10 Replies Latest reply: Jun 4, 2012 12:03 PM by einarpetterson
einarpetterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Why do I get following reply from iTunes Store when I attempt to publish my podcast:

"We had difficulty reading this feed. Host parameter is null." ?


This is my podcast website:



I have validated the following feed with Feed Validator.  It is ok.  (there are some minor suggestions for changes which should not be criical)




When I write this feed URL in the box for suscribing to podcasts in ITunes  (Advanced/Suscribe to podcast menues),  iTunes finds my podcasts and downloads them successfully (and fast).  All the podcasts downloaded that way work fine.


So, if the rss reed is validated, and works in iTunes,  why am I not able to publish my podcasts in iTunes Store?


My hosting service is GoDaddy.com.   I see from other articles on this support forum (Apple) and on GoDaddy´s support forum, that other people have had the same problem.   Sometimes their problem apparently just disappeared (and iTunes Store finally just stopped writing "We had difficulty reading this feed.  Host parameter is null"  everytime they tried to submit their podcasts to iTunes.  I have now tried submitting this and other podcasts (hosted on GoDaddy) many, many times for several days, but always get the same irritating negative message.


Does anyone out there understand what the problem could be?   As far as I can see from reading other descriptions of this same problem, no one has yet provided an adequate explanation of what is causing this "glitch" (as some call it). 


I want to publish several podcast series on iTunes Store which are now hosted on GoDaddy.com.   Many other MobileMe users like me, will in the next 30 days have to move their websites from MobileMe to other hosting services.   GoDaddy.com is a large hosting service.   This problem might appear often during the next month.  I therefore believe that Apple and GoDaddy should attempt to find out why this problem occurs, and do something about it.   It seems from other descriptions of this problem, that it often occurs with people using GoDaddy hosting service.  Have not read or analyzed all descriptions of this problem on the net, but there are enough descriptions to support a hypothesis that there is some communication difficulty between iTunes Store and GoDaddy hosting service. (? - at least some others have made this hypothesis, like I do)

iWeb '08, Mac OS X (10.6.8), iWeb 3.0.4 - is this iWeb 08?
  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (71,955 points)

    Your 'description' tag in the top section includes this text:


    ...this symposium.<br/><br/>The lecturers discuss...


    with similar html codes further down. This renders in a browser as


    ...this symposium.<br/><br/>The lecturers discuss...


    iTunes does not read this tag, and the code isn't upsetting the iTunes application: I don't know whether it is upsetting the Store but it shouldn't be there - stick to plain text and paragraph returns.


    I don't know whether this is related to your problem. It's not the first time it's arisen - this quite old thread I was involved in discusses it but doesn't really reach a helpful conclusion:




    The problem I found there about the media file doesn't appear in your case - the top episode's file played OK in Safari.


    You should certainly take this up with GoDaddy Support - at least they answer the phone - possibly since this isn't a new phenomenon they can shed some light on it.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (71,955 points)

    Getting to the wild guesswork stage: when you submitted your feed did you include the http:// at the beginning? The link on your web page begins with itpc:// and although this works to subscribe people possibly it doesn't doesn't in the Store. If that's what you did, try it with http://

  • einarpetterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Roger for responding twice.  I appreciate your messages because they offer moral support, inform me that others have also experienced this problem.


    Your wild guess was correct, although I discovered this mistake immediately myself.  The first of the 20 times I hae tried to submit, I did in fact just copy the link which begins with itpc:// - but already on the second try, I used the correct format http://www.einarpetterson.org/Ars_et_Medicina/Podcast/rss.xml


    I think I did read your old thread during my attempts at finding a solution.  I did read several threads of same type.  None of them provided an adequate explanation.  I remember a few who wrote something like "After two weeks of submitting the rss feed, it suddenly was submitted one day - without me having changed anything."  These type of threads taught me a lot. f.eks. to use Feed Validator which I have done; to try feed in iTunes which both you and I have done with a successful result.   The threads also taught me that some mistakes which Feed Validator finds  (like the ones you mention) are not critical, and therefore theoretically not necessary to correct.    However, I might now correct all small errors just to see if that helps.  I do not think it will, but we will see.


    It might interest you, and other readers to hear GoDaddy´s response to my inquiries.   They argue that the reason for this difficulty is some "filters" they use to protect their web-hosting users against excessive "external" traffic.  (I think they might mean hacking attempts).   They wrote that they had noticed much traffic on my server, and wished to protect me with these filters.  I asked them to remove the filters so that I could submit podcasts to iTunes Store.  They wrote back and suggested that the filters were meant to protect thousands of users, and that they could of course not remove them. (illogical with regard to first letter which implied that the filters were there only to protect me) They suggested that I buy a VDED or DED subscription on GoDaddy (viritual dedicated server or dedicated server subscription) which costs ca. 20-99 GBPounds a month!!!   The logic behind their suggestion was apparently that one can get total control over one´s web-hosting service by upgrading the normal webhosting account to a virtual or dedicated server, and then, I guess, by removing the filters which according to them make submitting the podcasts to iTunes Store impossible.    I find this suggestion to be a fairly transparent method of trying to solve simple technical difficulties by asking their customers to buy solutions they do not need. Such virutal/dedeicated server subscriptioins should not be necessary for simple users who just want to publish a few podcasts a year on iTunes Store.   The last few letters they have written are "brush-off" letters, referring me to Apple or to community forums like this one.  Apple support wrote a simple form letter just stating the obvious, and giving links to normal pages with information on podcasts.  I have read all of them many times before. no help from them either.


    So, my own problem now reminds me of the other threads about this phenomenon.  As far as I can see, no one has yet really understood what causes the error message from iTunes Store submitting podcast page  "We had difficulty reading this feed.  Host parameter null"


    If the cause of this is GoDaddy.coms filters (as they maintain), it would be logical to surmise that no user of GoDaddy.com would be able to successfully submit rss feeds to iTunes Store.  I find this very, very difficult to believe.  Are you - or any other readers of this thread - users of GoDaddy.com webhosting service who use iWeb to produce and publish podcasts?   Has anyone out there successfully submitted feeds to iTunes  Store?  I imagine their are 100s of iWeb and GoDaddy users who have done this.  If this is the case, the "filter" argument from GoDaddy is false.


    What to do now?  Here are my plans:


    1)  I will keep trying to submit like the other people did who describe this problem in their threads.  Maybe one day, the feed will be accepted.  This happened to several people who called the problem just a glitch.


    2)  I will make a new website with iWeb with one podcast with just one podcast entry - very simple. I will validate the Feed with Feed Validator, and correct any small errors which are reported.  I will ensure that the rss feed complies with all rules on Apple´s websites.  I will check it with iTunes, and it will of course work - as does the feeds of my sites which I am trying to submit.   I will then try to submit this podcast to iTunes Store.  I this feed does not work, maybe there is some filter which GoDaddy uses which makes the iTunes Store submission session time out every time.    If this is the case, I will probably have to use another web hosting service who does not use filters which make it impossible to submit rss feeds to iTunes Store.


    3) While doing nr. 1 and 2, I will do what everyone else has had to do - study all documentation on rss feeds and learn how to make all rss feeds made by iWeb (or any other program) 100% compliant with all rules.  This will be a royal pain in the xxxx.  Many (most) of us use programs like iWeb to avoid having to master all these rules and regulations, and code rss feeds manually.  But, I see no other solution than to master this field so well, that one can exclude the possibility that there is something wrong with the rss feed I am trying to submit.


    In 26 days, MobileMe will be discontinued and many people will be looking for new webhosting services.  It might help some of them to know if GoDaddy.com is a webhosting company whose server settings make it impossible, or very difficult to publish their podcasts on iTunes Store.  My problems (and your old problems - weren´t you also a GoDaddy user?  I know several other threads about this problem were written by people who used GoDaddy.com webhosting services)  might be relevant for other MobileMe and iWeb users who soon will be without a webhosting home.


    If I do not manage to solve this problem, I suppose other people might also have same problem. In that case, it might be a good idea to warn them not to buy webhosting at GoDaddy, and also might be a good idea to find some other webhosting services which will not cause this type of problem.  Of course, one could also argue that Apple and iTunes Store should perhaps do something also - so that the many users of webhosting services like GoDaddy will be able to submit podcasts more effectively.


    Well, I do not yet really know what the problem is.  So all this is just speculation.  Maybe the problem is some little mistake in my rss feeds which causes this problem despite the fact that Feed Validator and also iTunes accept the feeds.   I will document my attempts to solve this problem in this thread so that others may avoid making same mistakes I have made.


    Thanks for your responses.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (71,955 points)

    My podcast is on Godaddy now, but it wasn't submitted from there, but from MobileMe - someone else in one of the threads about this solved his problem by placing his feed on MobileMe, getting it accepted, then moving it to GoDaddy, but with MobileMe so close to termination this isn't really an option even if you have an account. I'm sorry I can't be of more help but I don't really understand the problem.

  • einarpetterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hei again Roger!  You are really quick and smart!!  I just thought of that idea myself.  I have submitted 5 podcasts for iTunes Store while my websites were on MobileMe.  They were accepted and now function well after I changed webhosting service to GoDaddy.  I just considered the possibility of rerouting my domain www.einarpetterson.org back to MobileMe for a few days,  placing my rss.xml files on MobileMe, and then submitting them all while domain is routed to MobileMe.  Then, quickly changing domain routing to GoDaddy webhosting service so that iTunes Store would see the real webpages/podcasts when they evaluated acceptance or rejection of the podcast series.  


    This solution could also work after MobileMe is terminated, if one bought some GBs on another Apple friendly webhosting service, and then "tricked" iTunes Store by changing domains to "Apple friendly" webhosting service (in order to get them registered) and then back to GoDaddy.   However, this is no good solution for any of us who make several podcast series a year (I make one podcast series for each of the courses I teach (5-6 a year) and each symposium I arrange (1 symposium a year). 


    I suppose you - and others - who are not on GoDaddy might get the same problem I now have, if you ever try to submit a podcast series to iTunes Stores from GoDaddy.com webhosting.


    I am soon going to test rss feeds from 10-12 websites (podcast series) which I have made in last 5 years.  I am now sure that none of them will work.   I just submittted a completely false rss feed http://www.einarpetterson.org/false feed/rss.xml and got exactly the same error message "Problem reading the feed.  Host parameter null" that I get when i submit real feeds.  This means - I believe - that iTunes Store is not even getting in to my websites hosted on GoDaddy.com  - maybe because of those filters the GoDaddy.com support people were talking about.


    As soon as I complete the tests with 12 other feeds from websites which all function well in iTunes and other readers (and of course Feed Validator), I will probably have proven that the problem I am having has nothing to do with my feeds, and everything to do with iTunes Stores submitting procedure in relationship to GoDaddy.com´s webhosting server settings (filters).  If this is the case, anyone who wishes to publish their podcasts on iTunes Store should not choose GoDaddy.com.


    What a drag!   I have spent almost 2 months transferring all my websites to GoDaddy.com webhosting service only to find out that I will never be able to publish any new podcast series again unless I submit them from anothere Mac friendly webhosting service.  But then why keep GoDaddy webhosting service if I need another webhosting service to get my podcasts published?


    Only thing I can hope for now, is that Apple changes its submission procedures to allow people to submit rss.feeds by email (for example) in addition to by their iTunes submission form; OR that GoDaddy decides to change the settings of their server filters to allow iTunes Store´s submit podcast form (procedures) to read the rss feed files on their servers.  If neither of these parties changes anything, I fear that many of us will have to change webhosting service.


    Do you think my reasoning is logical?  Or, do you think I might have overlooked or misjudged something?


    I will write the results of my tests of 10-12 other feeds in a few hours.



  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (71,955 points)

    I shouldn't mess about with your domain routing if I were you. You could submit a feed from the iDisk giving the real web.me.com URL and then use the 'itunes:new-feed-url' method to redirect the feed once accepted. However at this stage it's highly likely you wouldn't get it accepted before MobileMe terminates.


    The simplest solution would probably be to use another hosting service, but of course this costs money, and you can only test it out by submitting the feed.


    I can't comment on GoDaddy's filters - it all sounds rather odd: and I would have thought that if they didn't make it clear when you started that you wouldn't be able to host a podcast feed that you would have a case for demanding a refund - though of course this would mean moving everything somewhere else, so it's not an easy matter.

  • einarpetterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, the money I spent on 2 year webhosting service at GoDaddy (150 USD) is not as bad as all the work transferring the websites (first with FileZilla, and then again with iWeb (necessary if one want´s to edit and change single pages directly from webprogram without having to republish files with ftp).  I will probably have to change webhosting service unless I can convince Apple to allow me to submit podcast feeds by email (instead of by using their submit form on iTunes Store). 


    I have at least identified the real problem (I think) which others might benefit from.  The real problem lies in the way iTunes Store submit form communicates with the webhosting companies where the rss feeds are stored.  The problem probably has nothing to do with the feeds themselves, as iTunes Store submit procedure probably does not even get permission to read them.  Yes, very strange!  Because iTunes and other readers of rss feeds can read them.   I do not understand myself why.  Could be timing issue?  GoDaddy may not reply fast enough for iTunes Store submit procedure to read files?


    After the test of 10-12 other feeds (probably not necessary but will do it, and document it so that others can see results and test my feeds if they want),  I will make ask this forum in a new question if there are any GoDaddy users who regularly manage to submit their feeds to iTunes Store.  If I get no positive answers, it might be appropriate to warn Apple MobileMe users to not use GoDaddy hosting service.  I would have appreciated it if someone had warned me before I used all the time I have wasted. 


    But before warning people, I will try to find out if this hypothesis is correct.

  • einarpetterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    I have now tested all my podcast rss feeds which are now stored on GoDaddycom hosting service in three ways:

    1) Feed validator

    2) iTunes (Menu: Advanced/suscribe to podcast)

    3) iTunes Store "Submit Podcast Page"



    All 16 rss feeds are valid according to Feed Validator.  There are some small insignifcant suggestions for improvements which are not critical.

    All 16 rss feeds function in iTunes (Advanced/suscribe to podcasts)

    None of the 16 rss feeds can be successfully submitted to iTunes Store "submit podcast" page.  The same error occurs in all cases:


    "We had difficulty reading this feed. host parameter is null"


    The following 5 of these 16 podcasts were submitted while the websites were hosted by MobileMe.  No problems with submission.  All accepted and now on iTunes.  These podcast sites are now transferred to GoDaddy.com (with same domain as earlier  - einarpetterson.org - and all function.  I can change pages, make alterations etc.


    Here are the 5 rss feeds.


    http://www.einarpetterson.org/New_Perspectives_on_Baroque_Art_and_Culture/Podcas ts/rss.xml











    The following 11 podcasts now hosted on GoDaddy webhosting service can not be submitted successfully to iTunes Store despite the fact that their rss feeds are validated by Feed Validator and work on iTunes (and probably on most  other rss readers)









    http://www.einarpetterson.org/KUN2_4009_tidlig_kristen_kunst_HS2009/Podcast/rss. xml


    http://www.einarpetterson.org/KUN2_4011_Middelalderen_i_Italia_HS2009/Podcast/rs s.xml

















    I may have made some error in my submission to ITunes Store, but do not think so.  If anyone discovers that I have made a simple and stupid error, please tell me.  If I have not made an error, one should probably not use GoDaddy.com as a webhosting service if one ever wants to publish podcasts to iTunes Store.


    It would be interesting to hear if anyone in this forum who is using GoDaddy.com webhosting service has recently (or ever) managed to succesfully submit a rss feed to iTunes Store submit page.  If so, I would like to hear about it.

  • einarpetterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Someone suggested that GoDaddy has some sort of block for their customers who do not use their own blogging/podcast program


    I just read an archived discussion which made an interesting hypothesis which might be relevant to this discussion.   Could it be that GoDaddy has set up their servers in such a way that people who make their podcasts without using their own software Quick Blogacst have difficulties publishing to iTunes Store?  see




    also another article on this forum argues that GoDaddy is unusable for iTunes Store podcasts




    (a person named GoDaddyguy answered this post by suggesting use of Blogcast.


    GoDaddy´s website about Quick Blogcast informs one that one can publish rss feeds which can be used by iTunes.   see




    If this is the case, why can´t GoDaddy customers who do not use Blogcast, but use the same GoDaddy servers not submit their rss feeds successfully to iTunes Store?


    Could it be that GoDaddy has different settings for the servers they use for Quick Blogcast customers?


    Also interesting to note that a search for "Itunes Store"  "submit podcast to ITunes Store" on GoDaddy´s support forums and community groups reveals only articles mentioning Blogcast.  Nothing as far as I could see about people using other techniques or programs to make and publish their podcasts.



    Maybe one could suscribe to Quick Blogcast for 2 months, and then submit rss feeds (not made by Blogcast program) to ITunes Store ?   Might be worth a try.  Costs only 3.49 GBP a month for 2 months.  On second thought, this would probably not work.  Because iTunes Store would try to read the rss feed which was stored on another server which is probably not set up to be compliant with iTunes Store submit podcast procedures.


    Looks like I will have to find another webhosting service... unless someone writes an informs me of some silly mistake I have made, or tells me that they routinely and successfully submit rss feeds to iTunes Store from normal GoDaddy servers. 

  • einarpetterson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    One final test - just to help others who might someday be in same situation


    My last attempt to solve this problem before I find another webhosting service is to call GoDaddy support, give them a link to this post, and ask them to explain how their own software "Quick Blogcast" manages to submit rss feeds to iTunes Store submit podcast page,  when their normal webhosting servers (according to their support people)  have "filters" which prevent normal users (who do not have expensive subscriptions to Virtual dedicated servers or Dedicated servers (ca. 30-80 Euros a month ! ) from submitting their podcast feeds to ITunes Store.


    Maybe I can get an answer, or help.  Maybe someone from GoDaddy will comment on this discussion and try either to advertise for Quick Blogcast, or tell me that I made a stupid mistake which can be easily corrected.  Either way, this last test might be helpful for others in this forum who might sometime in the future experience similar difficulties to the one´s I have had.