Tag Archives: Apple

Apple is Replacing iTunes



Apple previewed macOS Catalina, at WWDC 2019. With macOS Catalina, Apple is replacing iTunes with its popular entertainment apps – Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app.

“With macOS Catalina, we’re bringing fresh new apps to the Mac, starting with new standalone versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Users will appreciate how they can expand their workplace with Sidecar, enabling new ways of interacting with Mac apps using iPad and Apple Pencil. And with new developer technologies, users will see more great third-party apps arrive on the Mac this fall.”

Based on the information Apple posted in its Newsroom, there doesn’t appear to be any changes happening to the Apple Podcasts app. This isn’t very surprising, because Apple Podcasts was launched in 2017 and appears to be quite popular.

Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003, and it has gone through many changes since then. When macOS Catalina launches, iTunes will be split into three separate apps. Apple is replacing iTunes with a new Music app for Mac.

According to Apple, “Users will have access to their entire music library, whether they downloaded the songs, purchased them or ripped them from a CD. For those who like to own their music, the iTunes Music Store is just a click away.”

What does this all mean for podcasters? It sounds like you won’t have to make any changes to your podcast if it is currently on Apple Podcasts. You will still be subscribed to whatever podcasts you already are via Apple Podcasts.

I recommend that podcasters go through their iTunes library before they update to macOS Catalina. Your music will find its way to the Music app for Mac. I’m not certain that podcast episodes, that you downloaded outside of Apple Podcasts, and then put into iTunes, will also migrate.


Apple Seeks a Data Scientist for Apple Podcasts and Media Products



Apple Podcasts is seeking a Data Scientist to join a team passionate about Data Science & Analytics for Apple Media Products (AMP) covering Apple Podcasts.

This role will involve working with Internet-scale data across numerous product and customer touch points, undertaking in-depth quantitative analysis and building models to drive product and strategy.

Dive deep into large-scale data to uncover trends and identify key insights that will propel the Apple Podcasts product and content strategy. Craft how to best monitor, measure and understand product and business performance. Collaborate with business, marketing, finance and executive teams to generate regular presentations for C-level. Partner with other Apple organizations on data gathering, data governance, evangelizing key performance indicators and democratizing data. Your creative problem solving will be utilized daily.

Key Qualifications include:

  • 3+ years of experience in a Data Scientist or Data Analyst role, preferably for a digital publishing or digital subscription business. Domain knowledge in the podcasting space is a plus.
  • Strong proficiency with SQL-based languages. Experience with large scale analytics technologies such as Hadoop and Spark preferred.
  • Familiarity with Python or R and data visualization tools such as Tableau for full-stack data analysis, insight synthesis and presentation.
  • Experience using relevant statistical packages to build predictive/ML models and knowledge of A/B test experimentation design.

Visit the Apple website where the Data Scientist job is listed for more information about qualifications, education and experience required, and to submit a resume.


Apple, YouTube, and Facebook Removed Alex Jones’ Content



Last week, Spotify deleted several episodes of The Alex Jones Podcast. The reason was because that content violated Spotify’s hate content policy. Stitcher removed Alex Jones’ podcasts on August 2, 2018. Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have followed with their own bans.

Buzzfeed News reported that Apple removed the entire library for five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcasts Apps. Among them were War Room and Alex Jones Show.

Buzzfeed reported a statement from Apple that said:

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcast that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

CNBC reported that YouTube, which is owned by Google, has removed the Alex Jones Channel.

CNBC reported that Google said in a statement regarding the removal of the page: “All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube. When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”

Facebook provided information about why they removed four videos on four Alex Jones Facebook pages in a newsroom post titled: “Enforcing Our Community Standards”.

It starts with: “We believe in giving people a voice, but we also want everyone using Facebook to feel safe. It’s why we have Community Standards and remove anything that violates them, including hate speech that attacks or dehumanizes others. Earlier today, we removed four Pages belonging to Alex Jones for repeatedly posting content over the past several days that breaks those Community Standards.”

Toward the end of the post, Facebook said: “As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page, and the InfoWars Nightly News page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages – Alex Jones – was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages.”

Facebook also removed more content from the same pages that had been reported to them. Facebook took it down for glorifying violence, which violates Facebook’s graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describes people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates their hate speech policies.

On August 2, 2018, Stitcher posted a tweet that said: “Thanks for your note. We have reviewed Alex Jones’ podcasts and found he has, on multiple occasions, harassed or allowed harassment of private individuals and organizations, (1/2)”

Stitcher followed that with a second tweet: “and that harassment has led listeners of the show to engage in similar harassment and other damaging activity. Therefore, we have decided to remove his podcasts from the Stitcher platform.”


Apple is Hiring a Digital Supply Chain Technical Producer



Apple logoApple is hiring a Digital Supply Chain, Technical Producer. The job listing was posted on January 19, 2018. The position includes 40 hours a week. The hourly pay was not described in the job listing.

Here’s the summary of the job:

Apple Podcasts boasts the largest and most popular podcast directory in the world and serves a global audience of millions. Our Siri Audio News briefs keeps listeners informed around the world. The Apple Podcast and Siri Audio News team seeks a Content Producer to be responsible for the health of the podcast and audio news catalogs and act as our front-line point of provider support.

Our new team member will handle the partner-hosted content supply chains, process DMCA removals, support Apple-internal podcast providers, oversee our support forums and manage our technical documents. This role demands the Content Producer support a larger number of providers, ranging from first-time amateurs to large public broadcasters and Fortune 100 companies.

Some Key Qualifications include:

  • Excellent written communication skills, focused specifically on technical communication with vendors
  • Strong time-management skills and a demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team environment
  • Strong understanding of the technology behind blogging, podcasting, RSS, XML, and media streaming protocols
  • Good understanding of the podcast, radio and online video media landscapes
  • Complete understanding of Apple Podcasts on macOS, tvOS and iOS
  • Fluency in English with Spanish or Asian language skills an advantage
  • BA/BS degree in business, communication, technology or related field.

For full details, please visit the Digital Supply Chain Technical Producer job listing on the Apple website.


Apple has Acquired Pop Up Archive



Apple logoNicholas Quah reported in his Hot Pod Newsletter on Nieman Lab earlier this month that Apple has acquired Pop Up Archive. It was the parent company of Audiosear.ch. Both of them shut down on November 29, 2017.

Pop Up Archive focused on building tools to transcribe, organize, and search audio files. Audiosear.ch was among Pop Up Archive’s suite of tools. Audiosear.ch was its podcast search engine. Nicholas Quah shared the following insight:

That said, I’m pretty sure you can put two and two together with what’s on paper: Apple, long the dominant hands-off steward of the podcast universe, has acquired a technology dedicated to increasing the knowability and sortability of the hundreds of thousands of shows distributed through its Apple Podcast platform. This, as you can imagine, has widespread implications for the ecosystem.

Exactly how Apple will use its newly acquired tools is unclear, or if they are already using them in some “behind-the-scenes” way. I searched for a press release from Apple about this acquisition, but was unable to locate one.


Apple Podcast Announcement Wrap-up – PCN Show 043



PCN iTunes artworkApple’s announcement this week at the end of the Worldwide Developer Conference is some of the biggest podcasting news to happen in years. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate an entire episode to it.

Links:

 


New Features for Listeners, Stats for Podcasters Coming to Apple Podcasts



Apple logoApple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is wrapping up this weekend in California. While Apple made plenty of announcements during WWDC, the tech giant may have truly left the best for last (at least, if you’re a podcaster).

Today, Apple announced major changes to its podcast spec. The first such spec changes the company has made in years. Apple also announced that it will finally be providing at least some listener data to podcast producers.

Acknowledging recent trends in the podcasting space, Apple will now provide support for seasons, preview episodes, and bonus episodes within its podcast RSS feed spec. That means it’ll be easier for podcasters to organize episodes by season, so listeners can download and listen back to episodes in the correct order. The preview and bonus episode options will make it easier for podcasters and listeners alike to identify episodes that might not be part of a podcast’s regular production cycle.

There’s been a lot of industry pressure as of late on Apple to provide listener data to podcasters. Acquiescing to these demands, Apple will begin providing some actual listener data to podcast producers:

Apple said today that it will be using (anonymized) data from the app to show podcasters how many people are listening and where in the app people are stopping or skipping. This has the potential to dramatically change our perception of how many people really listen to a show, and how many people skip ads, as well as how long a podcast can run before people just give up.

While this might look like the holy grail to some in terms of listener metrics, it appears that this data will be limited to listener activity from the iOS Podcasts app only. Not the cross-platform iTunes desktop application. And of course, it won’t pull in data from any services outside of the Apple ecosphere.

It’s not yet clear when Apple will allow podcasters to access listener data. The full implementation of the new Apple Podcasts RSS spec will likely coincide with the release of iOS 11 later this year. If you’d like to see what the new RSS tags will look like, Apple has released a document that covers the changes it’ll be making to the spec.


iTunes Podcasts Becomes Apple Podcasts



Apple Podcasts logoEver since Apple launched the iOS Podcasts app, effectively giving podcasts a dedicated location on Apple mobile devices, speculation has occurred that one day, Apple will break podcasts free from the desktop iTunes application in a similar manner. While that hasn’t happened yet, having a dedicated desktop podcast-consumption app made by Apple may be getting closer.

Today, Apple rebranded the iTunes podcast directory to Apple Podcasts:

Although today’s announcement is merely a branding change, it may indicate a renewed focus by Apple on podcasting…

In February, Eddy Cue teased that the company is working on new features for podcasts at the Code Media conference. Combined with this rebranding, it is possible that Apple is readying a big announcement for later this year, potentially at WWDC.

Renaming the iTunes podcast directory to Apple Podcasts falls in line with other Apple branding efforts, such as Apple Music and Apple TV. It’s possible that the Cupertino-based tech giant is finding the “i” designation that rose to fame with products like the iMac, iPod, and iTunes is in need of a refresh. Regardless, it’s good to see some real attention being paid to Apple’s podcast directory.

Along with this new name, Apple also released new guidelines for publishers who’d like to link to their listings on the Apple Podcasts directory. These guidelines include a new set of badges that make use of the Apple Podcasts name in place of iTunes (see image above).


Apple is Seeking a Podcast Producer



Apple logoApple posted a job ad on January 5, 2016, for a Podcast Producer. The person who gets this job will need to be located in either in Culver City, California, or Cupertino, California. The position appears to have something to do with integrating new podcasts.

The Job Summary reads as follows: “The Apple Podcasts team seeks Producer to help manage the integration of new podcasts, the merchandising of podcasts on Podcasts app and iTunes, and management of provider relationships. The varied work demands excellent editorial taste and account management skill. In the near term, a significant portion of the job will be devoted to planning and executing editorial campaigns, building relationships with providers and seeking out great new content.”

The key qualifications include some things you might not be expecting. They want someone who has “excellent and precise written and spoken English”. They also want the applicant to have fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, or French, and a knowledge of Latin American media landscape.

My best guess, and I may be wrong, is that this job is going to focus on podcasts created by podcasters in South America. The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. The rest of South America speaks Spanish. I can’t think of any good reason why Apple wants a Podcast Producer who has knowledge of the Latin American media landscape other than they want to focus on South America.