New Apple Sync Issue

Sigh! The ongoing saga of Apple’s least favorite (so it seems by their actions) native app. Well, maybe this isn’t about the app but the iCloud service under the hood of the app. Maybe someone can help (although I doubt it somehow because of the black box that is iCloud)? The problem that I’ve been encountering consistently is that when I ask a HomePod Mini to play podcasts I’m told that I don’t have any unplayed Podcasts. However, in the Library there are plenty of unplayed podcasts. These unplayed podcasts sync just fine across my other devices, MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad Air. However, for some reason when trying to play them directly from the HomePod (not via Handoff) I get this error every time. Is anyone else experiencing this? Is there a solution? Is this a bug? Am I doing something wrong? Any help would be … well … helpful.

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I can only “help” so far to say that I have been experiencing this issue intermittently from day one when I started listening to podcasts via one of my HomePods.

I am using my HomePods to listen to podcasts daily. Overall, I really like the experience as long as it is working. It is working most of the time.

I think that we are dealing not with one but with three “black boxes” here:

  1. The HomePods
  2. iCloud
  3. Apple Podcasts

Issues with stuff on the HomePods are not limited to Podcasts. I have intermittent issues with HomeKit. “You do not have any HomeKit devices.” Or: “There is a problem with device X. Have a look at the Home app.” And so on. Trying again resolves it most of the time.

Sometimes, I do not stumble into stuff like that for days and then it might happen more often.

So, what is it that I do to get out of this issues (in escalating order):

  1. I try again. Very often, those issues are not consistent.
  2. I “order” my HomePod to reboot via the Home App.
  3. I decide not to do anything and to forget about Apple’s cloud mess. Sometimes, I check Apple’s status page to see if there are any hints about outages or known issues.
  4. I reset my HomePod.

Without any bad intent: Apple’s ecosystem works just great (that is why I keep using or returning to Apple Podcasts after I might have tried something else). … Except when it does not. Then it can be terrible, too. Oh well… :wink:


Sounds about right. Thank you for the suggestions. Sounds like I need to be more assertive with my HomePods. Perhaps if I could send it to bed without supper a few times it would start paying closer attention to me.

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I was a diehard Podcasts app user but when it started failing, I was directed by a friend to try Pocket Casts. I tried it and really like it. Since I listen to podcasts everyday, I paid the subscription, which is well worth it due to the amount of listening I do, and the syncing is rather seamless, even on my M1 iMac. I highly recommend it.

Well, I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. The sync support for Apple Podcasts was just too terrible and slow. Also, the recent changes to the UI are terrible. I’m going back to Overcast.

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