I’ve discovered more podcasts that I enjoy enough that I want to listen to the early episodes. Some are ongoing courses, other are just interesting.
Sometimes, usually with podcasters who “rolled their own” and didn’t do it quite right, it’s easy. The feed has every episode they ever created. (Fortunately, iTunes’s default is to list them all in grey but only download the most current — I like to sample a few before downloading more.)
[Observation: Firefox’s spell-check doesn’t recognize “iTunes”.]
Others, though, who knew more or hired someone who did, only have 10 or 25 episodes. This is the intent of a feed — don’t waste our time with old stuff.
I propose a compromise, for those who can do it.
Keep the current feed showing the last 3 months or so.
Create separate “Annual Archive Feeds”, with maybe 25-50 episodes per feed. This way, if I like your latest episodes enough that I want to start from the beginning, I can do so easily. Engineering Works (iTunesU) does this. Also, once I grab the year I can unsubscribe. If your feed gets rebuilt, only the current episodes get repeated.
This is my favourite method. I can use one program (currently iTunes) to keep track of which ones are available, downloaded, on my player, and listened-to.
Some podcasters create zip files for the archives. This also works, but please number them somehow. For one, I have to go back through the archives to see which title corresponds to which date. Yes, there’s just enough continuity that it’s worth the effort. It doesn’t synch as well with iTunes, but I can deal.
Others, though, make me go back through their entire blog and download each one individually. Blech.
In WordPress, the link https://cricketb.wordpress.com/2010/feed/ gives you a feed for all posts in 2010.
Just something to consider.