Apple removed playlists from iOS 11 podcasts.app. I loved playlists. They were a beautiful user friendly query building tool.
Instead we have Stations, which are more limited. I created some in iTunes and some on my iPhone. They didn’t sync even though I transfer podcasts from iTunes to iPhone via WiFi/Lightning cable.
Once I enabled podcast sync in both iTunes and iOS my stations appeared in both.
This is good, because one advantage of stations is that podcasts play consecutively. At least I think that’s why mine started playing consecutively instead of stopping after each podcast as they did earlier in iOS 11.
There are lots of weirdnesses in iTunes when it tries to combine sync via iCloud/Store with local file based sync from iTunes. It will be interesting to see if Podcasts does better at this than Movies does.
Apple is clearly heading towards the world where we have all have 2TB iCloud Drives, a 256GB local machine store for frequently used data, and special folders in iCloud for personally owned files that sync separately from Store files (ex: personal images, ringtones, podcasts, PDF, etc). There’s no resisting this one.
Update: It is a mess. Of course. Stations need a setting to only show downloaded episodes. One problem with Stations is that while they can filter out Played stations, they only know a station is Played as long as the file is around. If the file is removed and the show is in the Cloud then it is treated as unPlayed.