Did I just delete ALL of my podcasts?! Any ideas to retrieve, redownload, and in the future, backup?

App version: 3.3.2, downloaded from Play through Aurora Store

Android version: Unsure, whatever the latest version of GraphenOS is using

Device model: Pixel 7

Expected behaviour: Move podcast folders/files to another directory

Current behaviour: Deleted? podcast files, moved podcast folders to new directory

First occurred: 2 days ago

For those who like sad stories:

I think I made a big mistake and wondering if anyone can help me or at least round out my understanding of the issue.

I have looked around a bit in the forum and now realize I was trying to do something that Antennapod cannot do (without significantly rewriting the app) due to Android limitations. That is, move/copy episodes to another directory in the device. Unfortunately, without knowing this, and without any warning or anything, I selected all my Antennapod podcast folders, chose the general directory “Podcasts” folder, and hit “move”. What it appears to have done is moved all the individual podcast folders to the “Podcasts” folder, but not any of the actual podcast files. Those files and the folders now do not appear to be in the original area when viewing with the file manager.

Based on the amount of freely available space I now have on my phone, it seems that ALL of my podcasts were deleted. I was a bit flabbergasted since I assumed if they couldn’t be moved they just wouldn’t be moved. The reason it’s a big deal to me is that there were about 70GB of podcasts and curating the collection I had took more hours than I’m emotionally prepared to acknowledge.

I don’t have the app refreshing anything when I open it, so without doing anything within the app at this point, nothing APPEARS different… yet. I was thinking that without technical knowhow, my strategy to salvage this collection would be to go through every podcast subscription and filter by downloaded episodes and then screenshot or otherwise record them so I have a guide to expedite the process of starting from scratch. Or maybe this simple action will trigger some kind of refresh and that zombie info will be gone….

So, I’m just wondering if anyone knows if

  1. Did I ACTUALLY delete the podcast files, or what the heck happened? Is there a way it might be fixed?

  2. Does the Antennapod backup (.db or otherwise) retain any indication of which episodes were downloaded? My guess is that it doesn’t and I would have had to “favorite” them or something, but it is worth asking I guess. If that is the case I would be able to re-download them in a directed way. Without that I’m starting from square one with finding which ones I had downloaded.

  3. Would anyone have suggestions for a different method or different podcast app that would allow me to retain independent sound files for posterity and future listening? I don’t really need an interface to organize the ones I’m saving… just the folder and a somewhat descriptive title, just like Antennapod already has. I really love Antennapod, but I was under the uniformed impression, before reading more on the website, that I would just be able to backup everything I had sorted through and downloaded. Even if I go through some process of screenshoting all of my downloaded episodes, and spend all the time to start from scratch, I would still ultimately end up at the same wall… it’s just now I know it is there.

I know nothing about coding… but wonder if it would be less of a project to enable downloads to sync with secure cloud storage than it would to rewrite and allow the app to save to other common directories?

Anyway, thanks a ton to anyone who can shine ANY light on this issue and what might be done now or in the future.

Sorry to hear about this happening to you. The only thing I can contribute is given the importance of the data to you, don’t do anything else until you get a response from the developers to see if there is anything they can do to help you with this specific situation.

1 Like

So you moved AntennaPod’s internal download files to some other folder and expected it to still find them? If you put the files back where they were, AntennaPod will be able to access them again. If something went wrong when moving the files and the files got deleted, this is something completely outside of AntennaPod’s control.

The full backup does, but only until you press the play button and it realizes that the file you removed is not there anymore.

I don’t know if it’s really feasible but you could copy the database and update all marked episode as downloaded as favorite.
Then import the new db. Afterward using episodes screen to filter on favorites, it might be possible to select all and trigger downloads. (Hoping there are still available online)

If you do make sure to backup your actual db and maybe confirm with @ByteHamster it’s actually a good idea…

Yes that’s possible directly from the app, no import/export needed

Thanks for your concern and advice. Sometimes it’s good to have someone remind you to hunker down when you’re lost!

No, I didn’t expect AntennaPod to be able to see them. I wasn’t really thinking clearly to be honest. I first was trying to change the original download directory as I remembered seeing that option in settings. When I couldn’t change it, I decided I would be fine with keeping what I had in folders that I could back up and just starting from scratch with any new downloads in AntennaPod. It really wasn’t well thought out because I had just woken up. I should know better than to do anything important when I first wake up. Takes me about an hour or so before memories start to actually get written to the ol’ hard drive if you know what I mean!

I think something must have went wrong, though there was no indication of a problem from the file manager. All the folders are present in the new directory, but without podcast files in them.

So you think that I can just filter episodes by “downloaded” status, mark them favorite so I can keep track of them and they won’t disappear, then filter by “favorite” and redownload them? That seems like a feasible way of doing it and a lot cleaner than screenshots. I could try to first move back all the folders that I initially moved, in case that might matter.

When I realized what had happened I immediately made one of every backup option that was possible, so I have a .db, .opml, and .html, just in case something doesn’t work. A moment of clarity amidst my folly :slight_smile:

I’ll give that a try and see how it goes. Thanks for the guidance, I really appreciate it. Despite this mass deletion that I stumbled into, I still think AntennaPod is the best podcast app I’ve used.

Actually I wasn’t thinking straight but you just need to filter episodes downloaded (which are not there anymore), multi select them and trigger download. There is no needs to mark as favorites.

As a side note if you want to keep episodes but want to move them then if you don’t care about knowing from which podcast they come from you can look at the feature enabling you to add local folder as podcast.