FeedBurner, Podcasting and PowerPress

We’ve received a number of help tickets and tweets lately regarding FeedBurner and podcasting with PowerPress. It appears FeedBurner is having data reporting issues and many podcasters using the service are now looking to move their feeds away from FeedBurner. We feel it’s important to let you know that YOU DO NOT NEED FEEDBURNER TO PODCAST.

If you’re just starting out, we recommend that you avoid FeedBurner. You are better served hosting your feeds on your own website, this helps you keep your branding in the URL as well as gives you full control of your feed address. This approach protects you from the possibility of your feed going offline or the possibility of a feed service modifying your feed’s content with advertising.

Your feed is your intellectual property, it’s the primary means for your content to syndicate to your audience. Avoid handing your intellectual property to someone else.

For Already Established Podcasts Using FeedBurner: Don’t Move!

Do not migrate away from FeedBurner! FeedBurner will only redirect your feed for 30 days. We feel that when you make a feed URL change, the redirect should be in place indefinitely in order to prevent losing subscribers. A one-year window of feed redirection is the minimum we would recommend. Thirty days is not long enough to guarantee that most services and feed readers will detect and make the feed address change.

For Podcasts Just Starting Out: Don’t Use FeedBurner or other Feed Hosted Services!

In 2006, blogging applications such as WordPress and MovableType became mainstream with podcasting capability available via plugins, making FeedBurner’s SmartCast podcasting capabilities irrelevant. There is still a myth that you need to use FeedBurner in order to podcast. Don’t be sold on the myth, you don’t need FeedBurner, or any other feed hosted service for that matter.

Don’t Become Dependent on Other Services

This is where our company philosophy differs with other podcast service providers. Other providers have taken this opportunity to encourage their customers to migrate their FeedBurner feed to a feed provided by that service. The result puts the feed syndication responsibility from FeedBurner to that service, making you 100 percent dependent on that service from that point on. Remember, your feed is your intellectual property, don’t hand it over to someone else.

Support for FeedBurner or other Feed Hosted Services from Blubrry

If you use FeedBurner or some other thirrd party feed-hosting service for your podcast feed, the staff at Blubrry and the PowerPress Podcasting plugin will not be able to assist you with FeedBurner feed related issues in our normal support options.  If you do need help with FeedBurner or other feed hosted service, you can hire us as consultants allowing us to work for you to resolve the issue(s). Learn more about our support options.

You can learn more about FeedBurner and podcasting here: http://www.podcastfaq.com/syndicating-your-podcast/feedburner-for-podcasting/

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15 thoughts on “FeedBurner, Podcasting and PowerPress

  1. If you have a branded feedburner feed (e.g. feeds.mikewills.me) you can move the domain to your server and create either 301 redirects (permanent) or 302 redirects (temp) to your regular feed and completely drop feedburner completely. This is by no means a beginner’s task, but was my fail-over from the day they released the my branding.

    Then again, this isn’t my business nor am I activley podcasting anymore.

  2. Justin and Mike,

    The problem is most podcasters do not have the technical knowledge to setup CNAME records. If you did the branded sub domain and later wanted to switch back, you would have to setup that sub domain on your own server and write scripts in order to serve the feeds. This is not something the average blogger/podcaster can accomplish on their own.

  3. I’ve got everything setup in my BluBrry PowerPress on my self-hosted WordPress Blog and output to my own self-hosted feed: http://runneracademy.com/category/podcast/feed

    Because I didn’t know what I was doing when I started I sent the above feed into Feedburner and it is at http://feeds.feedburner.com/RunnerAcademyPodcast

    I believe this is redundant. Problem is now I have 10,000s of listeners and in many apps.

    Seems I could just delete the Feedburner Feed and then publish an episode so all the apps get the 301 back to my original feed and problem solved to move away?

    1. You fit the title “For Already Established Podcasts Using FeedBurner: Don’t Move!“. The FeedBurner 301 redirect only lasts for 30 days, after that your subscriber base will be cut off and lost permanently.

  4. Angelo,

    What I was stating is that iTunes will already be updated to the new URL of the feed by default when it sees the 301 redirect. That is how iTunes updates RSS feeds.

    I think this article might be a bit misleading from what I read in this regard and looking for others to weigh in.

    I’m not going to do anything immediately, but planning my options well in advance so there is no panic.

    1. We are giving you our advise based on our experience of dealing with these issues since 2005. The practices above are the most effective for this dyer situation.

      If all you are concerned is with the iTunes podcast directory (not iTunes desktop software) then yes, iTunes podcast directory will update to the 301 redirect URL within 2 weeks, assuming there are no complications or feed errors.

      iTunes desktop software subscriptions only update when the user opens the iTunes desktop software and synchronizes their podcast subscriptions. According to the iTunes specifications, the redirect should be in place for at least two weeks, indefinitely is preferred. What that percentage of iTunes subscribers you loose after 30 days I cannot tell you. I can tell you that you will loose subscribers once that redirect is offline, do not assume 30 days is long enough, after day 30 subscribers who did not get the redirection update will be lost forever.

      Also keep in mind that iTunes is only one of over 100 software clients and devices that your podcast can be found on, you should assume that most of those applications/services will not capture the 301 redirect in 30 days, if ever.

  5. In its basic form, FeedBurner is simply a copy of your feed. If FeedBurner were to shut down (I don’t see how it could without serious repercussions since there are so many large corporations using FeedBurner), you can bet that the 30 day redirection policy would change to 1+ years, which is significantly better.

    This is a “most” vs “all” scenario. If you can live with migrating most of your subscribers in 30 days, then make the move. Our advise is for “all” your subscribers, any disruption translates to lost listeners/viewers.

    We have feeds that we redirected over a year ago that still see about 15-20% of the traffic they saw before the redirect, if that gives you an idea of the possible loss. Loosing 15% of your subscribers is 15% too much in our opinion.

  6. Hi Angelo –

    I’m restarting an old podcast, with a new cohost, new hosting service, new everything (except the URL) after a year’s hiatus.

    The archived videos live at Blip and YouTube and the MP3s are on an old server that’s going away.

    I was going to embed the old videos at Blip and Youtube into my new site and upload the MP3s to my new server.

    Feedburner reports there’s 60 subscribers left.

    What would you recommend: stay with Feedburner or convert to hosting my own feeds?

    Thanks for your time!

    1. It’s up to you, but that number 60 subscribers is not accurate (main reason Feedburner is no longer really popular). Example is Google Reader: there may be a thousand folks using Google reader subscribed to your feed, but FeedBurner only records this as 1 subscriber due to the way the cloud based service optimizes the subscription for all it’s users.

      My recommendation would be to make 1 more episode in your feedBurner feed letting folks know you moved, then start using your new feed with new listings on sites like iTunes. This way you capture the old subscribers and start fresh with new subscribers.

  7. Angelo,

    We’ve been an established site for just about 4 years and redirect our WP feed to Feedburner at feed://feeds.feedburner.com/EntertainmentBuddha.

    We want to start a podcast, so I’m wondering if I should use Powerpress for the Podcast feed, and then keep the Feedburner feed doing what it has done for the past 4 years. Can we have both setup, or would we have to decide on either using FeedBurner’s SmartCast feature, or reverting the feed back to the local WP feed and using Powerpress?

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