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Help File Help: Interrupted iTunes Podcasts

A few chats ago, a reader wanted to know why iTunes would download only part of some podcasts:

Have you ever had any of your podcasts on iTunes appear to finish downloading, but then, when you go to play them, find that they cut off mid-podcast (i.e., a 40 min. podcast will download only 10 min.) I've been having this problem a lot lately, probably too often for it to be individual errors by each of the different podcast sources. I think it's the iTunes software. Is this a known problem, and is there a fix that I can do on my own, or is this something that Apple will (hopefully) fix on their end?

After that chat, another reader wrote in to report a similar problem:

Yes, it happens to me as well, perhaps nearly 50% of the time; the download appears to be fine, but it cuts out after just a few minutes and repeated attempts to re-download don't help. The software 'should' flag downloads that failed, but does so only sometimes. I too only subscribe to 2 podcasts, Washington Week and Money; neither are important enough to motivate me to troubleshoot the issue.

At the time, I hadn't run into that issue myself--but in the past couple of weeks, I've seen it happen twice. Both happened with the same podcast, Coffee Break Spanish; I only got the first 6 minutes of lesson 29 and the first 16 minutes of lesson 31. Downloading each episode a second time fixed the problem--which suggests that I only encountered some transient hiccups with the servers hosting that podcast--but I'd like to double-check to see if there isn't some broader issue with iTunes and podcast downloads.

(Remember, for a lot of people iTunes remains the only easy way to subscribe to podcasts. Microsoft still hasn't gotten around to adding any podcast-subscription feature to Windows Media Player, which has left it in the odd position of recommending a third-party program called iPodder--oh, sweet irony--to get podcasts in "WMP")

Have you had this problem? If so, were you able to fix it and how did you do so?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  August 13, 2007; 8:20 AM ET
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