Since Apple introduced Podcast in the iTunes application in June of 2005, there has been a feature where a podcaster could ping Apple to let them know that a new episode had been published. This guaranteed that time sensitive content was able to get listed and be available to subscribers with a few hours of its posting. Sometime earlier this week Apple removed that feature. It came to light when we discovered that pinging apple now redirects you to a online version of iTunes.
Completely unannounced to even their support people, Apple.com has removed the documentation how to ping iTunes when your podcast updates from the official iTunes podcast specifications. I cannot even start to explain how bad an impact this is going to have. Apple says they will now update directory listings once every 24 hours. Problematic if Apple just visited your site 5 minutes before you hit publish on the hottest story of the decade. Podcasters with evergreen content this change means little.
Since July of 2005 when Apple introduced Podcast to iTunes this has been a critical feature in more ways than one. From a tech support angle, it makes it much harder for my company to support podcasters when they are having trouble as well.
In recent days my audience members complained that the listings were not updating for a couple of days after the show was published which is suspect because once subscribed to a show the listing in iTunes should update automatically when you sync your phone. This is going to negatively impact on listener numbers either way, and also make shows that have time sensitive information less relevant. If you are a podcaster you need to voice your opinion very loudly with Apple. We need this feature re-instated to ensure that podcast listings on iTunes get updated in a timely manner.
For More Info on how this is going to impact you please read my companies official post on this.