Does anyone know why my iPhone has (suddenly) started playing podcasts in seemingly random order? I want podcasts to be played in the order they were downloaded (in iTunes), chronologically.

However, when I start listening to a podcast with more than two entries, the second entry iPhone plays is seldom the second in chronological order, but some seemingly random entry. Why is this and how can I fix it?

Update: Here's how the Music application's interface looks like on my iPhone:

I can't see a shuffle icon anywhere. The icon on the lower right hand side is the airplay icon. Here's a screenshot after tapping the "album art":

Here's a screenshot from while playing music:

There I can see a shuffle icon (finally), but it's not enabled (blue).

  • How are you listening? Are you using a playlist or just through the podcast interface on the iPhone?
    – Mike Wills
    Nov 15, 2011 at 14:12
  • have you discovered a possible reason for their order? release date, alphabetical? Nov 15, 2011 at 15:57
  • @MikeWills, I'm using the podcast interface. Nov 16, 2011 at 17:18
  • @GraemeHutchison, the order seems to be completely random. I have podcasts where each episode is named "Name - yyyymmdd" which would be played in chronological order if they had been played alphabetically, but they aren't. Nov 16, 2011 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


Did you have shuffle on while listening to music? If you did, the podcasts will also be shuffled.

  • Where do I find this setting? Is it in iTunes or somewhere on my iPhone? Inside the Music application or within Settings? Nov 16, 2011 at 17:14
  • The Music application on your phone. Tap the screen so the scrubber controls come up, and there is a shuffle icon along the right side.
    – mipadi
    Nov 16, 2011 at 17:20
  • I've updated the question with an image of how the Music app looks like. I can't see any shuffle icon. :-/ Nov 17, 2011 at 21:52
  • @asbjornu: Tap the screen (the album artwork) to bring up the scrubber pane. The shuffle icon is on the right side of the scrubber pane.
    – mipadi
    Nov 17, 2011 at 21:55
  • I added another screenshot to my question. I still see no shuffle icon. Nov 19, 2011 at 0:34

I usually do a playlist and sort it based on whatever criteria I want. The order usually sticks well then.

Update: I use a smart playlist. Kind = Podcast and playcount = 0. From there you sort the playlist based on how you want it sorted. I then added rules to exclude from the podiobooks playlist and the music podcast playlist.

I had added others one for music and one for podiobooks. They where create by Kind = podcast and album = podcast name. I added one album = for each podcast in the list. I didn't add many after I had it setup so I didn't edit those much.

The main list was then dynamically updated based on these other two lists. Simple and maintenance free.

  • I subscribe to so many podcasts that this would be a maintenance nightmare. I'd like to find a solution that works by default, if possible. Nov 16, 2011 at 17:15
  • I used to use the iTunes podcasts. I have 5 playlists and subscribed to about 70 podcasts. I had one playlist for podiobooks, one for music podcasts, one for video, and one for only the short podcasts. I'll clarify how I do that.
    – Mike Wills
    Nov 16, 2011 at 17:31

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