iOS tip: make serialized podcasts play in order

With today’s season 2 debut of Serial, the most popular podcast ever, I want to share with you the setting you should turn on for that podcast: Play Oldest to Newest. With the Podcasts app settings at their default, podcasts will start playing with the newest episode first and when the episode is finished it will move on to the previous episode. That works fine if the episodes don’t build on each other. But when a podcast is serialized such as with Serial (subscribe link) or StartUp (subscribe link), you will want to start with the oldest episode and listen in order.

Enabling chronological order on Podcasts app

This is a per-podcast setting.

  1. Open the Podcasts app
  2. Switch to “My Podcasts” on the bottom tab bar
  3. Tap the podcast you want to modify
  4. Tap the gear icon
  5. Under the “Settings” section tap “Play”
  6. Choose “Oldest to Newest”
  7. You may also want to change the “Sort Order” to show the “Oldest on Top”