Tag Archives: iTunes

New iTunes Podcast Directory Recommendations: What Podcasters Need To Know Now



The higher your podcast ranks in iTunes, the easier it is to grow your audience – so it’s crucial to keep up on and follow their recommendations.

This month, iTunes made a number of changes to the iTunes Store podcast directory that could have a direct impact on the success of your podcast.

Here’s what you need to know (and do) to comply with the new iTunes Podcast
Directory Recommendations:

iTunes Podcast Image Recommendation Change

Apple now recommends using a 3000 x 3000 pixel JPG or PNG in the RGB color space in a compressed format. Saving your image as a JPG with your favorite image editing software should automatically compress your image to optimize for mobile devices.

If you are saving your image as a PNG, please be aware that your image must be saved in the RGB color space. If the image is saved as a CMYK color space (used for printing), it will not be accepted by iTunes. (See our guide to logos, branding and theme for more information on color spaces and other crucial things to keep in mind while designing your cover art.)

The minimum size of 1400 x 1400 may continue to be used and will look acceptable on a tablet or phone – but while it’s not an urgent change, the larger 3000 x 3000 size will look best when viewed in the Apple TV podcasts app.New iTunes Podcast Directory Recommendations February 2016

iTunes Podcast Explicit Setting Change

Apple has changed the iTunes explicit setting. You must now select “clean” or “explicit” – the ‘no’ option is no longer available.

The “explicit” setting previously allowed for a 3rd option referred to as “no” (also referred to as “none” by some services). Nothing was displayed next to your podcast on iTunes if neither “clean” or “explicit” were set. With this change, there is no longer a neutral option.

If you don’t set your podcast as either “clean” or “explicit,” it appears that Apple will now make that determination for you. To guarantee that your content is marked correctly, please update your explicit setting as soon as possible.

The explicit setting is available both at the program/show level as well as the episode level. If all of your episodes are explicit or clean, you will only need to set this attribute at the program/show level.

We are still waiting on a response from Apple staff how to handle the situation with mixed explicit and clean episodes. We assume the previous behavior still applies:

  • If your program is marked “explicit,” then all episodes within that show are also considered explicit. A “clean” episode for an explicit show/program is not applicable.
  • If your program is marked “clean,” then all episodes are considered clean unless otherwise marked explicit.

The explicit setting is very important to maximize your distribution on iTunes. Some territories and countries such as India do not allow explicit content.

iTunes does enforce its explicit settings. Do not assume you can mark content as clean even though it includes explicit content – many podcasters have learned the hard way that mis-labeling your show will lead to being removed from the iTunes podcast directory.

Managing Podcast Submissions to iTunes has Changed

Podcast submissions to the iTunes podcast directory are now managed by the new Podcast Connect website. The new website allows you to submit new podcasts, as well as refresh, hide and delete your current podcast listings.

iTunes Podcast Connect

In February, 2011 Apple dropped the update listing protocol, leaving podcasters with no way to refresh their podcast listings on iTunes. The new Podcast Connect website includes a Refresh Feed option, we applaud and appreciate the addition.

Check back here at the PowerPress Podcast blog weekly for important updates and information that can help you improve your podcast’s chances for success!


PowerPress 1.0 Now Available: All Key PodPress Features Included



powerpressVersion 1.0 of Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting plugin for WordPress is now available. The latest version includes a number of new features/options as well as a settings pages redesign based on user feedback. With this update, PowerPress now includes all of the key features found in PodPress.

The latest version can be downloaded here.

New Features and Options

  • Added 4 new MP3 flash players: 1 Pixel Out Audio Player, MP3 Player Maxi, Simple Flash MP3 Player and AudioPlay player
  • Added “Verify” media option next to Media URL box to check entered URL and detect file size/duration information
  • Added PodPress Stats Archive view
  • Added Password Protect option for Custom Podcast Channels, which allows for Premium Content

Improvements

  • Relabeled “Custom Podcast Feeds” to “Custom Podcast Channels” to avoid confusion
  • Reorganized settings pages into tabbed sections
  • Added new “Video Scale” setting — users can choose between “scale,” “tofit,” or enter a custom scale value such as 1.5
  • Added new “E-Book PDF” label for download links of PDF files

All of the key features in PodPress included in PowerPress

The new Password Protection for the Custom Podcast Channels feature is a replacement for the PodPress Premium Content feature.  Unlike PodPress’ Premium Content feature, Blubrry PowerPress Password Protection for Custom Podcast Channels has no limit. You can create as many custom podcast channels with password protection as you want (each with its own RSS feed).

The new “Verify” button is an enhanced replacement of the “Detect” buttons found in PodPress. The Verify button goes beyond detecting only the file size and duration, it also confirms that the Media URL entered is formatted correctly and is valid. The new Verify button does all this with only one click.

PowerPress now includes the highly requested 1 Pixel Out Audio Player used by PodPress. PowerPress includes the latest version, which features volume control.

Suggestions and Feedback

We are committed to providing a well developed and mature podcasting plugin for WordPress. Please let us know what you think, leave any feature suggestions in a comment below and/or let us know directly with our contact us form.


PowerPress 0.9 Released: Someone Ask for More Options?



powerpressThe Blubrry PowerPress plugin for WordPress version 0.9.2 is now available. The latest version includes a large number of new features/options as well as a small number of bug fixes. The latest version can be downloaded here.

New Features and Options

  • Embed player within blog posts with [powerpress] shortcode. (learn more about PowerPress shortcode)
  • Add embed code from sites such as YouTube, Viddler and blip.tv
  • Custom entry box settings for entering customized iTunes keywords, subtitles and summaries and no player option
  • iTunes URL setting for custom and category podcast feeds (These iTunes listings can be pinged as well)
  • Courtesy functions added for custom themes. See note below

Improvements and Fixes

  • iTunes ping logic improved to support scheduled posts
  • latest iTunes ping result displayed below the iTunes URL setting
  • Fixed bug with `require_once()` calls on some servers displaying a fatal error
  • Fixed scheduled posts deleting podcast episode bug in WordPress 2.8+
  • Completely revamped the “on page” and new window players
  • Removed the “play in page” option as it was a source of confusion
  • Relabeled Redirect Feed URL to FeedBurner Feed URL to clear up confusion
  • Added m4b and m4r to list of detected audio formats

Courtesy Functions for Themes

We added courtesy functions for theme developers to use in the event they are stripping the player from the page content or excerpt. To use the functions, add the following code to your theme template where you would like to display the PowerPress players and links.

<?php if( function_exists(‘the_powerpress_content’) ) the_powerpress_content(); ?>

Suggestions and Feedback

We are committed to providing a well developed and mature podcasting plugin for WordPress. Please let us know what you think and/or leave any feature suggestions in a comment below, or let us know directly with our contact us form.


Blubrry PowerPress WordPress Plugin Version 0.7 Now Available



Blubrry PowerPressThe Blubrry PowerPress plugin for WordPress version 0.7.1 is now available. The latest version includes a large number of new features as well as bug fixes. The latest version may be downloaded here.

New Features Include:

  • Simple/Advanced Modes
    • Simple Mode is perfect for podcasters just starting out
    • Advanced Mode includes additional settings, tools and features.
  • Enhanced iTunes Summary option (learn more)
  • Create Unlimited Custom Podcast Feeds
    • Each Feed includes the same extensive feed settings as the default podcast feed.
    • Customize feed title, description and landing page
    • Specify number of episodes per feed
  • Hosted Feed Service Support (e.g. FeedBurner.com)
  • WordPress Nonces support
  • Added WordPress Roles and Capabilities support for User Role Management
  • Additional player settings, specify audio player width and video player width & height
  • PodPress Episode Import Tool
  • Simple Mode for Podcast Entry Box (just enter the media URL and you’re done)
  • A handful of bug fixes and improvements
    • Fixed duration detection bug
    • Improved player in-page loading time
    • Duration formatting improved for episodes that go over 1 hour.

There are many new features in this release of Blubrry PowerPress. Many of these features were the result from the support and suggestions from the the community. Thanks everyone for your contributions. 🙂

Some of the features in depth:

Custom Podcast Feeds
The new Custom Podcast Feeds feature allows podcasters to create additional podcast feeds for syndicating multiple media formats or versions of their podcast. No other WordPress podcasting plugin provides custom podcast feeds. The advantage of using PowerPress Custom Podcast Feeds is you can decide which media file is associated with which feed at the time you edit your blog post.

Enhanced iTunes Summary
The Enhanced iTunes Summary option is intended to save Podcasters time. Many podcasters have asked us to provide an additional text field so you can enter a special iTunes Summary for each podcast episode. When we analyzed what podcasters wanted, we discovered that they simply wantd to enter the same blog post content without the HTML markup. Enabling the Enhanced iTunes Summary option will automatically remove the HTML markup in a readable format for iTunes while including web links and links to embedded images. The web links and embedded images are clickable within iTunes and open in the default browser when clicked.

Simple/Advanced Modes
The addition of the Simple and Advanced modes for managing PowerPress settings was a direct result of the feedback we received from podcasters wanting an easy to configure podcasting plugin for WordPress. Simple mode is perfect for someone starting out who may not understand all of the options and settings available in Blubrry PowerPress. The Simple Mode displays only the essential settings required to get your podcast started.

We are committed to providing a well developed and mature podcasting plugin for WordPress. Please leave a comment below or contact us with your thoughts, comments or feature suggestions so we can continue to improve the plugin.


Blubrry Powerpress WordPress Plugin Version 0.5.0



The Blubrry Powerpress plugin for WordPress version 0.5.0 is now available. The latest version incorporates a number of bug fixes as well as some minor enhancements. The latest version may be downloaded here.

  • Options to report media duration and file size next to download links.
  • Added <itunes:author> and <itunes:subtitle> to header portion of podcast feeds by default.
  • Added <itunes:summary> to post items by default.
  • Quotes and extra spaces are no longer removed from from the <itunes:summary> fields.
  • Player auto-play bug fixed when quicktime media mixed with non-quicktime media.
  • Added option to ping iTunes in a new browser window in settings.
  • Verify flash player check added. The check is only necessary if your in-page player no longer appears on your site after upgrading Blubrry Powerpress. (WordPress built in plugin update may corrupt the flash player. This bug in WordPress is fixed in the soon to be released version 2.7)
  • Media URL now displays a warning if the URL contains characters which may cause problem for some applications.

The addition of the Media URL warning was in response to issues many podcasters have been having when they publish episodes with file names that contain spaces and other special characters. Spaces and special characters such as apostrophes, # and ? may prevent some web sites and podcasting applications from downloading the media. We recommend only using letters, numbers, dashes and underscores for your file names for maximum compatibility. Users may ignore the warning message if they so desire.

We are committed to providing a well developed and mature podcasting plugin for WordPress. Please leave a comment below or contact us with your thoughts, comments or suggestions.


Blubrry Powerpress WordPress Plugin Version 0.3.0



The Blubrry Powerpress plugin for WordPress version 0.3.0 is now available. The latest version incorporates a number of new features and enhancements. The latest version may be downloaded here.

  • Added list of important feeds in feed settings
  • Logic to prevent stats redirect duplication
  • Added podcast only feed

The new podcast only feed is useful if you wish to provide your audience a feed that only contains podcast episodes.

We are committed to providing a well developed and mature podcasting plugin for WordPress. Please leave a comment below or contact us with your thoughts, comments or suggestions.


Blubrry Powerpress WordPress Plugin Version 0.2.1



The Blubrry Powerpress plugin for WordPress version 0.2.1 is now available. The latest version incorporates a number of bug fixes and enhancements. The latest version may be downloaded here.

  • Fixed itunes:subtitle displaying ‘…’
  • Display itunes:summary in items option
  • Add trailing slash to media url if not present
  • Enhance ability to copy Podpress settings

If you would like to have the <itunes:summary> included in the <item> portion of your RSS feeds, please add the following line to your wp-config.php file:

define(‘POWERPRESS_ITEM_SUMMARY’, true);

Note: The <itunes:summary> is optional, iTunes will use the <description> when this value is not present.

Let us know what you think. Please leave a comment below or contact us with your thoughts, comments or suggestions.


Have you Looked at your RSS feed Lately?



Why is it that podcasters will spend hours editing the content of their podcast but fail to spend 30 minutes one time to make sure that their RSS feed is setup properly. In some cases I blame whole heartedly the service they are on for hijacking the internal data of their RSS feed and not giving podcasters many choices in configuring them.

But in large part we see huge numbers of shows that have simply failed to put the time into making sure that their RSS feed is representing their show as well as their content.

We see massive numbers of shows rss feeds fail validation each and everyday. We see shows that are whole heartedly missing important data many shows have no description, no keywords, no contact information, no titles, no iTunes specific tags etc. The list goes on and the issue is growing each day.

Every year I have posted a state of the RSS feeds as a report I do for the annual Peoples Choice Podcast Awards. This year I would like to see a trend be reversed and quite honestly it would help us and all of the other sites that are syndicating content.

This Saturday I will be doing a online Tech Podcast Round Table event that will discuss RSS in detail and show you what should be in your rss feed and how taking a few minutes to get it squarred away will pay off big dividends. I hope you will join me.

Todd Cochrane
CEO RawVoice