This was a weird problem. I had manually downloaded a Podcast series on my computer (the entire series was no longer available through their feed) and wanted to move it over to my Windows Phone to listen to.
I could do this using the File Explorer â€“ and the transfer worked fine, but I could not listen to the podcast via the podcast app. When I tried to open the â€œaudioâ€ collection inside the app, it was blank.
So if I transferred the podcast via the explorer, I had to use the music app to listen to it. That seemed wrong. I even tried creating a â€œPodcastsâ€ folder in a couple of places, but had no luck there either.
Windows Phone App for Desktop
It seemed like I was out of luck, but a little searching led me to this page, where I found the â€œWindows Phone App for Desktopâ€ from Microsoft. I installed it, and it loaded and initialized and generally took forever to start, but when it did, sure enough there was a Podcast tab right there, with syncing options!
Unfortunately, there were no Podcasts listed.
Now this wasnâ€™t unexpected â€“ after all it had no way of knowing how I organized my Podcasts, and there was a handy â€œAdd or remove foldersâ€ button right there next to the syncing options. So I pressed it.
You might guess what happened next. An error dialog told me, â€œWe couldn’t find your podcasts library, but you can create a new one using windows explorer and weâ€™ll use that.â€
I kind of thought that was what â€œAdd or remove foldersâ€ meant, but okayâ€¦
Despite having already wasted far more time on this than it was worth to me, I decided to see it through because I really wanted to know what the heck was going on.
It turns out that the key word in the error message was â€œlibraryâ€. Starting in Windows 7, you could organize groups of folders into a single â€œLibraryâ€ and access it like a single folder. So when â€œWindows Phone app for desktopâ€, complained about a missing Podcast library it meant you literally need to create a new library called â€œPodcastsâ€.
Unfortunately, Windows 8.1 hides your libraries by default, so to create a new one, you must first show your existing ones. I used a slightly different procedure:
- Open an Explorer window.
- Select the â€œViewâ€ tab.
- On the left, open the â€œNavigation Paneâ€ menu.
- Select â€œShow librariesâ€.
Now that you can see your libraries, you can create a new Podcast library:
- Selecty “Libraries” in the navigation pane.
- Right-click => â€œNewâ€ => â€œLibraryâ€.
- Rename it â€œPodcastsâ€.
- Right-click => â€œPropertiesâ€.
- Under â€œOptimize this library for:â€, select Music.
- Open the library by double-clicking it.
- Point it to your Podcasts by using the â€œInclude a folderâ€ button.
Thatâ€™s it. Restart the â€œWindows Phone app for desktopâ€ and start syncing your podcasts manually!