Over the air podcasts gone from Windows Phone after Tango update

Over the air podcasts gone from Windows Phone after Tango update?

Listening to podcasts on the go is one of my favorite pastimes, a great way to catch up with the latest news or a special interest. For those of us who reside outside of North America, podcast support has been a bit limited to say the least. Unlike our pals in the US, we cannot subscribe to podcasts through the marketplace on either Zune desktop software or directly using the phone. Annoying, but Mango at least introduced a half-workable solution. Unfortunately, after the Tango update it’s no longer possible to use that either.

To subscribe to podcasts prior to Tango, first we needed to set them up in the Zune desktop suite. Once subscribed, simply plugging in the phone and synchronising would pass the podcast to it. Podcasts would the automatically download without further PC interaction. Alas, this is now not the case. What’s going on?

Before, some conditions needed to be met to download over the air: the device had to be both plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi before the podcasts would update. Sometimes the device would not run the task to check for updates. Thankfully from the podcast menu we could manually check for updates, bringing up a list of podcasts. That would normally be enough of a kick to get the phone to check for updates. To be frank, this system wasn’t perfect but most of the time it would result in a recent podcast becoming available as you flew out the door.

Subscribing options in a Mango device

Series settings and unsubscribe options available on a Mango device..

During the last week or so I managed to get the chance to resubscribe to my favorito podcasts on my Lumia 800 since applying the Tango update. I had a long car journey to get through and was quite excited to listen to a few podcasts along the way. I checked my device in the car only to find all the podcasts were out of date. "Ah ha!" I thought, "my car is close enough to the house to be on Wi-Fi. I can just plug it in and check for updates." No such luck. That ability is no longer there, so I cannot get the phone to check for later podcasts. In fact, it simply does not update the podcasts under any conditions.

Subscribing options in a Mango device

Series settings options - Mango Device - Now you see them...


Why is podcast support on Windows Phone so bad when it should be so good?

Many of us have been asking this question almost since the arrival of Windows Phone. For a great many users, it is simply not possible to browse and subscribe to podcasts from the Marketplace. The Zune desktop software is geo-fenced. It’s possible to trick it into showing the elusive podcast support by changing the region, but a number of reasons make it an unworkable solution.  We have to ask the question, "why is Microsoft making it impossible to get easy access to podcasts?" If you look at iOS devices, they have outstanding podcast support. They use it as a positive selling point. I mean, what better way to sell devices than with the lure of free content?

Zero Subscribing options in a Tango device

and now you don't see them, no podcast options in Tango device...

Here in the UK, the BBC simply offers tons of amazing free content. The fruit themed company actively promotes this content to help bring value to their customers. The BBC also just released a dedicated app for podcasts, making browsing and subscribing to podcasts even easier. Do their customers love this? Yes! For some people it will be enough to bring them to the platform; it’s that good.

i-fruit company know how to handle podcasts

Podcast content from itunes - extensive


Why break the already limited podcast support?

I cannot understand the decision to further break podcast support in Windows Phone. If the platform is updating soon, surely tthe feature set should increase rather than decrease. From an OS level, it has needlessly become impossible to automatically retrieve updates to subscribed podcasts over the air. What is so bad about podcasts that Microsoft have gone out of their way to remove even the most basic of features? Perhaps the devices were not adhering to the Wi-Fi rule when getting new podcasts, leading to unexpected data charges. If this was the case, then why not officially document the feature's removal? Of course there is always the possibility Microsoft never intended to allow this type of behavior on Mango devices. What possible reason could they have to justify such a move though? As subscribing is a wholly manual affair for those outside the US it should present no legal issues, right?

Some documentation

While investigating I came across this article on the Windows Phone website. It clearly states that subscribing to podcasts on your phone is not available in all regions. Yes yes, we get that. Above that though it mentions the 256 MB of RAM requirement being needed to manage podcasts from the phone. Could the Tango update have introduced a bug that makes the music software think less memory is available? Maybe, but if that were the case then folks in the US would have noticed their over the air updates stop too. US readers, please let us know if you've experienced similar issues in the comments below.

Over the air podcasts gone from Windows Phone after Tango update


Are there alternatives?

That depends on what you want to achieve. Sure, there are plenty of third party podcast apps... Some will run in the background, allowing you to leave the app without interrupting the download. Will any of them provide the same core OS reliability to keep running that task in the background? Unlikely. Windows Phone also has oddities in the way the music hub works for 3rd party content that doesn’t make it a seamless OS experience. It will need to launch the third party app itself in order to play the content.


Sounding off

Windows Phone 8 is on the way. With it, expanded scenarios for background downloading and listening could also come along. Whilst it’s a distant hope, it’s likely unrealistic to think MS will suddenly expand podcast support after crippling it in WP7.5. We only need to look at Windows 8 to see how highly MS regard podcasts: there is no podcast support at all built into the new PC OS.

Having to power up a PC to download podcasts and then sync them with a Windows Phone is cumbersome and inconvenient - an extra step where there doesn’t need to be one. The reality of the situation is that MS have made podcast support dip to such a low that users like me are forced to consider platform alternatives. Podcast support is incredibly important to my needs.

We would like to hear why podcast support has all but been dropped in Tango. We’d also like to know what you guys think about this situation. How on earth can we get Microsoft to take podcast support more seriously? Should the removal of a feature not be documented in some way? While we're at it, we’d love to know your solutions to these problems - be it third party apps or simply using another platform.

We've reached out to Microsoft for clarification on the issue. In the meantime, leave a comment and let us know what you think.


Reader comments

Over the air podcasts gone from Windows Phone after Tango update?


Podcast support in the OS is not critical to me. A third party app, like Podcasts, fills in the gap well enough to me.

I found podasts! too buggy... If the app didn't crash, it would refuse all podcasts include its suggestions. I have been using slapdash with great success.

My thoughts exactly Robert. Had I have known about this I wouldn't have updated to Tango. This change made me annoyed, and also start to look at other platforms. If they don't rectify this in WP8 I'll be annoyed. Again. As a UK Lumia 800 user the Tango update brought me the ability to 'flip to silence' my phone - not something I'd want to do with a curved screen device - and lost me an important feature.

I've emailed Microsoft the same questions and had no response. Excellent customer service. Maybe Windows Phone 8 will make you plug your phone into a PC to take a call next? Removing OS features from an update. Ridiculous.

I do agree with you it is something that MS needs to address since other platforms do not have this issue... With that said It do not bother me as much because I do enjoy using the third party app call Podcast Pro.

It must be a UK thing.  Everything is still working fine here in Virgina, USA. :-)  God Bless America!

It's not just a UK thing, my phone is downloading and streaming podcasts just as it did before Tango.  I think Robert has a problem with his phone in particular.

Windows Phone US != Windows Phone -US :(

One more reason Microsoft is going to lose Windows Phone users outside the US.

What's next Xbox music...

Actually, Robert, Tango is not supposed to break the podcast feature.  I have a Samsung Focus Flash recently updated to Tango, and I have seen absolutely no interruption with podcasts whatsoever.  In fact, my subscriptions and previously downloaded episodes were all still there.  I can stream a podcast over my data connection or a wifi connection.  And my subscriptions still update automatically when connected over WiFi.  Something is not right with your phone, or your particular Tango installation.  I think you need to check more into facts before jumping to conclusions.  You just caused thousands of users who read these articles to fear updating to Tango for no reason!

ctleng the facts in this article are absolutely correct, several of our community have contacted us regarding the problem, and I myself am facing exactly the same issue.

It certainly does not affect every region, but here in the UK at least, I could subscribe/download podcasts with Mango, and I can't with the Tango update. Robert's is not an isolated case, this is a very widespread issue

Actually the facts are not correct.  He made a blanket statement that Tango breaks the podcast feature.  He even went so far as to assume the Microsoft made the decision to break this feature without verifying it first.  He should have worded it to say that it is known to break this feature for many users.  The way he worded it made it sound like Microsoft dropped support for podcasts altogether, which they did not.  I was merely correcting him on that point.  I don't dispute the fact that he and others are legitimately experiencing this issue.  I just wanted to clear the air that this is NOT universal among all users.

ctleng, the article makes it clear that this does not affect US users, as you are a US user I would hope you can identify that your experience will not have changed after Tango.

For those of us in the UK (and most of Europe), the feature is gone after the Tango update.

This podcast debacle has been a known issue for many people, including me. If anything, you are unique in your situation.

/Swedish Lumia 800 user.

that's the point. Once you have the podcast settings, they are there to stay forever. If, however, you add new podcasts to the device, you don't get these settings anymore. You can get them back using a temporary registry mod, but this still affects podcasts added to the device after the tango update (only in non-US countries, apparently).

That is not the case with my Tango installation either.  I CAN add new subscriptions and they work just fine.


Thanks for taking the time to comment, we do appreciate your feedback. This is one instance I would love to be proved wrong, re-flash my device and be back to normal…

Unfortunately, its not just myself. If you could be so kind as to provide:-

Device Type , OS version, Your Region, Carrier that would be really helpful.


Well, I have no problems downloading or subscribing to a Podcast here in the US on my Lumia 900 running Tango.  I think this may be a UK only "feature."

Device Info:  Lumia 900 (AT&T/US) 7.10.8779.8

Very disappointed... all I had to do prior to tango was push one episode to my phone. I could then see new episodes and download, or stream new episodes as required. But now the complete function is broken and useless. I often go several days not plugging my phone in. And the WiFi sync from Zune does not work with windows 8. Microsoft progress does not include breaking old features... :[ there is absolutely reason to block podcast features at all...

I agree with you, most people don't connect their phone to their PC for a few days. I myself have last connected my phone back in may, as I have no use for the Zune PC Software. I put on a selection of my music once to my phone and then live with it (I still use my 80Gb Ipod 5.5G to listen to my music most of the time, I consider my phone a "backup player") and I sync photos using dropbox (pixfi) so I never have to plug my phone into my PC. If I was an avid podcast listener, this would annoy me a lot, but luckily I only have one podcast and I got that to WiFi sync using interop unlock:


Podcasts are for folks in the US only? Code changes made to stop the flagrant breaches of podcast theft using Mango devices around the world? Come on, this is crazy, we just want to listen to some free to grab podcasts. Nothing wrong with it is there? RB 

Canadian Lumia 900 here. Same problem, and I'm happy to see it getting some ink! I used to keep an episode of each of my podcasts on hand so when a new one hit, I could stream it at work. I work late nights, but the podcasts also tended to post late at night(shoutiut to lasertimepodcast.com!). This was a huge disappointment to me, and I hope this article gets enough traction for Microsoft to notice, and address!
And while I'm here, Rogers Lumias have also lost internet sharing capabilities with out most recent update...


Thanks for commenting,  so Canada too, I thought you guys were *almost* in the same boat as US folks for Geo fenced features.. RB

I have a Lumia 900 from Rogers in Canada since my LG Optimus 7 did the dreaded frozen boot sequence thing. I can confirm that with the latest updates, podcasts and internet sharing work correctly. Maybe its related more to carrier data plans? Something doesn't make sense or else I'll shut up and consider myself lucky then...

I forgot to mention, the phone and computers regional settings are both Canada, but I use RSS links to get US content to sync in podcasts in Zune on my PC. After that, the phone carries on automatically with subscriptions in podcasts settings on the phone.

Welcome to my World! :-(

This super duper nice podcast functionality is where we in Sweden have been living since day one.

I cant Believe that two years in we still dont have a solution to this. I have to plug in my phone almost every day to my PC to get my podcasts downloaded.

All the apps I have tried are worhtless, as they want to stream the content instead of downloading it. And none can download in the background while im sleeping!

This is really a feature in WP where we suck and iPhone shine. Its the hard truth!


We have reached out to Microsoft for some clarification on this. As yet we havent heard anything back. It’s never been made entirely clear why they geo-fenced podcasts. After all, they are almost all devoid of copyright issues, enough that it certainly doesn’t bother Apple anyhoo.

Such a huge, diverse and free resource is all but closed to Windows Phone users? We’d love to know why…. RB

Sweden here also, and the regional racism Microsoft have is very frustrating. Apple and Google have working services, where is MSFT? It makes them look cheep in my eyes. Give us Podcasts AND music, is that so much to ask?! :'(

I noticed this back in May, but I couldn't connect it to the tango update (I thought my Custom Rom was broken or something), see here:
as you can see, there is a way to get the settings back, unfortunatelly it requires at least interop unlock (so no Nokia love)
EDIT: my podcasts sync fine via wifi using that workaround, even if the registry settings are reversed.


So as long as you had the podcasts setup on the device, going to tango should still leave THOSE ones alone? Nice to know, useless for myself as my device never had those podcasts setup. That sounds more like happy bug. Thanks for letting us know your findings… *Taking notes* RB

Hello Robert,
as I didn't update from Mango to Tango but did a full install of a custom ROM instead, I don't know if subscriptions made on Mango would retain the settings menu. I know that after I added my podcasts in tango i didn't have the settings, editing the registry on the phone returned them and I subscribed on the phone again (i.e. changing the podcast settings) and the podcast settings for that podcast remain to this day even though the registry setting returned to the default value (DE-DE for me). I assume that it would work for podcasts subscribed to before the mango update as well, though.

Again my experience was different.  My old ones still work, and I have been able to set up new subscriptions as well.  See my reply to your post earlier, where I listed my device and OS information.

After installing Tango I've been having problems with podcasts. I can't subscribe from my phone anymore and if I try to stream it from my phone now says file type not supported. I did get some help from the windows support twitter but now it's acting up again. If I knew this was going to happen I would have never updated to Tango.

I'm from Europe but all of my computers and devices including WP7 and Zune HD have the US regional settings. I don't have any problems with podcasts that you mentioned and what can I say. The built in podcast application built in Zune is the best podcast application that I ever saw until now. Completelly satisfied.
But yes. I'm always pissed off about Microsoft because it has so many regional limitations. I really don't understand that. It doesn't matter to me that the movies are lilmited to some regions. This is not MS fault. But locking podcasts to regions is completelly Microsoft fault. Microsoft could make it that every podcaster could select the regions where their podcasts could be downloaded. The same would be perfect for Movies and Acudio files. I really don't understand the Microsoft position. This is why they are constantly losing their marketshare.


Interesting, can you tell us more? Devices types OS versions, regional settings. Did you have podcasts setup before updating to Tango? Let us know… RB

Samsung Omnia 7 with Windows Phone 7 with Tango OS Version 7.10.8773.98
I just added a new podcast for test right now.
I opened Zune on the phone, selected marketplace -> podcasts and then just selected the podcast Stuff You Should Know from the featured list. It’s a video podcast. Then a list of episodes opened and I pressed the Subscribe button at the bottom. Selected the number of episodes to keep [1] and then I pressed the Confirm button at the bottom. The podcast started downloading and I can see it at my video podcasts.
Regional settings.
Important. You need to create a new US Microsoft (Hotmail/Live, etc.) account first. What I heard converted accounts (like DE -> US) were not valid. All of my accounts I have were created as US accounts since the beginning.
Phone Settings: Region + language: All English (United States) When I bought my phone I was afraid that I would get an UK keyboard only but then I saw the US keyboard is available too.
Zune client for PC. As far as I know your PC regional settings should be set to US.
Control Panel -> Region and Language
-> Formats tab -> Format: English (United States)
-> Location tab -> Current location: United States
-> Administrative tab -> Current language for non-Unicode programs: English (United States)
That was true for the Zune HD for sure because the Zune client didn’t want to install otherwise. I didn’t have any problem with that since all of my computers since Windows 3.0 always have US regional settings. It’s simply because I never understood UI in my own language.
This is it. Anything else?

The point is, people without a US Microsoft Account had some limited access to certain Podcast features such as OTA download and streaming, which has now been removed with the Tango update. For example, I could with my Swedish Microsoft Account, access and download new or old episodes OTA if I had previously added that specific Podcast to the phone manually via desktop Zune, before Tango. Now I can't.
The fact that you are using a Microsoft Account with the region set to US kind of makes it irrelevant to this topic, as users from the US doesn't seem to have any problem with this to begin with (which makes sense, since the Podcast feature-set and marketplace is technically US-exclusive).

I spent ages trying to find out why UK had to manually subscribe to Podcasts.  Didn't  find anything apart from a vague reference to a licensing issue.  As for Tango, I should be so lucky that my Omnia 7 on Orange ever got the update.
I like Podcasts and I would listen to a lot more if there were some good baked-in functionality for them.  Some clarity from MS would be welcome.

Can't download video podcasts and missing some other content (can't remember). Podcast Pro is the best we got, and some users have stability issues. Podcast Pro have worked great on my Titan thou.

Thanks for the tip, just tried it out and looking good so far. Was using podcasts pro but found it too buggy

Just reading the comments it seems to be that this problem is unique to lumias. It may be a bug in the Nokia firmware that has broken podcasts. I have the same problem on my UK lumia 800.


I’d certainly like to see more data come in on that. I have a Lumia myself, that could be a possibility, if so then we can approach Nokia about it. The reference in documentation about the 256MB restriction for managing podcasts brought me to the idea it might be a firmware issue. RB

We need more data, so people, please keep those comments coming in! :) RB

I know for a fact that this has affected HTC to some extent, a friend has an HTC Mozart that lost these features as well.

My podcasts here in US updates very well automatically once I'm home and plug it in. Mine is a 1st gen Focus. Though like you, I subscribe to mainly UK based podcasts from Guardian and BBC mainly for their football(soccer) podcasts.


Those lucky enough to be in the US seem impervious to these geo fencing issues. Thanks to letting us know though.. RB

I'm happy you've written about this. I also can no longer subscribe to podcasts on the phone & WiFi sync no longer works.

What I don't understand is why they can't allow a podcaster to select the countries the podcast should be available upon submission. They do it for the app marketplace. MS care about podcasts as I could gather from listening to the Zune Insider one. If they wanted they could send out an email to podcasters saying they're rolling out global support and allow them to opt out.

Hopefully the new WP8 sync client will make this feature global or a Win8 podcast app if they make one. Either way I've given up on WP for podcasts and just listen when I'm at home. Using an Omnia 7, UK.

Podcasts, music, there both important to me. Podcasts works like crapp (i gave upp long time ago) and we don't have music support. I agree that its very frustrating, and for me one reason to study WP8 hard and not setting in stone I will get a new WP8 device.

Oh, and I have had two Omnia 7, one Lumia 800, and currently the Titan. I'm selling my Titan in a couple of days and will look for reviews, then its a new WP8 device...or if there is to much lacking, a Galaxy Note. (in already hating the thought of a Gmail account).

Hope MS realise that when they make things worse than before they are harming the platform and less likely to sell more devices I for one dont listen to music I listen to podcast every day I have a 2 hour comute every day to and from work. Why can"t podcast just work like everyware else why mess with it. There are nor legal rights issue or drm involved podcast are free everyware.

Lumia 800 UK user with exactly the same problem here, article is correct, very annoying, just use direct plays from URLs at the minute

Obviously this is an issue in Europe and not affecting US devices.  Maybe you should update the article because you made it seem like Microsoft was trying to pull a fast one.  Everyone needs to just come down...I'm sure they will get it all worked out.

I sure would.  You guys act like MSFT is intentionally trying to do you harm.  There are reasons and you just need to be a little patient.  I'm sure they will get you up and running again.  I'm a engineer and I understand stuff happens.

So, basically you're saying they removed it in May and they just noticed? I noticed this feature has gone missing back in may when I upgraded my HTC 7 Mozart to Tango but it didn't bother me to much as my phone was/is fully unlocked and you can enable this feature using at least interop unlock. I believe MS removed this on purpose due to their limited support for podcasts outside the U.S.

Agree!!!  This has been my point all along!  When writing an article that attempts to convey information to others, it is always best to make sure you have your facts straight.  Making statements as though they are fact, when there isn't evidence to support them can cause all kinds of crazy unfounded rumors to start.  Obviously there is a serious bug in the software relating to the podcast feature.  Who knows, even though it's working for me currently I may as well begin to experience the same issue down the road.  One thing is clear; Microsoft did NOT intentionally remove support for the podcast feature in Windows Phone.  If they had, then it wouldn't work for anyone, period.

I have the 7 pro with tango in the us and I have a podcast that's not available on Zune and one that is and it works just fine

I'm going to miss the seamless updating... I listen to their own Major Nelson podcast... Will have to use an app but I feel this is becoming a big negative to the OS....

I found this out for mylself just tewo night when when adding a new podcast to my phone. I have four or so that have been there pre Tango and they're working just fine.
But the subscib option has gone for the new podcast I have added and I am quite pissed off about that. 
I am really struggling to see why subscribing to podcast would need to be removed for people outside of the US. It doesn't infringe on anyone business, it doesn't need any regulation, it is not harmful to the phone and most of all I can still add podcast from Zune itself. 
Please put it back in Microsoft. 

I love podcasts and would appreciate any additional support from MS. I use the Podcast! App and its ok but can be slow and buggy at times

I am in the US and right my phone(HTC Trophy) updated to Tango and my speaker went out. So Verizon got me a new one and i did the Tango update again. My podcasts will update but usually, they get deleted half way through listening/watching them and when i go to the marketplace to redownload it it isn't there. It only sees the ones from when i got the phone, and i have to wait a couple days or wait a week for when the next one comes out and then find the new one and the missed one.  If this has anything to do with Tango I want it fixed. I don't connect my phone to the Zune software enough anymore to have to rely on that system.

Thanks for the article, I was pulling my hair out wondering where my limited podcast support had gone... I love windows phone, but it annoys the heck out of me how US centric MS is with the OS features... Hoping it doesnt continue with windows phone 8 and windows 8.
Anyways, I'm in New Zealand, lumia 800, exact same problem after upgrading to tango. 

After reading some of these comments I wonder if the problem might be isolated to Lumia devices.  Is there anyone out there with a non-Nokia device experiencing this issue?

Microsoft's statement to me today when I asked them about this feature removal:
We can't speculate why it worked in the past but podcasts are only supported in the United States. ^EB

It continues to amaze me how hypocritical WP users are about the limitations of their OS while at the same time overlooking some serious limitations.  The idea that you still have to hook your phone up to the PC and sync it using Zune (or XBox music/video, etc whatever the Windows 8 client is going to be) is very old school.  The idea that WiFi goes off when your screen is off unless you use some third party keep it alive app (to me it's pretty critical in today's tiered/capped data world) is almost unforgiveable.  MS, Nokia and it's partners are going to have to find VERY hard for shelf space against the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, all the Androids (especially on Verizon where they still have an enormous investment in the Droid branding - even though they have a lot of Android phones that aren't Droids).  Tell me what's going to stand out about WP8 (with 2-3 handsets/carrier) against the dozens of Androids and the loyalty of iPhone users.  This is not an XBox situation where they can just lose money for years (their partners like Nokia and HTC are losing money hand over fist and don't have years left) and eventually get some market share.  There is nothing that says there needs to be a third dominant phone OS after iOS and Android - MS is going to have to earn this one and just telling everyone - "Try it, you'll like it" (especially when you only have 14 days on Verizon before your trial period ends and you're stuck for two years) is no different than the old Mac OS argument against the DOS/Win 3.1/Win 95 PCs of the late 80s and 90s.  For those of you hating on Android the two latest iterations are very good (ICS and JB) are excellent hardware (I have the GS3 - great hardware - a little too big for me - but it was my last chance to get a subsidized phone on Verizon without giving up unlimited data).  there are a lot of people like me that got a GS3 that are very happy and MS has no shot at my business for at least two years.  I would have loved to get a Windows Phone 10 months ago when I got my first Android but I knew the Trophy wasn't going to last for 2 years and didn't have any confidence in VZW's support for WP.  I think a lot of people on VZW are in the same boat and they certainly aren't waiting for WP8 and may even get sucked in by a 4" LTE iPhone 5.

I only plug my phone into the computer to update. I think it is asinine that I cannot completely manage everything about my podcasts directly from my phone with native software.

Yep, I know what you mean, and it's bizarre.  I had no problem downloading and updating podcasts directly to my old Nokia N95, running Symbian, and that was, what, five years ago?
They should have this kind of stuff already sorted out, not still be a problem in 2012.

The problem with the alternative podcast apps, is that none if them actually automatically download your subscribed podcasts in the background. They will notify you of new episodes, but you have to open the app and manually start the downloads.
It would be interesting to actually hear a reason from MS as to why WP dies not support a feature outside the US that supposedly "dead" OSs like Symbian and WebOS have been doing for years.
Just saying "podcasts are not supported outside the US" without giving any reason or setting any expectation as to when they will be supported is frankly ridiculous and very poor customer service.

Podcast apps don't download automatically new episodes from your podcasts subscriptions in the background... because they actually can't. And I'm speaking as a WP7 developper who looked for a solution on this matter.
In fact, I was working on a podcast app. I had an iPhone with nice podcast support and tremendous 3rd party apps, with over-the-air, audio & video, playlists support, automatic download and more, while Windows Phone podcast support in France is just even worse than in UK. It pains me to say that the SDK doesn't allow me to do half the things I had in mind for this app, so I will probably make it only for WP8. And I'm not expecting Windows Phone podcast support to get better

Just signed up to comment on this.
You're correct - I think there is a problem in Tango with podcast management (presumably for users not in a region where podcasts are supported in the Zune marketplace).
I found all my existing podcasts worked fine when updating from Mango to Tango - all existing podcast 'feeds' still updated correctly. However, when I wanted to add a new podcast 'feed', I found the podcast management options were missing as you did. (I'm using 'feed' to mean a podcast series).
(I also think some people are not clearly distinguishing between behaviour of existing podcast 'feeds' vs new podcast 'feeds' added whilst the phone was running Tango).
I am big podcast user too, so I reverted my phone back to a Mango backup. I can now subscribe to new podcast feeds as I did previously.
Thanks Robert for escalating this issue with MS. I really hope this gets fixed :-)
I'm on a DVP by the way.

p.s. just to provide the other information:
Device Type=DVP, OS version=Tango (although now reverted to Mango to fix the problem), Your Region=UK, Carrier=Sim Free (Unbranded).

with all respect AT&T is a fucking crap!! Tango?? mother fuckers the rest of devices of that fucking company are without that fucking update!!

While I can't comment on Tango behaviour (As T-Mobile UK STILL hasn't offered ANY updates since original Mango 7740 in Dec 2011!) just wanted to add my voice to the dismay at continued disappearing non-US podcast support. For me in the UK it's been:
1) Zune Desktop has never offered Podcast marketplace section. The only way to add podcasts was direct URL input in Zune to download into Zune collection then manually setup Sync.
2) With Mango: For already sync'd podcasts, as long as you kept at least 1 episode of each on device, you then had the option to click an on-device 'Marketplace' option to manually fetch other episodes. The only oddity for me was that while this worked for most podcasts I always got a marketplace error of 805a0194 for Xbox Major Nelsons podcast & The Digital Lifestyle (TDL) main show, but all works fine on-device for TDL Mobile, WPCentral, Windows Developers and Mobile Nations Iterate podcasts.
3) As user of both Windows 8 CP & RP (and I understand the same issue is still unfixed in Win 8 RTM)I was very disappointed that Zune Desktop could no longer do wireless sync...which without proper UK over the air podcast support was the only thing that gave me automated podcast updates...and made me reliant on manual on device updates that Tango is now going to take away!!! Definitely the reverse of progress going on here...
For the record I'm a UK Live ID user, in the UK on T-Mobile with an original Samsung Omnia 7

Yeah, has there been any new info on this?
I am fed up of having to sync podcasts through my PC.
Its the only thing I connect my phone up to my PC for now (that and updates)
Come on MSFT this is available in the US, why not here in the UK?
Device: Lumia 900 Network: Orange UK

I take it that the silence means that the "reaching out" to Microsoft had no reply?
Is there any news on whether wp8 will actually have OTA podcasts, like any decent phone should?

I would guess there has been no reply (or the author has forgotten). At least we know for sure that MS know about the issue. Will be interesting to see if they fix this in WP7.8 - it sounds like a relatively simple thing to fix.

Well this is a bit dead, but now that Windows Phone 8 is out we know that this has the same limited features of Tango. Except that is even more limited becaus you can't use Zune.
So it seems they carried over the Tango features. I assume because they didn't fix it for WP8, they also won't fix it for WP7.8. What a total mess.