All posts by angelo

1 Pixel Out player removed from PowerPress



Due to concerns of possible security exploits, the 1 Pixel Out Audio Player has been removed from PowerPress as of version 4.0.6. PowerPress users are strongly encouraged to update their copy of PowerPress immediately.

Update your copy of PowerPress to version 4.0.6 immediately

If you update your copy of PowerPress via the plugin update interface built into your WordPress wp-admin, no further action is required.

If you update your copy of PowerPress via FTP, it is imperative that you delete the following file in the wp-content/plugins/powerpress folder: audio-player.swf

The possible issue is with the 1 Pixel Out flash based audio player. The official 1 Pixel Out Audio Player was removed temporary from WordPress.org repository (link: http://wordpr

ess.org/extend/plugins/audio-player/) until the security issues have been addressed. Once a new version is available, we will review re-including the player in PowerPress.

If your site is currently configured to use the 1 Pixel Out audio player (pictured below), the Flow Player Classic player will be substituted in its place once your copy of PowerPress is updated.

UPDATE: The creator of the 1 Pixel Out player is working on a fix. Once updated, we will be re-including the popular player in PowerPress.

These open source players included in PowerPress are created by individuals who have a passion for our podcasting and music community. To give back, please make a donation to the 1 Pixel Out Audio Player to show your support for this very popular Audio Player.

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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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iTunes Podcasting Specifications Changed May 2012 – What That Means for Podcasting



The iTunes podcasting specifications changed this May, 2012 and includes changes to existing recommendations as well as few new element options.

You must upgrade PowerPress to version 4.0 in order to utilize the new options. PowerPress 4.0 will be released on May 11, 2012.

iTunes Image Size and Format – IMPORTANT!

iTunes image artwork recommendations have changed to 1400 x 1400 in jpg format. You can use a png in RGB format, but keep in mind that a png at that resolution will negatively impact the loading performance due to its file size. We believe the image size change is for the upcoming Apple TV’s that will be released this fall.

Your podcast artwork will need to be at least 1400 x 1400 in order to be featured in the iTunes podcast directory.

The artwork saved within your audio may continue to use 300 x 300 or 600 x 600 poster image, but 1400 x 1400 will not hurt if saved as a jpg. Video should use the same 1400 x 1400 or larger image size. Again, jpg is recommended as the file size will be much smaller than that of a comparable png.

Don’t forget to update your artwork by going into PowerPress settings > iTunes tab and using the file/browse option. Letting PowerPress save the image will guarantee that iTunes will get the latest image within 24-48 hours.

New iTunes Element “Is Closed Captioned”

A new per episode option “Is Closed Captioned” has been added to the iTunes podcasting specifications. This option allows you to mark your video episodes as having Close Captioning. This option is only used if your media includes Closed Captioning. Please visit Closed Captioning on Wikipedia.org to learn more about this option.

You can enable this per-episode option by going to PowerPress Settings > Basic Settings tab, in the “Podcast Entry Box” section, and place a check next to the option “iTunes Closed Captioned”. Don’t forget to save changes.

New iTunes Element “Order”

A new per episode option “Order” has been added to the iTunes podcasting specifications. This option allows you to reorder your episodes how you want them to appear in the iTunes podcast directory. It will not re-order the episodes for subscribed users. Subscribed users will continue to see the latest episode at the top of the subscription. When the order option is not present, episodes will be ordered by publish date with latest published episode first.

The “Order” element must be present in all episode items found in your RSS feed. Episode items that do not include the new iTunes order element will be stacked first, with the items with order specified stacked below them. From our testing it appears the order of ordered items is random when one or more items does not include the order tag. If you do use this feature, it is imperative that all episodes have a order value specified otherwise the outcome will not be guaranteed.

Order items are displayed in ascending order. E.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc… This means that you can list oldest episode first or you must know the total number of episodes you plan to release if you want your latest episode listed first.

PowerPress has added a special “Feature on iTunes” option that utilizes this new feature to specifically order your episodes with one selected episode to be at the top. This allows you to put an introduction episode at the top of the list, with the remaining episodes ordered as normal.

You can enable either of these options by going to PowerPress Settings > Basic Settings tab, in the ” Podcast Entry Box” section, and place a check next to either option “iTunes Order” or “Feature Episode in iTunes”. Don’t forget to save changes.

New iTunes Element “Complete”

A new per feed option “Complete” has been added to the iTunes podcasting specifications. This option allows you to mark your podcast as completed in the iTunes podcast directory. This option should only be used when you are no longer creating new episodes but wish to keep your podcast listed on the iTunes podcast directory. Once marked completed, iTunes will no longer query your feed for new episodes.

To enable this option in PowerPress you must first add the following define to your wp-config.php. Please consult with someone experienced with WordPress to assist you if you are not familiar with how to edit your wp-config.php.

define("POWERPRESS_NOT_SUPPORTED", true);

Once the define is added to your wp-config, navigate to PowerPress Settings > iTunes tab, then place a check next to option ” iTunes Complete” . Don’t forget to save changes.

Conclusion

This is the biggest change to the iTunes podcast specifications since it was first introduced in summer of 2005. Though iTunes podcast directory is no longer the only podcast directory in town, it still garnishes the largest audience percentage for most shows, making it essential for podcasts to support these latest specifications. Update your WordPress podcast to PowerPress today to utilize these latest features immediately.

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Number of podcasts showing up in iTunes or Feed



I only see 10 of my podcast episodes in iTunes, why?

We get this question about 1-2 a week. The answer is simple, there’s a setting for that.

iTunes displays what it sees in the feed you submitted to them. Your feed by default will display only 10 items (blog posts/podcast episodes) due to a setting in WordPress. To change the number of items per feed, go to your WordPress admin, to the “Settings” section and select “Reading”. For the option labeled “Syndication feeds show the most recent”, enter the value you desire.

If you are using the podcast specific feeds provided by PowerPress, you can also set the number of items per feed in the PowerPress settings. When editing a podcast channel or podcast category in PowerPress settings, select the “Feed” tab, and go to the section titled “Show the most recent”. You can leave this setting blank to use the WordPress global default, or you can specify your own number for this specific podcast feed.

Keep in mind that the items per feed cannot be infinite. The number of items per feed should not be too large that way feed readers and services such as iTunes/FeedBurner can pull them without complaining about the file size. We believe that a value between 20-50 is sufficient. If you use a value larger than 50, make sure you open your feed in a web browser then select the option “save as” and save the feed to your computer. Then check the saved file’s size does not exceed 512KB in size.

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Where are PowerPress Settings



We get this question at least once a month with new users. Look at the vertical menu system on the left within your wp-admin area, scroll down until you see the section titled “PowerPress”. go ahead and click to expand to see all of the sub menu options of PowerPress.

Below is a screen shot of what this menu looks like.

PowerPress menu in WordPress

The “Podcast Channels” and “Category Podcasting” sections are advanced features that are turned off by default. If you want these options, go to the PowerPress “Settings” page, scroll to the bottom to the section titled “Advanced Options” and turn on the options you want.

MP3 Tags is a feature only available to paid Blubrry Hosting customers, as the tags are written to the media files as part of our service.

Our media hosting service integrates seamlessly in WordPress with our PowerPress plugin, plans start at $12/month. Learn more here: Blubrry Podcast Media Hosting.

 

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Apple Drops iTunes Podcast Directory Update Listing/Ping (pingPodcast) Function



We need you to speak out! Apple quietly removed the iTunes Podcast Directory update listing/ping functionality (also known as pingPodcast) earlier this week. You, our content creators, are no longer able to update your listing directly and audiences will have to wait up to 24 hours to access your shows. This is NOT acceptable and is extremely disappointing news for our digital media creators.

The iTunes update directory listing ping service (pingPodcast) allowed podcasters to both verify their feed address that iTunes is pulling, as well as notify iTunes that a new episode has been published. The ping service could be called upon with either the URL to the feed or with the iTunes podcast FEEDID. See examples below:

The URLS above now redirect to the Apple iTunes online store.

This has been an extremely important function for you, our digital media creators, and we need you to all work toward convincing Apple to restore this feature. Please make your thoughts and concerns known to Apple here. It is imperative that we impress upon them the importance of this service!

We are unaware of why they have removed this feature, but we have reached out to Apple to see if there will be an alternative. According to Apple.com forums, podcast feeds will be pulled once every 24 hours. There’s no comment yet how podcast owners can verify their feed listed on iTunes, as the pingPodcast feature was the only way to verify iTunes was updating your listings with the correct feed address.

Apple has removed information on the ping service from the official iTunes podcast specifications document.  Documentation of the previous iTunes podcast specifications can be found on WaybackMachine.org.  Source

From a reply on the apple.com forums from Apple staff, the “link feature” (aka pingPodcast URL) “may no longer be available to podcast publishers.” The staff further explains “this isn’t anything to worry about, iTunes still handles podcast entries the same way, and you are correct in your understanding that by default, the iTunes Store directory reads every feed once per day”. Source

When used, the pingPodcast service returns both the unique iTunes FEEDID as well as the current FEED URL for a given podcast. The information is invaluableto anyone who wants to verify that iTunes is updating the specified podcast listing on iTunes with the correct feed address. With the removal of the pingPodcast function, podcasters can no longer verify their feed URL address used for iTunes podcast directory. Again, here is the link to make your thoughts and concerns known to Apple.

Until Apple restores the pingPodcast service or replaces it with another API service for podcast listing verification, Blubrry.com will no longer be able to provide support to podcasters who have problems with their podcast listings on  iTunes. It is imperative that they return this function or replace it immediately with another service enabling digital media creaters to verify their feed list on iTunes!

Our digital media community has strength in numbers, and if we work together, we are confident we will resolve this troubling development.

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Podcamp Toronto 2010 Attendees, Win an iPad Contest!



If you attended PodCamp Toronto 2010 and did not get a chance to talk with Jeff or Angelo for details how to win an iPad, please contact us before this Wednesday, February 24th for details.

We will be drawing a winner Wednesday evening at about 7pm and will announce the winner both on our blog and on our twitter @blubrry stream.

We wanted to thank everyone who attended and helped make  PodCamp Toronto 2010 a success! Both Jeff and Angelo had a wonderful time connecting and learning from everyone this weekend.

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Catch up with Us at Podcamp Toronto 2010!



PodCamp Toronto is around the corner, eh! Blubrry.com is a proud sponsor of PodCamp Toronto, Feb. 20-21 in Toronto, Canada.  Blubrry’s Jeff Hinz and Angelo Mandato will be there, so stop by our table and say “Hello” and share some lively conversation and valuable podcasting information. Oh, yeah, and get some cool free stuff while you’re at it! Be sure and come to Angelo’s session, “WordPress and Podcasting Sitting in a Tree . . . ”

PodCamp Toronto is a great place to catch up with friends in the podcasting community and to meet and learn from other bloggers and podcasters. Can’t wait to see ya there!

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PowerPress 1.0.4 Released: Added ‘Find Replace’ Media Tool and Plugin Podcasting Support



PowerPress
Take a look at this! Blubrry PowerPress1.0.4 is now available. This latest version is packed with new and useful features and is completely compatible with the latest release of WordPress 2.9.

Support for Plugin ‘Podcasting’

After the announcement that plugin “Podcasting” was coming to a close we reached out to Spiral Web Consulting to see how we could help. They helped us help users ease the transition to PowerPress from plugin Podcasting.  Through their consultation we now include support for episodes created in Podcasting. If you are a Podcasting plugin user considering switching to PowerPress, check out our note near the bottom of this post for additional details.

Find and Replace for Episode URLs

Blubrry PowerPress now includes a tool found under the PowerPress menu “Tools” page titled “Find and Replace Episode URLs.” This lets you quickly find and replace portions of your episode media URLs.

Because the feature verifies each URL and will stop the conversion if the new address URL is invalid, we recommend you back up your database before using this tool. The feature is perfect for users moving their media hosting to a new web site  or service such as Blubrry’s media hosting.

WordPress 2.6 Support

We only maintain support for the latest three major releases of WordPress, ensuring that our plugin remains innovative and up-to-date. Because of this, support for WordPress 2.6 will be dropped in the next release of PowerPress. If you are using PowerPress with WordPress 2.6, be sure to upgrade WordPress to support future releases of PowerPress.

Note to Plugin ‘Podcasting’ users

PowerPress and Podcasting have been for the most part interchangeable. Episodes created by both plugins are stored the same way. The only difference between the two plugins was how the iTunes duration (time in seconds) was stored. PowerPress 1.0.4 now includes this value from plugin Podcasting as well.

PowerPress 1.0.4 now includes an import plugin Podcasting settings option found under the Tools page. This option will import the key settings from plugin Podcasting to PowerPress.

For Podcasting users who are using the custom formats feature, PowerPress has a similar feature called “Podcast Channels” that will allow you to add multiple media files to one blog post.

The feeds for Podcast Channels in PowerPress are formatted differently than those found in plugin Podcasting. When you do make the conversion, you might need to notify your subscribers of the feed changes. If you need assistance re-mapping your old custom format feed to a PowerPress Channel Feed, feel free to contact us so we can assist you. Include the current feed URL and a link to your blog in your contact submission.

So there ya have it! Lots of new information and we know you’ll benefit from all our latest innovations!

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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.

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