, as one disgruntled poster on a support forum wrote?

An update to fix a bug in iTunes 11.1 could wipe a user's files, says one man who found his podcast files deleted. Kevin Goldsmith, a former Apple staffer and now director of engineering at Spotify, updated iTunes to the 11.1.1 version after it said it had fixed an issue with deleted podcasts.

"I installed it," wrote Goldsmith on his blog, adding that it seemed to work for a bit. When his computer froze, he forced quit and relaunched iTunes to find that it had "completely removed most of my podcast subscriptions and unsubscribed me from the ones that were left." Thanks to a backup, Goldsmith was able to copy the files and relaunch, until the same thing happened—this time, without a force quit.

"I then checked my file folders and of course it DELETED MY FILES WITHOUT WARNING, AGAIN!!! DO NOT UPGRADE TO ITUNES 11.1 IF YOU SUBSCRIBE TO PODCASTS! At this point, I once again have to completely reconstruct my podcast library due to poor Apple engineering."

There is a long and frustrating discussion on the topic the Apple support forums here, with solutions being suggested and then rubbished, and a wild theory that this is a deliberate move by Apple to make people buy content from them. "Hollywood would rather sell you something that you have to stream every time you watch it, so you never end up with a physical product at all. And Apple seems to be going the same way - you don't need the storage, we'll stream it to you, if it's still in our library. Oh you have your own content, well we'd rather you bought it from us…"

[Image: Flickr user |Chris|]

Add New Comment


  • nycidgirl

    This happened to me too, all lost from my drive. I've been in mourning for days.

  • soulpopped

    Note to everyone! Unchecking the box in settings that's marked "Sync
    podcasts and subscriptions" fixes the problem. I did this a day or two
    after realizing the problem and haven't had any issues since.

  • jeya

    The upgrade deleted all my podcasts and I am unable to replace most of them. When I try to subscribe to others it crashes. iTunes can't get them back. Very annoyed.

  • Pete

    Everything seems to be in working order for me. ^_^ 

    All my podcasts are there. I don't see what the big deal is. I'd say this is poor disk management on the part of the user. 

  • Soulpopped

    I have the same problem! I spent 90 minutes on the phone with Apple yesterday and they had no way to help me. They said it was a Windows problem. Like 600 of the 1400 podcasts I have saved on my computer keep getting deleted. This is THE WORST.

  • Sergi Kolesnik

    You're late by about a month -- that's how long the iTunes 11.1 has been around. Recent update v. 11.1.1 hasn't improved podcasts at all -- it's still slow/hanging whenever you update or switch to a different podcast. 

  • RMVA

    Not true. Podcasts in iTunes 11 have their own Library. Open iTunes, on the left side is a toggle for Music, Movies, Podcasts, Books, etc. Toggle to Podcasts. 

  • Sean Conrad

    I had nearly 300 Giantbombcast episodes. Now I have two. I manually re-downloaded the entire library, and they all disappeared again.

    It is deleting podcasts by itself, even though I have it set to NOT auto-delete.

  • Mac user since 1989

     Everyone knows where their podcasts are.  The problem is that the update erased the ones we were saving.  For me, that was six years worth of KCRW's free (FREE) daily downloaded song.  ALL GONE.  Stripped from my KCRW subscription and stripped out of playlists I had them in. 
    The only podcasts available are those in the Cloud maintained as part of the various subscriptions.  The associated problem is that with other sub criptions, such as Fresh Air, my Podcast library is stuffed with episodes I have previously heard and discarded - they appear with a little cloud icon and I cannot delete them.  Therefore, I cannot be sure which ones I've heard and which ones are still new to me. 
    To recap: GONE are the ones I wanted to keep.  Hanging around are ones I want rid of.  Why can't my library contain just the podcasts I WANT.