When I set my mom’s blog up at CherieCast.com I used the standard WordPress install for a few days without any plugins. I was able to get her RSS feed setup and once her first podcast was published I submitted the listing to iTunes. The listing came up on iTunes within 24 hours, and we were smooth sailing.
About a week later I found out about a plugin that podcasters have been talking about called PodPress, it looked like a pretty good podcasting plugin. I installed it and customized the existing RSS feed so that she would garner all the benefits of the iTunes tags.
But little did I know that this plugin adds a element to the RSS feed that should only ever be used when a RSS feed is being relocated to a new location. Mind you this is a new blog that I had setup a couple of weeks earlier that had already been listed in iTunes. To my suprise after the PodPress plugin install my mom’s iTunes listing quit updating.
I inspected the feed and figured out what had happened and was about as mad as one can get at a developer. Apparently the plugin was programmed by someone who did not take the time to read the Applie tag specs.
It turns out that this plugin for malformed reason added the itunes:new-feed-url element to the RSS feed. Which is only supposed to be used when a podcaster wants to change the URL location of feed.
So when Apple polled my moms site they recorded what was in that element and updated their directory to point at a RSS feed that was not meant to be polled. Luckily after some investigation the Apple folks were able to fix my moms feed location.
Turns out this plugin is causing a lot of havoc for podcasters some find out weeks later that their iTunes listing is no longer updating. Today I was queried by a podcaster looking for help who was having similar iTunes directory updating troubles, and it turns out this plugin caused his listing to be misdirected as well. Apple seems to have identified this plugin as causing a lot of tech support request lets hope the author fixes this.
For all of you using Podpress check your iTunes listing to make sure it is updating this is critical for those of you that have just started using the plugin, also examine your RSS feed and if you see the new-url element you need to start asking the author why it is being utilized and is not a selectable option. Most of the people that have been having the problem including me are not sure how it happened only that it did.
I can only assume though that this plugin is now causing the url link of a feed to be updated at Apple everytime Apple polls the site which is a waste of their resources as well.