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MOMA Podcasting? Not So Fast


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August 29, 2005

MOMA Podcasting? Not So Fast

Heather Green

Shel Holtz writes about an interesting little difference of opinion he has with Steve Rubel about whether MOMA is really podcasting or not. After some digging, Holtz discovered that MOMA offers its audio tours on iTunes as a podcast, but not as an RSS feed on its own site.

So, here's where I need a little help. Is it true that you need to use a different format to submit a podcast to iTunes? So, does iTunes have such mindshare that it's considered enough to just do the work for iTunes, rather than going all the way and do RSS? Weird to think that iTunes might coopt podcasting.

10:52 AM

podcasting

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Heather...no you don't need a special format for iTunes, any podcast feed will work. However, Apple has special tags you can use to "enhance" your podcast with chapter markers, images, etc.

Posted by: PXLated at August 29, 2005 01:40 PM

I think Shel is wrong. If it shows up in the iTunes podCast directory, it is an audio file in an RSS feed (a podCast). Just because they don't list that feed publically or because Shel can't find it doesn't mean a podcast doesn't exist. Anyone could do a podCast, not publish the feed but give the feed address to friends, it's still a podCast, it's just not publicly announced or easy to find.

Posted by: PXLated at August 29, 2005 01:48 PM

I don't have time to really try to figure this out. Never even heard of MOMA. As far as audio goes, mp3 seems simple and effective. I've read about possible name changes for RSS. I guess it isn't as complicated as it needs to be for some of the brainiacs out there in PC land. You sure post a lot of questions Heather. Ask Steve.

Posted by: Jim Dermitt at August 29, 2005 02:12 PM

The very first words of Apple's own documentation on "How to Publish a Podcast on iTunes Music Store" read:

"In addition to audio, there are 2 elements for publishing a Podcast on iTunes Music Store:

1.) - iTunes specified artwork

2.) - RSS Feed including iTunes Specific Tags"

I don't know how much clearer Apple can be. The iTunes-specific tags are a requirement.

While it is a plain old RSS feed appended with Apple-specific tags, you'd have to be pretty persistent to subscribe through iPodder or any of the other podcatcher flavors.

Given a definition of podcasting (from Wikipedia) that says "Podcasting is a method of publishing audio broadcasts via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed of new files," I question how close MOMA comes. Subscription through a proprietary service only, and only if you search the service, doesn't seem to fit the spirit of podcasting, even if it does adhere strictly to the technology. (And I agree, PXLated, that it's a pretty good way to offer a podcast to a restricted audience, although that doesn't seem to be MOMA's intent.)

All of which is academic, since even MOMA doesn't claim to be podcasting. Only Steve Rubel dubbed it thus in his blog.

(MOMA, Jim, is the Museum of Modern Art.)

Posted by: Shel Holtz at August 31, 2005 11:27 PM


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