Podcast fracturing continues

Exciting times! Facebook is getting into the game of making Yet Another ™ place that podcast creators will have to jump through hoops to get their podcast shows heard.

Isn’t this all so strange? I mean, shouldn’t the content creators have the power? Shouldn’t entities looking to create a business model have to deal fairly with the creators? It’s as if we, the podcast creators, are doing something fundamentally wrong…



Pragmatic app pricing

They’re coming with shitty apps and fantastic business deals to dominate the market, lock down this open medium into proprietary “technology”, and build empires of middlemen to control distribution and take a cut of everyone’s revenue. That’s how you make Big Money. And it usually works.

~ Marco Arment from, https://marco.org/2015/10/13/pragmatic-pricing

Somehow, five whole years ago(!), I missed this beautiful little article by Ament.

Fortunately, now you’ve read it too.

…also, podcasting can be saved—saved and kept open, the way the World Wide Web will always be open—with one small idea. Free idea, take it, tell others, the Open Podcast Directory.


Open Podcast Directory — A proposal to globally enable auto-discovery of podcasts

THIS POST IS HISTORICAL — See instead https://openpodcastdirectory.org/

When you want to visit a web site, you do not need to search for it in a central directory of web sites. Your web browser simply goes into the DNS system and finds the address to connect to.

Today, podcasts are managed inside a huge directory. But they do not need to be in a directory!

Meet the Open Podcast Directory

If you want to find the podcast for example.com why doesn’t your podcast player simply go find that podcast by looking it up in DNS?

All that needs to happen is for people to put information into DNS—a record that says, “the podcast RSS feed is at this URL”—and then podcast players can simply make a DNS query.

  • create a DNS record for host “_opd” in your domain
  • record type TXT
  • record data is the URL of a podcast feed
  • multiple TXT records are permitted, to enable auto-discovery of multiple podcasts within a given domain

In this way, each podcast’s content creator uses the existing, global DNS system to publish the location of the podcast’s feed URL.

Moving your podcast

Want to change where your podcast is hosted? Simply update your DNS.


Content creators are currently dependent on directories. Apple’s iTunes directory is the de facto standard. We are already seeing a splintering of the podcast space…

Not all shows are podcasts, by John Gruber
The podcast monetization problem…, by Tanner Campbell

$ dig txt _opd.moversmindset.com
; <<>> DiG 9.10.6 <<>> txt _opd.moversmindset.com
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 15816
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;_opd.moversmindset.com. IN TXT
_opd.moversmindset.com. 86101 IN TXT "https://moversmindset.com/feed/podcast"
;; Query time: 1 msec
;; WHEN: Fri Apr 26 09:34:04 EDT 2019
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 91


Deep dive about podcast feeds

This article got out of hand, and is 3,000 words.  I encourage you to skip around; There’s more discussion of specific tools and how-to material in the last third.

In the beginning

In the beginning, podcasts were simply audio files which people shared directly either by emailing them to each other, or by providing download links on their web sites.

RSS technology has been around for a while and provided a way for a web site to publish a “here’s what’s new” feed. It was soon realized that RSS could be used to provide a feed specifically of podcasts. Software able to retrieve and understand a podcast feed, could then automatically download the podcast files, and alert you of new episodes. Sharing a new show with friends then meant simply giving them the “feed URL” which one would “subscribe to” by adding it to your feed reader.