An apparent glitch in the iTunes Store is causing only the most recent 20 episodes of all podcast feeds to be displayed within the iTunes desktop application.
The bug appears to be limited to the iTunes desktop application only as both iTunes web listings and the iOS Podcasts app don’t appear to be affected. Also, this bug should have no impact on users who are already subscribed to a show’s RSS feed thru iTunes.
There’s been no official word yet from Apple as to why this is happening. Some have speculated that it’s due to backend work the company is doing on the iTunes Store in order to prepare for the launch of Apple Music. Regardless, if you’re a podcaster – don’t panic! All indications at this time show that this is only a temporary problem and it will be corrected soon.
We’ll keep this blog post updated with new developments as they come in.
Digital media platforms are all about one thing: content. Apple has known this for years, and that’s why the company has expanded its iTunes Store to include much more than just music. And while Apple was a trailblazer in its adoption of podcasting, other players have followed suit over the years. Now, it looks like Swedish music streamer Spotify is poised to add podcasts to its own platform.
According to Bloomberg Business, Spotify has held some talks with potential content partners that would bring podcasts to its streaming music player. It’s not yet known who these potential partners may be, or if the Spotify platform will be as open as the iTunes Store in terms of accepting podcast submissions.
The article notes that Spotify is already streaming some content similar in nature to podcasts:
Spotify, which hosts some podcast-like audio such as Spanish lessons along with millions of songs, plans to add more non-music programming, according to the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. While the discussions have occurred for several months, there is no firm plan or introduction date, one of the people said.
One problem that all music streaming services face is the high cost of licensing songs from major labels. Since podcasts are ostensibly free, Spotify adding them to its platform would be an easy way to bolster its catalog with a diverse array of content without having to cut big royalty checks to producers. Podcasting within Spotify may even include video, allowing users to switch between audio and video on the fly.
This news follows other recent moves by Spotify competitors. Last year, Apple acquired Swell, a spoken word-focused audio streaming app, and Deezer bought out Stitcher. It’s still unclear as to why the bigger companies in both those deals even made these moves. But in the end, it all comes down to the content. Everyone’s looking for more of it or at least, different ways to curate and distribute it.
Today marks the first anniversary of the unofficial launch date of Podcaster News (and that’s no April foolin’). We’ve presented a lot of news, how-to’s, and commentary on podcasting over the last year. And we’re looking forward to continuing that coverage into the future. I took a look back thru the Podcaster News archive and put together a list of posts from our first year that are worth revisiting. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Beware of Podcast Snake Oil Sellers Promising Riches: This is the first post I contributed to the site that really got some attention. During the first quarter of 2014, it seemed like everyone and their other had launched a podcast training course. This post was a word of caution to new podcasters that they should be weary of teachers/consultants who charge high prices with the promise of great “podcasting riches” down the road.
- 54 Seconds (The Wadsworth Constant): Jackson Rogers wrote about “The Wadsworth Constant,” a kind of law that dictates that the first 30% of any online video can be skipped in order to get to the real content. The Wadsworth Constant applies to more than just video. There’s definitely a lesson here for podcasters, too.
- A Decade of Podcasting: Podcaster News founder and executive editor Todd Cochrane takes a look back at the first ten years of his podcasting journey.
- Is Swapping Reviews Hurting Podcasting?: Dave Jackson takes a look at something that’s really turned into a phenomenon over the last year; iTunes review swapping. Dave breaks down what swapping is and offers some commentary on why it’s really not helping anybody.
- Norm Pattiz of PodcastOne: “We were looking at acquiring Stitcher.” – PCN Show 008: It seemed only fair to include at least one episode of our fledgling Podcaster News Show. This episode turned out to be a real bombshell as I was able to interview Norm Pattiz during last year’s drama between PodcastOne and Stitcher.
Thanks to all of the readers and contributors here at Podcaster News for making it a spectacular first year! If I missed anything memorable from the last twelve months, let me know in the comments.
iTunes. Love it or hate it, we’re stuck with it as podcasters. Of course, iTunes is great when it works. But what about all of those times that an iTunes listing isn’t updating properly? Or how about when you need to change an RSS feed that controls an iTunes Store listing? Yeah, there are resources out there to help with these kinds of problems. But isn’t it time for a dedicated iTunes user portal for podcasters?
I ask this question and read a little but of listener feedback on this episode of Podcaster News Show.
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Seems like it wasn’t all that long ago that we were reporting on Apple’s most recent requirement change to the iTunes specifications for album artwork. Last time, iTunes set the spec to 1400x1400px minimum with a maximum of 2048x2048px. Apple has upped their artwork requirements once again, as now the official iTunes Making a Podcast page states:
Create your cover art, which must be in the JPEG or PNG file formats and in the RGB color space with a minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum size of 3000 x 3000 pixels.
Overall, it’s not a huge change from the previous spec. But it’s been less than a year since Apple increased it the last time, which is one of the shortest periods ever between changes in the iTunes album artwork specification. Is it possible that Apple didn’t like the way the previous spec was looking on Retina Display devices? Or does the technology company have something new in the works that will really take advantage of these extra pixels?
Your guess is as good as mine. In the meantime, be sure to get all of your artwork updated to these new specifications.
Tip of the hat to IAIB who broke this news earlier today.
If you’re experiencing trouble today with the iTunes Store, don’t panic. The iTunes Store is experiencing a major outage due to an internal error.
A check of the systems status page for Apple services currently shows that the App Store, iTunes Store and Mac App Store are currently unavailable.
Apple is aware of the outage and is working to correct the problem. In a statement released earlier today, Apple blamed the outage on an internal DNS error:
We apologize to our customers experiencing problems with iTunes and other services this morning. The cause was an internal DNS error at Apple. We’re working to make all of the services available to customers as soon as possible, and we thank everyone for their patience,
Continue reading iTunes Store Experiencing Massive Outage
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
We’re only a few days into a brand new year. It’s a good time to look ahead and make plans for the next twelve months. With that, I’d like to propose some new rules we as podcasters should stick to in 2015.
1.) Turn off autoplay. Setting your media files to autoplay artificially inflates your download statistics. It also creates a lousy experience for your website visitors because no one likes to get a surprise blast of audio when a new site loads. Just stop with the autoplay.
2.) No more shady iTunes review swaps. You know who should be leaving iTunes reviews? People who have chosen to listen to your podcast. Stop trying to game the system by taking part in review swaps. Ask your actual audience for reviews and take them to heart when they come, good or bad.
3.) Stop publishing bad shownotes. I saw some “shownotes” today that were a gobbledygook of topical keywords followed by a list of broken hyperlinks. We all know that shownotes are fairly tedious and boring. But if you’re gonna bother to do them at all, at least try and make them moderately useful. Your listeners will appreciate the effort and you’ll feel good for doing it.
Continue reading 8 New Rules For Podcasting In 2015
For the last few years, Apple’s iTunes Store has taken a moratorium on new podcast submissions during the holidays. This year is no different. Earlier this week, podcasters who already have shows listed on iTunes received this e-mail:
Dear Podcast Provider,
From Monday, December 22, through Monday, January 5, 2015, new podcast submissions will require additional time for review and processing.
During this period, you will be able to submit new podcasts. You also will be able to publish new episodes to existing podcasts. New episodes may require additional time to appear on iTunes Store.
If you have any questions, contact us.
The iTunes Podcast team
It’s nice that the iTunes team is proactive in reaching out to the community to let us know that new podcast submissions will take an extra long period of time to be approved for its directory. But I’m sure there will still be some who’ll submit new shows during this time and then, after receiving no approval e-mail right away, will head to their favorite podcast-centric forum and ask the inevitable question,“Is it taking longer than normal for shows to appear in iTunes?”
This is actually a pretty standard topic of discussion in podcasting groups, regardless of whether or not it’s the holiday season. The best advice in most matters that involve iTunes is usually to just wait a few days and if the problem persists, send an e-mail to Apple’s podcasts(at)apple(dot)com support address. But during this holiday break, that waiting period could be almost two weeks as opposed to the typical several days.
Podcasts that are already listed in the iTunes Store should update and behave normally during the moratorium. Regardless, if you are having an issue with your iTunes podcast listing BESIDES “it’s taking a long time for a new show to get approved,” you can still send an e-mail to the iTunes support address. Just realize it may take longer than normal to get a response.