Microsoft Podcasts can now (sometimes) sync playback positions too

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You may remember that I've done several features on Windows Podcasts, Microsoft's first party podcatching application, first looking at tips on using it more efficiently and secondly looking at the best way to remove podcasts when you're not interested anymore? Well, implicit in both is that there's syncing done through your Microsoft account - and it turns out that something's been turned on server-side recently, at least for some Windows 10 Mobile-running devices, with playback position also now sometimes syncing from device to device. 

The 'sometimes' bit is key here - I'm seeing the behaviour shown below on the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, and was able to pick up with Podcasts seamlessly when switching between them. I realise I'm unusual in having both to hand, mind you. I then tried opening up and refreshing Podcasts on the Lumia 930 running the latest Insiders build and this didn't pick up the playback positions. 

Anyway, read on...

Screenshot, PodcastsScreenshot, Podcasts

Your subscribed podcasts have been synced through Microsoft's servers for years, of course. But now, in some cases, playback positions also come across. The above-right screen shot was taken on a Lumia 950 XL (hence the odd page formatting) on which I hadn't played any podcasts in weeks. Yet TechTalkUK comes up immediately at the same position that I'd got to on the Lumia 950, a few minutes earlier. I then repeated this with a few other podcasts and in each case my playback position was remembered!

I also tried with a variety of Windows Phone 8.1 devices, also with no luck. My assumption therefore is that there's something at Microsoft's end which is configured (in terms of Podcasts) to send certain data to certain devices and that, once everything's hooked up on the servers in terms of Windows 10 Mobile awareness and device variants, playback position will be synced more consistently.

Yes, this is a niche use case - how many other people will be switching between multiple Windows Phones or Windows 10 Mobile devices?! But I realise there may well be a few reading AAWP and I'd welcome extra data points here - have you seen this behaviour and, if so, on which devices and platforms/builds?

So, once this is more reliable, what's left on the syncing front? Well, Microsoft, if you're reading this, then the last piece of the jigsaw will be syncing the 'played' status of each podcast. Bring that across too - and perhaps provide a way of sorting the 'audio' and 'video' lists according to programme date - and we might not even need third party applications in this genre at all?

Podcasts (and its back-end) is, as usual with Windows, 'a work in progress'!