RSS feeds. Ten years into the history of podcasting and they’re still the cornerstone, if not the actual lifeblood of the medium. Want to get your podcast into places like iTunes or Stitcher? You’re gonna need a valid RSS feed. And while feed validation tools have been around since the beginning of podcasting, sometimes they return results that are complex to understand, often sending podcasters into a spiral of panicked Google searches, hoping to find remedies for what they believe to be a broken RSS feed.
I tried Podbase today for the first time. Podbase is a feed validator with a focus on podcasting. It’s also got a simple one-page design that gives you the information you need in an easy to understand format.
Podbase breaks down its results system into three sections. First, it’s the Basics section, described by Podbase as, “Basic tests, the podcasting equivalent of ‘Is the patient breathing?'” In this section, Podbase checks to see if your feed URL is correct, if your feed is actually made up of XML, and then it checks to see if your feed is truly an RSS feed. In testing my own feed, I passed the second and third requirements no problem. However, Podbase noted that, “It took about 3.3 seconds to get the feed, which is very slow in ‘internet time’. Worth looking into before it gets worse.” Ultimately, my feed still passed the test. But Podbase offered some helpful advice about the length of time it took to load my feed.
Continue reading Podbase Is a Friendly Validator for Your Podcast RSS Feeds
Over the last weekend, I noticed that FeedValidator.org has gone to a webhosting parking page. I don’t know what the future is for feedvalidator.org, but that got me to researching other feed validators. Here is what I found:
First off, *most* feed validators out there are using the same code as feedvalidator.org was (or is). One of these is W3c Feed Validation Service. This is VERY much like feedvalidator.org in that it also hasn’t been updated in a while and isn’t neccecarlly 100% for podcasting. One thing is that if you are using the Powerpress Podcasting plugin for WordPress, you will get a “Recomondation” that says:
“This feed is valid, but interoperability with the widest range of feed readers could be improved by implementing the following recommendations.
line 2, column 0: Use of unknown namespace: http://www.rawvoice.com/rawvoiceRssModule/”
The Rawvoice Namespace has been out there and is OK with iTunes, Stitcher and most (if not all) podcast aggregators and apps out there. Still, using the W3c Validator will let you know if something is VERY wrong with your feed.
Another one I found a while back is still in “Preview”, but still interesting. It’s called Podbase Podcast Validator. It doesn’t give you the same info as the other ones. The unique thing it does do for you is give you is a kind of checklist that will let you know if your feed elements are there and correct. It also will warn you of any size issues as in your feed size or if your art is too big (file size). This one has promise as a useful tool for podcasters.
The best one I found so far is CastFeedValidator.com. This one gives you a full preview of what your listing will look like on most podcast apps. It will also warn you of the normal things that can cause your feed to not perform as it should.
Whenever I setup a new podcast feed for a client or want to troubleshoot someone’s feed, I use all 3 of these. It’s a good idea to check your own feed once in a while just to make sure everything is good.
If you know of another feed validator that works good for podcasting, let me know.
Posted by Mike Dell from The Podcast Help Desk