Note To Podcast Listeners

Just a quick note; the podcast pages have been slightly reorganized to clear up some things that were confusing.

We've always uploaded an enhanced AAC file in an M4A container first; ASE is authored in GarageBand, and this format, readable by iTunes, supports features like embedded links, chapters and chapter images. If you use iTunes, the best way to get this version of the podcast is through iTMS or you can manually add the feed in iTunes' advanced menu.

If you're not using iTunes then you may want to download individual episodes or just use the embedded flash player on the site. For this, you want the MP3 version. Many times in the past these versions were uploaded much later, and the only way to find them was to find the AAC version first and then find a cross-link. No more. The podcast block on the front page, as well as the podcast's own page, will now prioritize the MP3 versions, which should mean no more problems with the Flash player not working (it can't handle the AAC files) or wonky downloads (Safari seems to add an extraneous .mp3 extension onto the .m4a files when downloading those versions directly.)

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Comments

Thing is, you still seem to have each version of a podcast on a separate page, something I've always found odd. Couldn't you just have one page per podcast? It would simply list all versions currently available and - importantly - it would have a unified comments section. At the moment, it seems that there's a separate comments section for each version, so any discussion is likely to be fragmented, with comments in one section potentially remaining unseen by people visiting the other page. At the moment for example, anyone coming to your now favoured MP3 page for ODST Pt. 2 would probably remain unaware of the comments present on the other page (in fact I can't even see a cross-link to that other page). I've tried to chip in some non-trivial comments in the past, hoping to try and help get a bit more discussion going on your site, especially as your podcasts seem like such a worthy endeavour, but when you've got the comments divided into two like this, that's not the greatest help I think, and is even a bit of a disincentive. I don't know whether there's some aspect of your site facilities making it difficult to have a unified page for each podcast, but anyway, there's my constructively meant feedback for what it's worth.

[quote=Rockslider]Thing is, you still seem to have each version of a podcast on a separate page, something I've always found odd. Couldn't you just have one page per podcast? It would simply list all versions currently available and - importantly - it would have a unified comments section. At the moment, it seems that there's a separate comments section for each version, so any discussion is likely to be fragmented, with comments in one section potentially remaining unseen by people visiting the other page. At the moment for example, anyone coming to your now favoured MP3 page for ODST Pt. 2 would probably remain unaware of the comments present on the other page (in fact I can't even see a cross-link to that other page). I've tried to chip in some non-trivial comments in the past, hoping to try and help get a bit more discussion going on your site, especially as your podcasts seem like such a worthy endeavour, but when you've got the comments divided into two like this, that's not the greatest help I think, and is even a bit of a disincentive. I don't know whether there's some aspect of your site facilities making it difficult to have a unified page for each podcast, but anyway, there's my constructively meant feedback for what it's worth.[/quote]

The bottom line is, unfortunately, no. The system treats an individual audio file as an item. If I put different audio files on the same page, they'd both show up in the iTunes feed.

I will go and transfer the comments from the m4a versions to the MP3 versions, and then it won't matter. As far as site browsers will be concerned, the MP3 versions will be the ONLY versions. The m4a versions (which have no site functionality, as you can't stream them onsite and they're only here for itunes downloads) will be here on the site, but not visible while browsing.

UPDATE: All the comments have now been moved.The MP3 version pages will function as the unified pages for the purpose of comments; the others are essentially just placeholders for the iTunes feed and won't normally be presented to users.


Rampant for over se7en years.


Ah, ok. I don't know about the iTunes feed thingy - actually I always preferred playing the m4a versions in Quicktime Player. Anyway, apparently we've got unified comments now and you've even shifted old ones, so that's fine. You said the m4a versions will still be on the site, but where exactly? Darned if I can find 'em! I find the dropdown menu handy for jumping to sections. But come to think of it, if the sections aren't signalled in the MP3s, maybe I should use the MP3s from now on to make sure my comments make sense for people who've only used the MP3 version - which I imagine will be the majority.

[quote=Rockslider]Ah, ok. I don't know about the iTunes feed thingy - actually I always preferred playing the m4a versions in Quicktime Player. Anyway, apparently we've got unified comments now and you've even shifted old ones, so that's fine. You said the m4a versions will still be on the site, but where exactly? Darned if I can find 'em! I find the dropdown menu handy for jumping to sections. But come to think of it, if the sections aren't signalled in the MP3s, maybe I should use the MP3s from now on to make sure my comments make sense for people who've only used the MP3 version - which I imagine will be the majority.[/quote]

Yes, I think unfortunately most of the viewers fall into two groups-- those who stream the MP3 from the site or download it into a player of their choice, or those who subscribe to the M4A through iTunes. Playing the M4A through QT-- well, you may be the only one, I'm not sure. They have to be on the site to power the feed, but making them prominent enough to find means they're prominent enough to look to comment on, which puts us right back to having to post cross-links on every episode to push them towards the MP3 version for commenting.

Sorry :(


Rampant for over se7en years.