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3 May 2007 @ 3pm


SplashCast Addresses RSS Issues – Still Needs Some Work

player_2.gifEarlier this week, SplashCast released the MyPodcastNetwork service. The problem with the service was that it highjacked podcasters’ RSS feeds and repurposed them – which is probably the greatest crime known to podcasters.

Marshall Kirkpatrick today addressed some of those issues on the SplashCast blog:

*Individual, original feeds now exposed in the player.
*Direct links to podcasters’ sites much more prominent.
*Audio podcasters getting all hits through SplashCast recorded in their own logs (no caching)
*Video podcasters getting as much love as we can give right now, trying to get more.
*Subscriber reports soon to be sent to Feedburner when appropriate.
*Creative Commons and “claim my feed” for more control are next steps.

Personally, I am okay with that. The idea of having channels can only work if SplashCast mashes the different RSS feeds up. Fine with me. Todd Cochrane thinks otherwise:

The way you have it now is still not acceptable. You guys just done get it.

1. On the channels page you still have the splashcast feed displayed with hijacked RSS feed.
2. You have the outbound subscription links still using your splashcast feed

You all need to look at how we implemented this 2 years ago at RawVoice users come in they manage the content they want to be subscribed through our MyCast system. This creates them a private RSS feed with the mashed up subscriptions. They can share that on their personal profile page.

We NEVER put any foreign feed on any program listing and until you guys remove those splashcast links from our shows page I am going to continue to beat you guys up.

I am formally asking that you remove the splashcast links from my channel page or replace any splashcast link with direct links to my rss feed immediately.

(more here)

I think Todd is a bit over the top here, but I can see his concerns. Rex Dixon is a bit more blunt in his assessment:

Technically Speaking, SplashCast has been more then accomodating in trying to resolve the issue. IF Geek Todd would just quit ranting for a minute, pick up the phone — basically COMMUNICATE with another human instead of making love/hate with his keyboard — this would have been resolved rather quickly.

Oh, Todd, don’t try to use the excuse or even attempt to lie your way out of this one by stating some weak come back as in “I tried man” — because you didn’t.

You just went public with your anger and you haven’t engaged SplashCast. I know, as I HAVE engaged and asked about this issue. Why do you think I quoted the above text? I’m not an RSS expert, but Marshall and the guys over there are. Probably more so then what you want to believe you are.

Michael Berkley of Splashcast explained the idea of the SpashCast Channel Feeds in another comment on the blog:

SplashCast Channel Feeds are a collection of multi-file, mixed media shows. Its purpose is to distribute shows within a channel using the SplashCast player. Each item in the feed represents a compiled, mixed media show with an enclosure that points to the SplashCast player — not individual media files. The feed does not contain any meta data about individual media items, other than listing them in description field for display purposes. Here is a typical example:

This is what we do, we let people publish dynamic collections of their favorite photos videos, audio, PPT presentations, and now RSS feeds.

Show RSS Feeds, on the other hand, are traditional RSS feeds: a collection of individual text, audio, or video items. If the show is based on a third party RSS feed, such as podcast shows in our new MyPodcastNetwork, then that original podcast feed is exposed as the show feed.

Update: Todd also has a post on this with some more detail on his blog.

There are some questions though about SpashCast adding advertising to these channels and how and if these channels are in violation of the Creative Commons licenses that most podcasters use.

I give SplashCast the benefit of the doubt here. I think they are trying to create a useful product for podcasters, but they are not quite there yet. SplashCast has shown that it is open to discussion and there arguments have been very reasonable.

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