Archive for the 'Podcasting' Tag

iTunes Podcast Directory vs. Everything Else

Monday, October 10th, 2005

I like Yahoo’s podcasting directory, I think it works well and I was trying to work out why. I guess it comes down to giving listeners more “say” or control over their podcasts that is more in the spirit of podcasting itself, as shown by the likes of Podcast Alley and Odeo. You can rate podcasts, comment on individual shows and add “folksonomy” tags (i.e. chosen by users rather than a predefined list).

One of the biggest ways I’ve long thought iTunes’ podcatching support is “wrong” (lousy show notes aside) when compared to Safari’s RSS support is that while it’s easy to subscribe to a podcast in iTunes, it doesn’t make it easy for you use the iTunes podcast directory with another podcatcher application such as iPodderX or one of the many podcast-aware newsreaders (e.g. NetNewsWire, NewsMac Pro or NewsFire). With Safari you can choose your RSS reader in its RSS preferences and it always respects that – no world domination stuff. 😉

But now, looking at Yahoo’s directory makes me think back again to the way podcasting was prior to iTunes and has shown me what is actually missing from the iTunes Music Store approach at present. It’s the interaction thing, making you feel a part of your favourite podcasts rather than being a layer away. iTunes has its subscription charts (a daily aggregate?) but that’s about it; there’s no way to say how you feel about something after you’ve subscribed.

Of course, it’s early days and competition is always good. 😀

Podcast Solutions

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Podcast Solutions book coverPodcast Solutions by Dan Klass (The Bitterest Pill) and Michael Goeghegan (Reel Reviews, Grape Radio) is released today, August 22nd.

Feeder appears in the book and on the accompanying CD – although thanks to deadlines it’s version 1.1 on the CD, not 1.2 with the iTunes functionality. I know that the authors managed to include information about iTunes 4.9 podcasting features and, as far as Feeder is concerned, it checks for new versions by default on the first launch.

Anyway, good luck to Dan and Michael with the book and if you are interested in podcasting, check it out.

Feeder 1.2 / Return to Blog

Monday, August 1st, 2005

I released Feeder 1.2 with the new iTunes podcasting features last Friday, a little earlier than planned but it couldn’t come soon enough for most people. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

For the beta testing, I needed the help of people already listed in the iTunes Music Store both to test that the XML was working and to test Feeder’s cool iTunes Preview feature matched iTunes itself. As such I’d like to thank those people who put their listings on the line (I didn’t quite put it like that at the time, did I?) to test out Feeder, namely:

All the links above are to their listings in the iTMS so you can see Feeder’s work in situ, subscribe, enjoy, etc. 😀

Also thanks to Björk for keeping me awake for the last 30-hour stint <rolleyes>. I needed some music that I hadn’t heard in ages and even more I’d never heard at all.

It also should be noted that Sam Ruby and Mark Pilgrim’s work on FeedValidator, posts on Intertwingly and the new Apple Syndication Dev mailing list has been incredibly useful. We know Apple has the questions, all we need now are answers.

Now that mad dash to the finish line is over, I no longer need to obsess over the minutiae of the iTunes RSS specification and I’ve caught up with my sleep, I’m going to be able to post more interesting things on this blog.

Stay tuned!

Feeder Watch July 2005

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

Feeder has been getting quite a bit of attention lately (can’t think why!), and there’s more coming in the near future…

Oliver Bredenback at Boinx Software has published an excellent article (biased, moi?) on How to Create Podcasts with .Mac.

Paul Figgiani mentions Feeder on ThePoint Podcast No. 38.

Mark Reid talks about Feeder on show No. 2 of The Mac Report podcast.

Jason O’Grady writes about Feeder on O’Grady’s PowerPage as he prepares for his podcast.

In Sweden, on MacPro’s website (thought I’m not really sure what it says, it looks innocuous enough!).

Feeder is was mentioned in the Cool Mac Picks segment of Inside Mac Radio on July 23rd.

Thank you, everybody!

iTunes Spec & FeedValidator Update

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

FeedValidator has been updated for the latest iTunes spec. See this post for a few interesting things of note about that spec by Sam Ruby and Mark Pilgrim.

An important point is that thanks to omissions in the new spec, you need to have the old spec if you want to have all the information and it’s no longer available on Apple’s site. For example, it doesn’t have the list of categories and subcategories, or mention the tag in the summary table at the top.

In addition to the comments there, it’s struck me that the description of the tag itself implies that it should only be applied at the channel level and not to individual items. This would make sense since iTunes doesn’t do anything with an image specific to a particular show/item, only the podcast/channel as a whole, but do we know for sure? Er, no.

This new revision is much better, but that wouldn’t be difficult, and yet it seems that where the first version did well this one has let itself down and vice versa. It remains a moving target for anyone trying to make sense of it all.

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