These instructions apply (with minor variations depending on the model) to the following i Pod Shuffle models: Begin by plugging the Shuffle into the included USB adapter and plugging that into a USB port on your computer.
When you do this, i Tunes will launch if you haven't already launched it.
If you already have an i Tunes account, sign in with it here.
If not, click the button next to I do not have an Apple ID and follow the onscreen instructions for creating one.
Take the following steps to synchronize your podcasts across all of your Apple devices.
Apple makes it possible for you to sync your podcasts completely between different devices, including podcast subscriptions, stations, and even playback positions.
On your computer—it can be a PC or a Mac—open i Tunes, login to your Apple ID, and select “Preferences” from the dropdown i Tunes menu.
You'll need this both because it's associated with your Shuffle (or any other i Pod/i Phone/i Pad you use) and because it's required to purchase or download music, podcasts, or other content from the i Tunes Store.
I need some kind of programmatic work around or batch script that runs and updates all podcasts/episodes automatically.
As a workaround, you can select all items in the podcast list (Cmd-A on Mac, should be Ctrl-A on Windows), open the context menu and select "Update Podcast".
Then tell each subscription to update again and it will update with the latest podcast for you.
Just keep the recent episodes marked as played and watched, i Tunes will keep feeding you your subscriptions.