Somewhat similar to this question, but I don't just want to import. I have a bunch of This American Life podcasts that I downloaded using iTunes on another computer. I also have a This American Life podcast subscription on my current Mac with a bunch of podcasts downloaded.

I have already imported the old ones into iTunes. They show up as two separate podcasts, with the same name and metadata. The old ones have a "subscribe" link but I haven't clicked it, they're just sitting there. The new ones are subscribed and regularly downloading new episodes.

How can I merge the old ones into the newer, subscribed version of the podcast in iTunes?

  • Are they in the same folder in your iTunes library? If you right click, go to 'show in finder' - are they in the same folder?
    – Ciaocibai
    Commented Feb 7, 2011 at 6:53
  • @IntuitionHQ: Yes. Commented Feb 7, 2011 at 15:46

3 Answers 3


This has been bugging me for years, most specifically with This American Life and To The Best of Our Knowledge.

The tag that's causing them to be separated is not available via iTunes -- you need an extended tag editor. On the Mac, I used ID3 Editor.

Instructions specifically for ID3 editor:

• Open a "good" podcast file (you can drag it straight from iTunes onto the ID3 Editor icon in the dock to open).

• Click on the Podcast tab. Look for the field called Feed (It may have a different name if you're using different tag editing software). Copy the Feed field contents.

• Open your "bad" podcast files, paste/replace the "good" Feed info into the Feed field (they should be different - mine were) and click Update.

• Last important step is that you have to delete the "bad" files from iTunes and reimport them. If you right click or control click the file in iTunes before deleting, and select "Show in Finder," the enclosing folder will open. If you sort by date modified, all the podcast you just updated should be at the top, if they're in the same folder. Then you can delete all the bad ones, and drag them back into iTunes. Whey they're re-imported, they should now be grouped with the "good" podcast.


Select 'em all, and go to File-> Get Info. If any usual fields are blank, this means that they vary among the selected tracks. If it should be the same, type in the right value.

This procedure almost always fixes this kind of a problem.

  • Hi @NahthanG... Unfortunately the values other than the title and episode description are all identical. Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 19:28
  • Make sure you're subscribed (or not) to both? That also has to be the same. Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 19:48
  • G: good suggestion, I'll try that. Commented Jan 8, 2011 at 22:57
  • G: didn't work either :/ Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 0:39

Follow-up on what Nathan G. said: sometimes, it helped me when I checked fields that were filled in to overwrite these values, so not only the empty fields, but title and album as well (probably all fields but title would be fine).

Also, as a last resort, all metadata for each podcast are written in /Users/YOUR_USER_ID/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music Library.xml. Search for your podcasts and make sure that they have identical data (all white-spaces count!).

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