Why do these podcast episodes say they are temporarily unavailable even though they look like they have been downloaded?

Why do these podcast episodes say they are temporarily unavailable even though they look like…

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I am using an iPhone 5S with the most up to date iOS software (9.2.1 currently) and having the same error.

I called Apple Care to get an answer on this – as Im having the same issue. Downloading podcasts then when trying to play them I get the error message “Episode temporarily unavailable”, even ones I have downloaded and played previously. I also didnt think the approach of having to download a podcast twice is an appropriate solution – even this doesnt always work.

The main Apple Support person I spoke with contacted the Apple iTunes Support department. They provided the following comments:

It isnt the player that is causing the issue its the third party providing the podcast file. The issue is that with new software updates to the iPhone or iPod the podcast files must also be updated.

Apparently part of the podcast download file needs to be re-written in order to be compatible with the newest Apple software update.

This doesnt really make sense as music files dont need to be updated everytime there is a software update (that Im aware of anyway).

I called them back in order to try and delve a bit deeper into this issue.

I got a Senior Advisor on the phone – they checked my IMEI number and software version which seemed to be fine.

I got them to download the same specific podcast that I was having the issue with and they were able to play the one that for me was “unavailable” even though it is downloaded locally.

We ended up resolving it by deleting all the podcasts from Storage (Settings>General>Storage & iCloud Usage>Storage>Manage Storage>Podcasts) and also Reset>Reset All settings (this will mean you lose all your settings – this didnt really affect me – just meant I had to put in my wifi password back in, reset my wallpaper and my alarm clock).

Hopefully this works for you – I asked that the Apple Advisor I spoke to pass this information onto the team at Apple that works on the Podcast app – hopefully they will be able to push an update to the app that makes this resolution process obsolete.

This is a wide spreaded problem. If you check the ratings of the Podcast-app in the App Store, they are at around two stars. I dont know if apple doesnt fix this bug, but at the moment, there is no easy fix for that problem.

The only fix would be, that you download the podcasts from your Computer and sync it to your iPhone. But maybe even that way, it wont work because the app itself is the problem. So you could download a music-player from the app store which allows to play music which you added via iTunes to the app before.(App-Tab on itunes and than drag and drop the podcasts to your music-player) or you could try to add it to your music-library and play it with your standard iPhone-player.

If you add them to “Play Next” then use the drop down list to the right, looks like 3 short lines they will all play in the order you arranged them.

I dont know why it happens but the way I fix it is by deleting the episode (deleting it and also deleting the download) and downloading it again.

I noticed that I only started to get this problem after I started using WiFi. Previously id been using only 4G cellular internet and never saw this problem. Im talking like for 6 months. But soon as I had both cellular & wifi on it started happening. So i think it may be a bug where the 2 networks are getting confused somehow.

So Im not a tech person but I did find out a solution to my ongoing error.

My phone is set up not to download podcast on cellular data.

This is gonna sound stupid. But when Im at work and my phone thinks its connected to the Internet but I havent entered the password, the WiFi symbol still shows, the podcast tried to download but doesnt. Thats when I get the error.

Once I connect to the WiFi, I delete the podcast and reinstall it, it plays.

Ive had this issue for months and could never figure it out until now.

I guess, make sure you are connected to the Internet.

The podcast shows its downloading but its quick. It doesnt show that its not fully downloaded or partially downloaded. It just gives me the error its not available.

I will add when I tried adding it to the play next, it wouldnt play.

This is a Apple iOS podcast app issue not the source of the podcast. It means that the download was not handled by the app properly. What do you usually need to do when this happens is delete the episode from the Podcast feed , Then refresh the feed and choose download from the right “dots” menu and when it finishes downloading it will be ready to play.

I found this problem can occur when the enclosure url in the feed is a redirect. Redirect urls are used automatically by some feed generators in order to collect stats, e.g. the Sermon Browser WordPress plug-in does this. I fixed it by modifying the code to insert a direct link to the file instead.

Just tried many of these fixes and no luck. Finally, I downloaded another podcast app from a third party and it worked fine… even with the feed I couldnt play in Apples app.

I turned off WiFi and it started working. It was the whole of one podcast that just wouldn’t play for weeks.

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