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Episode's Zero

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  • J Wynia
    I ve been thinking of adding an Episode Zero to my podcast, hard-coded into the feed. This episode would introduce the show a bit and give some context to new
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
      I've been thinking of adding an Episode Zero to my podcast, hard-coded
      into the feed. This episode would introduce the show a bit and give some
      context to new subscribers as well as worksafe-ness, etc.. That way, a
      year from now, when the feed has episodes 17-28, new subscribers will
      get episode 0 as well. I want to give a bit more *about* the show
      without taking up a chunk *of* every show.

      Dave Slusher does something similar with his disclaimer mp3 on Evil
      Genius Chronicles, but I'd like mine to have a bit more substance than
      just a disclaimer (though still under 5 minutes). Does anyone have any
      other examples of this kind of thing? I'm trying to get a handle on good
      things to include in this short item.

      --
      J Wynia
      The Glass is Too Big
      Email: j@...
      Skype: jwynia
      Site: http://www.wynia.org
      Podcast: http://www.glasstoobig.com
    • Stephen Eley
      ... It s a fine idea, but the technical question is this: how will you ensure that the episode zero is always the top item on the feed, and therefore the
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
        On 6/29/06, J Wynia <j@...> wrote:
        > I've been thinking of adding an Episode Zero to my podcast, hard-coded
        > into the feed. This episode would introduce the show a bit and give some
        > context to new subscribers as well as worksafe-ness, etc.. That way, a
        > year from now, when the feed has episodes 17-28, new subscribers will
        > get episode 0 as well. I want to give a bit more *about* the show
        > without taking up a chunk *of* every show.

        It's a fine idea, but the technical question is this: how will you
        ensure that the "episode zero" is always the top item on the feed, and
        therefore the first one downloaded, without confusing some podcatchers
        into thinking it's always new and therefore downloading it over and
        over?

        There is no solid consistency in how RSS readers (ergo podcatchers) do
        duplicate checking. Some just go by the pub date. If you always make
        your episode zero most recent, you'll mess those guys up. If you
        always make it the oldest, than many pocatchers will never download
        it. (Most podcast consumption from a feed is stack-based, not
        queue-based.)


        > Dave Slusher does something similar with his disclaimer mp3 on Evil
        > Genius Chronicles, but I'd like mine to have a bit more substance than
        > just a disclaimer (though still under 5 minutes). Does anyone have any
        > other examples of this kind of thing? I'm trying to get a handle on good
        > things to include in this short item.

        I did include a brief intro on my collection CD: "Hi, welcome to
        Escape Pod, this is what we do and here's where you'll find our Web
        site..." And I have a "Welcome!" text message on our blog page. But
        I don't have an intro sound file in the feed, mostly because I don't
        know the resolution to the problem above.



        --
        Have Fun,
        Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
        ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
        http://www.escapepod.org
      • Dan Kuykendall
        Thats a cool idea. Since it would be the first in the feed, it would always be downloaded by new subscribers, and as long as the URL and dont change,
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
          Thats a cool idea. Since it would be the first in the feed, it would
          always be downloaded by new subscribers, and as long as the URL and
          <GUID> dont change, then it wont be re-downloaded by podcatchers.

          On first glance I like the idea enough to make it a feature of
          podPress... gonna have to think about it a little.

          J Wynia wrote:
          >
          >
          > I've been thinking of adding an Episode Zero to my podcast, hard-coded
          > into the feed. This episode would introduce the show a bit and give some
          > context to new subscribers as well as worksafe-ness, etc.. That way, a
          > year from now, when the feed has episodes 17-28, new subscribers will
          > get episode 0 as well. I want to give a bit more *about* the show
          > without taking up a chunk *of* every show.
          >
          > Dave Slusher does something similar with his disclaimer mp3 on Evil
          > Genius Chronicles, but I'd like mine to have a bit more substance than
          > just a disclaimer (though still under 5 minutes). Does anyone have any
          > other examples of this kind of thing? I'm trying to get a handle on good
          > things to include in this short item.
          >
          > --
          > J Wynia
          > The Glass is Too Big
          > Email: j@... <mailto:j%40wynia.org>
          > Skype: jwynia
          > Site: http://www.wynia.org <http://www.wynia.org>
          > Podcast: http://www.glasstoobig.com <http://www.glasstoobig.com>
          >
          >

          --
          Dan Kuykendall (aka Seek3r)
          http://www.mightyseek.com

          In God we trust, all others we virus scan.
          Programmer - an organism that turns coffee into software.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Dan Kuykendall
          ... If its always the oldest in the feed then it will be downloaded or give the user the option to download it. As long as its static, with the GUID, URL and
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
            Stephen Eley wrote:
            >
            > It's a fine idea, but the technical question is this: how will you
            > ensure that the "episode zero" is always the top item on the feed, and
            > therefore the first one downloaded, without confusing some podcatchers
            > into thinking it's always new and therefore downloading it over and
            > over?

            If its always the oldest in the feed then it will be downloaded or give
            the user the option to download it. As long as its static, with the
            GUID, URL and pubDate staying consistent, then it wont be a problem.

            The only issue is that existing users will get it as a new item... but I
            think they will understand and not care.

            > There is no solid consistency in how RSS readers (ergo podcatchers) do
            > duplicate checking. Some just go by the pub date. If you always make
            > your episode zero most recent, you'll mess those guys up. If you
            > always make it the oldest, than many pocatchers will never download
            > it. (Most podcast consumption from a feed is stack-based, not
            > queue-based.)

            As mentioned above, GUID, URL and pubDate need to be consistent and it
            shouldnt cause any problem with the podcatchers Im aware of

            >> Dave Slusher does something similar with his disclaimer mp3 on Evil
            >> Genius Chronicles, but I'd like mine to have a bit more substance than
            >> just a disclaimer (though still under 5 minutes). Does anyone have any
            >> other examples of this kind of thing? I'm trying to get a handle on good
            >> things to include in this short item.
            >
            > I did include a brief intro on my collection CD: "Hi, welcome to
            > Escape Pod, this is what we do and here's where you'll find our Web
            > site..." And I have a "Welcome!" text message on our blog page. But
            > I don't have an intro sound file in the feed, mostly because I don't
            > know the resolution to the problem above.

            If doing this works, maybe you can add the audio version.

            which reminds me!
            How come I havent snagged you as a podPress user yet? Your using
            wordpress, but without podPress... terrible. I love your podcast and
            would be more then happy to be personal tech support for you if you
            wanted to use it.

            > --
            > Have Fun,
            > Steve Eley (sfeley@... <mailto:sfeley%40gmail.com>)
            > ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
            > http://www.escapepod.org <http://www.escapepod.org>
            >
            >

            --
            Dan Kuykendall (aka Seek3r)
            http://www.mightyseek.com

            In God we trust, all others we virus scan.
            Programmer - an organism that turns coffee into software.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Evo Terra
            ... I did this for a while. Figured if it was good enough for Slusher, it s good enough for me. But it only took a few mails from listeners complaining that
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
              J Wynia wrote:

              > I've been thinking of adding an Episode Zero to my podcast, hard-coded
              > into the feed. This episode would introduce the show a bit and give some
              > context to new subscribers as well as worksafe-ness, etc..

              I did this for a while. Figured if it was good enough for Slusher, it's
              good enough for me. But it only took a few mails from listeners
              complaining that the feed had stopped working for them. Seems that some
              podcatchers examine the first enclosure before doing anything else. If
              it matches something that has already been downloaded, they stop
              scanning for new content.

              That was bad.

              I spoke with a few developers who worked on the podcatchers giving me
              fits. Turned out they had valid reasons for the way their software
              worked. And since I am not a developer, I chose not to fight the issue.
              I removed the intro <item> and haven't looked back.

              E.

              --
              Evo Terra | DragonPage.com | SliceofSciFi.com
            • Evo Terra
              ... Not always. When I was doing this, the entire was hard coded -- it never changed. Yet problems resulted. ... Please do. If you can figure a way to
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
                Dan Kuykendall wrote:

                > Thats a cool idea. Since it would be the first in the feed, it would
                > always be downloaded by new subscribers, and as long as the URL and
                > <GUID> dont change, then it wont be re-downloaded by podcatchers.

                Not always. When I was doing this, the entire <item> was hard coded --
                it never changed. Yet problems resulted.


                > On first glance I like the idea enough to make it a feature of
                > podPress... gonna have to think about it a little.

                Please do. If you can figure a way to recognize brand new subscribers to
                a feed, we're on to something. Right now, I'd like to prohibit our Voice
                Mail shows being the first thing people listen to. Yet for 24 hours (or
                so), that's exactly what new subscribers get. Kinda makes little sense
                unless you've been exposed to the "real" show first.

                Dan, you've fixed every problem I've had so far. So (assuming you can
                fix the Podtrac issue first), I look forward to seeing how you handle
                this one!

                E.


                --
                Evo Terra | DragonPage.com | SliceofSciFi.com
              • Dan Kuykendall
                ... That makes sense if you put it as the first item. But if its at the bottom, this shouldn t happen. -- Dan Kuykendall (aka Seek3r) http://www.mightyseek.com
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
                  Evo Terra wrote:
                  > I did this for a while. Figured if it was good enough for Slusher, it's
                  > good enough for me. But it only took a few mails from listeners
                  > complaining that the feed had stopped working for them. Seems that some
                  > podcatchers examine the first enclosure before doing anything else. If
                  > it matches something that has already been downloaded, they stop
                  > scanning for new content.

                  That makes sense if you put it as the first item. But if its at the
                  bottom, this shouldn't happen.

                  --
                  Dan Kuykendall (aka Seek3r)
                  http://www.mightyseek.com

                  In God we trust, all others we virus scan.
                  Programmer - an organism that turns coffee into software.


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • J Wynia
                  [snip] I did this for a while. Figured if it was good enough for Slusher, it s good enough for me. But it only took a few mails from listeners complaining that
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
                    [snip]
                    I did this for a while. Figured if it was good enough for Slusher, it's
                    good enough for me. But it only took a few mails from listeners
                    complaining that the feed had stopped working for them. Seems that some
                    podcatchers examine the first enclosure before doing anything else. If
                    it matches something that has already been downloaded, they stop
                    scanning for new content.
                    [snip]

                    Hmm. I just checked Slusher's feed and he's got the bittorrent test and the
                    disclaimer at the top. The disclaimer is dated 2004 and all of the GUID's
                    are just the URL's. I'm wondering why he doesn't report these kinds of
                    problems. Maybe he's just ignoring them, who knows?

                    Do you happen to remember which client applications had this behavior?

                    This whole setup is unfortunately much like the early web with podcatchers
                    doing the "wrong" thing because of broken feeds and podcasters doing the
                    "wrong" thing with their feeds because of broken podcatchers.

                    --
                    J Wynia
                    The Glass is Too Big
                    Email: j@...
                    Skype: jwynia
                    Site: http://www.wynia.org
                    Podcast: http://www.glasstoobig.com
                  • Stephen Eley
                    ... Sure, new users will have the option to download the oldest item in the feed, but most of them won t. When I subscribe to a new podcast I don t do a lot
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
                      On 6/29/06, Dan Kuykendall <dan@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > If its always the oldest in the feed then it will be downloaded or give
                      > the user the option to download it. As long as its static, with the
                      > GUID, URL and pubDate staying consistent, then it wont be a problem.

                      Sure, new users will have the option to download the oldest item in
                      the feed, but most of them won't. When I subscribe to a new podcast I
                      don't do a lot of detailed inspection: I typically just drag the feed
                      into my podcatcher, and it starts downloading the most recent episode,
                      which I'll usually hear some days later. Only in very special cases
                      do I look for older episodes to catch up. So if there's a "Welcome!"
                      file at the very bottom of the feed, nine times out of ten I won't
                      even notice. I doubt I'm unique in this regard.


                      > which reminds me!
                      > How come I havent snagged you as a podPress user yet? Your using
                      > wordpress, but without podPress... terrible. I love your podcast and
                      > would be more then happy to be personal tech support for you if you
                      > wanted to use it.

                      Thanks for the kind words! And yes, I am a PodPress fan. I'm
                      planning a redesign of the Escape Pod site, and have been waiting
                      until then to get everything into PodPress, since I know it's going to
                      involve a lot of tedious manual entry on our old episodes. (We still
                      have everything online, and I intend to keep it that way.) I do have
                      it running on the Escape Pod Classic feed; that one's been languishing
                      a bit, but I was using it among other things as my PodPress testbed.
                      >8->



                      --
                      Have Fun,
                      Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                      ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                      http://www.escapepod.org
                    • Dan Kuykendall
                      ... Good point, but I still think its a useful idea. Would be nice to extend RSS2 to support an tag which could have a url attribute that would be the
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
                        Stephen Eley wrote:
                        >
                        > Sure, new users will have the option to download the oldest item in
                        > the feed, but most of them won't. When I subscribe to a new podcast I
                        > don't do a lot of detailed inspection: I typically just drag the feed
                        > into my podcatcher, and it starts downloading the most recent episode,
                        > which I'll usually hear some days later. Only in very special cases
                        > do I look for older episodes to catch up. So if there's a "Welcome!"
                        > file at the very bottom of the feed, nine times out of ten I won't
                        > even notice. I doubt I'm unique in this regard.

                        Good point, but I still think its a useful idea. Would be nice to extend
                        RSS2 to support an <about> tag which could have a url attribute that
                        would be the link to whatever kind of file, be it a .doc, .pdf or .mp3,
                        along the lines of how the enclosure works.

                        > Thanks for the kind words! And yes, I am a PodPress fan. I'm
                        > planning a redesign of the Escape Pod site, and have been waiting
                        > until then to get everything into PodPress, since I know it's going to
                        > involve a lot of tedious manual entry on our old episodes. (We still
                        > have everything online, and I intend to keep it that way.) I do have
                        > it running on the Escape Pod Classic feed; that one's been languishing
                        > a bit, but I was using it among other things as my PodPress testbed.
                        >>8->

                        I will fix the RSS feed importer to handle this, or if your using the
                        default wordpress support for detecting the mp3 url in the post and
                        creating the enclosure from that, then I can make sure podpress converts
                        the data for you

                        --
                        Dan Kuykendall (aka Seek3r)
                        http://www.mightyseek.com

                        In God we trust, all others we virus scan.
                        Programmer - an organism that turns coffee into software.


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Stephen Eley
                        ... URL detection isn t really the problem. The reason it ll take manual entry is because I ll want to use PodPress s ability to override the itunes:author
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jun 30, 2006
                          On 6/30/06, Dan Kuykendall <dan@...> wrote:
                          > Stephen Eley wrote:
                          >
                          > > Thanks for the kind words! And yes, I am a PodPress fan. I'm
                          > > planning a redesign of the Escape Pod site, and have been waiting
                          > > until then to get everything into PodPress, since I know it's going to
                          > > involve a lot of tedious manual entry on our old episodes.
                          >
                          > I will fix the RSS feed importer to handle this, or if your using the
                          > default wordpress support for detecting the mp3 url in the post and
                          > creating the enclosure from that, then I can make sure podpress converts
                          > the data for you

                          URL detection isn't really the problem. The reason it'll take manual
                          entry is because I'll want to use PodPress's ability to override the
                          itunes:author and certain other tags, to make sure the story authors
                          get the credit that they aren't getting right now. (Right now all of
                          the stories are showing up in iTunes with "Stephen Eley" as the
                          credit, and I don't want that.) So it's really the desire to add more
                          information that'll have me doing it by hand. That, and just wanting
                          to test each story individually to make sure it works. >8->

                          Oh, but your mention of autodetection does remind me. Did you ever
                          implement the fallback from fopen to curl that'd been brought up a few
                          weeks ago? For those of us with sites on Dreamhost (which disables
                          fopen) that's necessary for PodPress's file size and duration
                          automation to work.

                          And finally -- thanks very much! It's so rare these days to see
                          someone with such *passion* for improving their product and making it
                          work for everyone. >8->


                          --
                          Have Fun,
                          Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                          ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                          http://www.escapepod.org
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