Apple Introduces 'Podcasts Connect' for Managing Podcast Uploads

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. MacRumors
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    MacRumors

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    Earlier this month, Apple quietly introduced a new "Podcasts Connect" tool for people who upload their podcasts to iTunes. Previously, podcasters uploaded their content using the "Submit a Podcast" link in the iTunes Podcast Store, but now there's a dedicated portal for managing podcast uploads.

    As described by Libsyn, the Podcasts Connect portal lets users submit new podcasts and manage existing podcasts using their Apple IDs. Uploading a podcast is as simple as entering an RSS feed URL and there are new features that make it easier for podcasters to update their content.

    [​IMG]

    Refreshing an RSS feed via the portal will allow for quick fixes and changes to be synced to iTunes, and there are tools for hiding podcasts and deleting them from the iTunes podcast directory. The portal will also give podcasters information on the current status of their uploaded podcasts.

    Apple has been sending emails to customers who upload podcasts to let them know about the new Podcasts Connect tool, which is also accompanied by improved support resources for podcast providers and HTTPS support for the podcast metadata, cover art, and episode files.

    Article Link: Apple Introduces 'Podcasts Connect' for Managing Podcast Uploads
     
  2. logicstudiouser
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    #2
    Long overdue, but better late than never!

    They have also updated the recommended artwork standards to 3000 x 3000 to be optimized for apple tv.
     
  3. BeSweeet
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    BeSweeet

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    #3
    Well, it's a start. Being able to easily change feed URLs is nice. Wish you could remove deleted podcasts from your account altogether. TWiiPhone appreciates this.
     
  4. ChipWit
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    ChipWit

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    #4
    Just a note to the writer - Podcasts our not uploaded to itunes. Apple does not offer any hosting for podcasts files. They just link through css to files hosted elsewhere.
     
  5. oneMadRssn
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    oneMadRssn

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    #5
    Yes! This is why everyone should donate to their favorite non-ad-supported podcasts when the podcast asks. In addition to the cost of staff and production, hosting costs can be quite high for a popular podcast.
     
  6. jonnysods
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  7. jb-net
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    #7
    Great that Apple wants to push Podcasts!

    How about a fullscreen option for video podcasts on iPad? It was there for years until Apple removed it with iOS 9. Please bring back the fullscreen playback of video podcasts! How hard can it be?
     
  8. Glassed Silver
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    Glassed Silver

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    #8
    I'm glad that Apple keeps thinking of Podcasts, even though they really messed up the Podcasts app for iOS to the point where I'd rather not try my luck again.
    Whenever I see a story about Apple doing this or that for Podcasts I'm baffled they still chug it along.

    I know Podcasts haven't dived in popularity, it's just that I got very used to Apple getting out the axe.

    Glassed Silver:mac
     
  9. nick42983
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    nick42983

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    #9
    On a related note, I'm subscribed to 3 podcasts through iTunes on my Macbook, but only one of those is appearing in the Podcasts app on my iPhone. Does anyone know how I can see these podcasts in my Podcasts app, short of manually syncing episodes from iTunes?
     
  10. Mums
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    Mums

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    #10
    I post podcasts by uploading an audio file to a blog post on my Squarespace site, which then automatically syndicates out to iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Castroller, Overcast (Overcast is really a good app). I don't think I would be able to delete an episode across all those platforms, even with Podcasts Connect.
     
  11. FloatingBones
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    FloatingBones

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    #11
    How exactly do you define "quite high"??? You can host a podcast on SquareSpace and a variety of other low-cost hosting services. You can even host your podcast files free on archive.org .
     
  12. oneMadRssn
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    oneMadRssn

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    #12
    I define it as a non-negligible part of a podcast's budget. One of the most successful podcasts, This American Life, had over $137,000 in bandwidth expenses in 2013. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2014/02/please-donate-to-support-the-show . While costs of hosting many have been reduced in the past few years, their popularity has grown, so I bet they will spend about that much or more this year.

    And SquareSpace is not a cheap host, and their unlimited plans are only unlimited for "normal" use. Basically, there are plenty of very low cost or free options for those dipping their feet into podcasting. But real non-profit juggernauts in the podcasting word that put out some amazing content for free (NPR, Radiotopia, etc.) do have some substantial hosting costs and it is important to keep that in mind when enjoying their wonderful shows.
     
  13. FloatingBones
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    FloatingBones

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    #13
    But you're NOT talking about podcasts like TAL. You told us:

    TAL definitely has ads: both preroll and in the middle of the show.

    Doesn't matter a whit. You were talking about non-ad-supported podcasts.

    Where exactly is this limitation defined? I don't see it. Show us the numbers -- show us that SS has volume limits that would affect podcasts with low enough volume to be non-ad-supported.

    This doesn't pass the smell test. If there really were a wide number of ad-free shows, they could -- and would -- develop a bittorrent-style means of distributing their content. Their supporters would essentially be crowdfunding their distribution. But they can't do that, because they are NOT ad-free and they need to get verifiable numbers of the show downloads for their advertising. TAL definitely has advertisements.

    If you think that SS's "unlimited" really isn't unlimited, you need to show us the fine print for that. What's the URL?
     
  14. oneMadRssn
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    oneMadRssn

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    #14
    Dude, what are you arguing? Why are you arguing my message that listeners should support podcasts they like? Do you really think there is anything noble or right about the counter message, that you shouldn't support podcasts? It's a reprehensible message. So what is your point?

    Someone correctly pointed out that Apple doesn't host the podcasts, that is up to the producers. Some podcasts have very high costs associated with hosting that aren't often discussed. I wrote a replying post trying to shine a spotlight on this cost, and you nit pick about total nonsense.
     
  15. SteveW928
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    SteveW928

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    #15
    Note, that if you simply change URLs via that interface, you'll lose the subscribers if you don't take other measures to maintain them... it makes it possible, but use with caution.

    RSS feed, but yes, they aren't hosted at Apple. Apple is just a directory like many others... I think it just has like high 90s percent of the 'podcast directory' market.

    I'd certainly double-check on the SquareSpace thing. Most website hosting companies have disclaimers about hosting this kind of content directly from their hosting space. Podcasting, kind of like YouTube or Vimeo and videos, are more a special case of media distribution. You might get away with it until your audience grows or they catch you. Maybe SquareSpace allows this now... but just double-check. (And, even then, I'd recommend Blubrry or Libsyn, as they do it right, and you get good stats and such.)

    Heh, I'm not sure I'd call them the real podcasting folks. They are newcomers, and there are a a LOT!!! of other very valuable podcasters doing on a shoestring budget.

    Places like Blubrry and Libsyn are like $15-20 per month for the typical podcast. That said, to really 'do it right' they also need a website, which is another $10 to $40 per month... and then there are plugins and technical expertise, etc. And, that's not even counting all the time and effort put into actually producing the podcast (info research, recording, editing, promoting, etc.).

    So, what is that all worth? While the actual money outlay might not be a huge amount, they are also very valuable, and worth supporting, for sure!
     
  16. FloatingBones
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    FloatingBones

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    #16
    The better question: what are YOU talking about? You were first talking about podcasts WITHOUT advertisements, then you use This American Life as an example. But TAL has a staff of dozens and it DEFINITELY has advertisements. You started talking about apples, then you shifted to oranges. Your example of TAL is a massive FAIL.

    Non-sequitur to what we were discussing.

    Really? Please provide an example. You claimed that TAL was an example, but it clearly is not.

    You failed. And then you claimed:

    And you have now failed repeatedly to back up that claim. Where is this "normal use" you claim spelled out in detail? If you're so damn certain there are limits, this should be trivial for you to point out.

    Don't make up... stuff... in discussions. And don't talk about non-commercial podcasts, then use TAL as your example. It doesn't work. Now, dude, do you have some facts, or should we ignore the earlier claims you made in the discussion?
     
  17. oneMadRssn
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    oneMadRssn

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    #17
    TAL is a podcast version of what is also a radio broadcast. The FCC regulates radio broadcasts. The FCC prohibits non-commercial radio stations, such as NPR, from airing advertisements. The FCC does differentiate advertising and commercial underwriting; which is permitting on non-commercial stations under a strict policy. Like it or not, officially there is a difference.

    Essentially underwriting is a support statement. Non-commercial educational radio stations are prohibited from airing advertising but can air underwriting. The major difference between “advertising spots” on commercial stations and “underwriting announcements” on noncommercial stations is an underwriting announcement must have the purpose of “identification only” and its language cannot specifically “bring someone to action,” as do many advertising spots. Underwriting announcements are concise and gimmick-free.

    This is not my creation, I did not invent this. If you disagree, take it up with the FCC. I stand by my statement that NPR programs are not ad-supported as required by the FCC, rather they have sponsors that underwrite the programs. If you disagree, then we can agree to disagree.
     
  18. SteveW928
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    SteveW928

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    #18
    They've been really skirting that line lately. And, then there is the issue of native advertising.

    But, I think the main point is that TAL is hardly a good representation of a podcast. Yes, it's a program delivered via podcast as well as radio, but it's not even in the same ballpark as like 99% of podcasts.

    The really funny one for the podcast community the other day, was when the public radio folks called current podcast measurement metrics the 'wild west' and put out their own list of criteria and standards. They are pretty much the laughing stock, as podcasting has good metrics in place already... and in fact far better metrics than TV or radio have ever had.

    They also don't seem to understand audience engagement differences between podcasting vs radio or tv, so they are still operating more on the 'spray and pray' kind of advertising vs content marketing.

    Anyway, if we're talking about podcasts, TAL isn't a good example as it's an outlier in many ways. It's a great program (my wife regularly listens to it and supports it), but it isn't typical of podcasting.
     
  19. oneMadRssn
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    oneMadRssn

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    #19
    Fair points. I used TAL as an example because it was the first program I was able to find that published how much they spend on hosting, which is consistently in the top charts on iTunes, and which I was pretty sure is a non-profit.
     
  20. SteveW928
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    SteveW928

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    #20
    It's just that TAL is a very high-budget program, carrying over a massive already-existing audience from public radio. That's just not representative of podcasting in general or any kind of costs associated, etc.

    For example, if you don't care about having your own website or stats, you can start a podcast on Libsyn with it's feed and a webpage for $5 /mo (with the storage limitations, you'd have to do a shorter weekly show, or a longer monthly show, etc.... by shorter I mean like ~30 min) and can even use your computer's built-in mic if you don't care much about audio quality.

    I'd guess that the average beginner or smaller podcaster probably spends $15/mo on media hosting, ~$10/mo on website hosting, and $50-100 on their mic, and maybe a bit more on various software/services, though most can be done for free with some work. That, of course, doesn't count the value of the massive amount of time invested.

    More medium level podcasters might spend a bit more on their media hosting, but probably not much (I don't think higher pricing kicks in until you get to bigger commercial ventures with a LOT of downloads, it's typically more feature oriented in terms of pricing). They might spend $20-$50 on website hosting (better host to handle more traffic), and some money on services or plugins for that website ($100 - $1000+). They often buy better mics, but don't necessarily need to, along with a mixer or other audio gear ($300 - $1500). They probably buy some software for editing the audio, have audio bumpers made or buy stock-audio, etc. ($100 - $500). Stuff like that. Again, that doesn't include the massive time investment.

    So, I'm absolutely behind you in saying that if you get value from a particular podcast, ABSOLUTELY support them! (including TAL). But, I'd never suggest that TAL is a good representation of the costs involved in podcasting. I think that's why we jumped on your post. :)
     
  21. oneMadRssn
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    oneMadRssn

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    #21
    Fair enough. You sound pretty experienced in this - what is your mic of choice?
     
  22. SteveW928
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    SteveW928

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    #22
    Well, my mic of choice is the Audio Technica ATR-2500, but that's *MY* choice and probably not great advice for the average podcaster.

    I've been wanting to start a podcast for a couple of years now (hopefully now just a few weeks away!), so I've been listening to most of the top podcast experts for that time now (i.e.: Daniel J Lewis, Dave Jackson, Cliff Ravenscraft, etc.) and they all highly recommend the Audio Technica ATR-2100.

    The reason they recommend it is that it is a dynamic mic that sounds great for voice recording, but is available at a pretty good price (often ~$50 in the USA). Since it is dynamic, it has good noise rejection. It's also USB and XLR, so very usable as you expand your setup (i.e.: plug right in today, add to your mixer down the road). Basically, they think it's the most flexible, best bang for the buck, kind of product. I'd agree.

    The reason I went for the ATR-2500 (which is a condenser mic) is that I have a fairly quiet recording environment (and still have to work with noise reduction software), but because of my eyesight limitations, I have a hard time staying 'right on' the mic as I do things on, or read things from the computer or other screens. Since a condenser isn't as picky about distance from the mic, I'm able to move around a lot more and keep a consistent level. BUT, that comes at the cost of extra noise. So, for most people, a dynamic mic is going to be much easier to deal with and sound better (once you get used to being a couple inches from the mic).

    This all said, I'm just getting into it for myself, so I'm hardly an expert yet. :) I've helped a client get their podcast going, so I'm familiar with the basics, and from lots of learning from listening to the pros. Hopefully that will play out well in my own launch... we'll see. My first podcast is actually going to be about doing a website right and other tech related stuff and will be at http://www.WebsiteMeetsWorld.com/

    Then, if I get some extra time, I'm also starting one on Christian Apologetics (which is why I initially started learning about podcasting) at http://www.TilledSoil.org/
     
  23. FloatingBones, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016

    FloatingBones
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    FloatingBones

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    #23
    Irrelevant. The TAL podcast is commercial. I asked for an example non-commercial podcast. Do you remember what you said earlier in this conversation: "Yes! This is why everyone should donate to their favorite non-ad-supported podcasts when the podcast asks."

    Yes or no: do you have a single example of a high-traffic non-ad-supported podcast?

    Nobody cares if you stand, sit, or hop on one foot. TAL has not been distributed by NPR for many years. They had been distributed by PRI (Public Radio International) for many years, but they recently shifted to PRX The Public Radio Exchange. But all of this is completely irrelevant to our discussion of podcasts. Whatever rules the FCC has for radio do not apply to podcasts, and the podcast is commercial. You have failed to provide us with a single example of a non-ad-supported podcast.

    This is also wrong. Read the Squarespace webpage: "Can Squarespace support my high traffic site?"

    There are two limitations for podcasters on SS. They can only distribute audio podcasts, and SS provides no tracking of downloads. For a high-traffic non-ad-supported podcast, neither restriction should be a problem. But since advertisers require verifiable tracking of download volume, Squarespace would not work for advertising-supported podcasts. But, for beginners, an $18/month Squarespace site would be a good match.

    You were talking about non-ad-supported podcasts. Your example is a failure. Please find a real example.

    @oneMadRssn: strive to present facts in your discussions. If you claim to have an example, provide it. If you think that a provider is inappropriate for a particular use, provide documentation to support your claim. Thanks!
     
  24. SteveW928
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    SteveW928

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    #24
    Yeah, that's interesting (most web hosts don't allow that... I'd heard SS started, but hadn't verified it). I couldn't find instructions for redirecting from SS if you decide to leave (I'd check into that), but they look like a viable option for basic podcast hosting as long as you're under 160MB per episode (which most podcasts would be).

    I'm not sure I'd recommend them for that, as WordPress sites have some big advantages... and in that case you're going to want to use PowerPress plugin and probably Libsyn or Blubrry as a file host. I suppose you could also use SS and point at files hosted on either of these two platforms.
     

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