The impact of iTunes and Odeo on the podcaster

I’m a podcaster. I made a few (8 until today) podcasts who are all collected on this weblog (some of them were published first on my Ghent or educational blog).

Most of you know that I’m involved closely in the podcatch software with Doppler. I’m not going to discuss the impact of Odeo and iTunes on Doppler (to early) or on the download statistics of my own podcasts (maybe later on). I want to explain what Odeo and iTunes did to my behavior as a podcaster.

A few weeks ago, Odeo and Apple introduced themselves in the world of podcasting:

Odeo consists of three major parts: a catalog of audio content, of all types, which is constantly being added to. The Odeo Syncr, which let’s you download anything in the catalog (and, optionally, put it on your MP3 player). And creation tools, including the Odeo Studio, which let you publish your own audio content, which will then show up in the catalog. (The creation tools aren’t ready for public use yet, though.)

… You can find and subscribe to free podcasts from one of the largest directories on the web the iTunes Podcast Directory… Once you subscribe to a podcast, iTunes automatically checks for updates and downloads new episodes to your computer. When you sync your iPod, all your podcasts come along for the ride…


iTunes and Odeo both are a directory and a podcatcher, on top of that Odeo plans to release a creation tool in the near future. Apple made a one-step podcast platform: choose-download and sync.

This is how my podcasts (Smetty’s Soapbox feed) appeared in iTunes and Odeo:

I was surprised. I discovered I hadn’t been consistent in the titles of my post and they didn’t start with a description. In iTunes there was no artist or time mentioned and the language was set on English. Odeo showed me a nicer interface and more details. I was also happy to find a “Claim it” option.

So what’s next?

Step 1:
As said above, the “Claim it” option in Odeo draw my attention. I made an account on Odeo and claimed my podcast channel. I got a code in return to add in my podcast channel (see the result). I checked the channel 4 hours later and found myself as the owner of my channel.

Step 2:
Apple is booming, so I don’t doubt the importance of Apple and as a consequence, claiming my channel is a must. I found a link in the iTunes musicstore to add a NEW podcast channel, bit I didn’t see an option to claim my own (already published) channel. That’s why I decided to add another podcast feed I manage (Edublogs.be). Adding this feed forced me to create an iTunes Music Store account with the obligation of adding your credit card number (Brrrr I didn’t like that at all). I found a great post on the web who explains this more in detail.

My second feed (Edublogs.be) hasn’t been added yet and I just discovered what I need to do to be recognized by Apple: iTunes uses RSS 2.0 with some additional tags!
This means you need to add some extra tags to your RSS feed. That’s not easy. How many people do you know who can edit their RSS feed?

I can’t, but I’m lucky. I have an inhouse programmer. He did the required adaptations.

Step 3:

I changed all my existing postings: I added a consistent title and made an introduction to the podcasts.

Results:

Odeo works just great. My Soapbox channel was discovered in about 4 hours and I added Edublogs and Gent.blog immediately after. Only the channel of Gent.blog doesn’t seemed to be picked up (not until today, I don’t know why). Being the owner of my channel, I was able to add a picture, a description and my favorite tags to Odeo. And by changing the titles and the introductions in my postings, the overview of my channel looked much better now.

Itunes doesn’t work as fast as Odeo and is definately NOT userfriendly (from the podcasters point of view). What changed until today: my title, the description of the podcasts and the podcast (feed) description. Those are 3 modifications I made in my blogsoftware (WordPress). My second feed hasn’t been picked up yet, my latest podcast isn’t visible in iTunes yet (in Odeo it is) and it took me a few days to find out how I had to change my Soapbox feed.

As a podcaster I conclude:

Odeo = podcaster friendly and fast
iTunes = difficult and slow

To be continued.

U zegt?
  1. Pascal says:

    Cindy,

    voor wie zelf zijn rss feeds niet in de hand heeft is dit een optie:

    http://www.burningdoor.com/feedburner/archives/001287.html

    (net zoals Feedburner natuurlijk een aantal andere voordelen heeft – het nadeel is uiteraard dat je je enigszins afhankelijk van hen maakt)

  2. Pascal says:

    (Sorry, language switch)

    I was only drawing attention to the Feedburner service that does the job of adding Itunes extensions for you – Feedburner has a lot of other options, but the disadvantage of the free service is of course a certain degree of lock-in.