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Podcast Artwork Not Showing Up

4052 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2013 3:21 PM by mattauckland RSS
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BrainstuHammy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Feb 13, 2013 6:58 AM

Hello,

 

I manage an RSS feed for an internet radio station. For the past 2-3 years I've had no issues with iTunes. Just recently however I've been having issues with podcasts not syncing up and the logo not showing up in the artwork section.

 

My RSS feed is http://shows.brainstumedia.com/podcasts-only/rss2.aspx

 

That is the same RSS feed that has been in the iTunes store for the past few years.

 

Here is the link to iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/more-like-radio/id453172651

 

No matter what I do, I can't see a logo in the iTunes store. Here is a screenshot of my iTunes screen.

 

http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/s511/Chris_Hammill/Screenshot2013-02-13at919 53AM_zpsa54698a3.png

 

I use Quick Blogcast by Godaddy for the RSS feed. Here is a screenshot of the iTunes setup.

 

http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/s511/Chris_Hammill/Screenshot2013-02-13at917 49AM_zps189f4e72.png

 

While folks at iTunes have now helped get the podcasts syncing up again properly, they have no clear answer for me when it comes to me not seeing the logo. All they did was copy/paste the recommendation format from the iTunes FAQ page about podcasting. Apple says 300X300 jpg, various other sites I've visited said anything from 200X200, 500X500, 1400X1400, etc and I'm out of options with what to do, hence the reason for this post. I switched to a 300X300 jpg with 72 PPI roughly 2 days ago and I still don't see the logo in iTunes. Listeners of the shows have been sending me screenshots of various podcast/RSS feed apps on both iPhone, Android and even Zune that show the new logo I uploaded. I wouldn't normally care if iTunes didn't show our logo, but iTunes takes up 80% of our downloads, so we need to look professional and legit and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated with iTunes.

 

Can anyone help?

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,940 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2013 7:38 AM (in response to BrainstuHammy)

    Your image is correctly referenced in the feed and does exist on the server - the URL is

     

    http://images.quickblogcast.com/1/8/8/3/9/302144-293881/DefaultImage/MLRItunesCo verArt.jpg

     

    The image is 300 x 300: in fact Apple is now saying that images should be 1400 x 1400 - they have to be this size if the podcast is to be considered for including as a 'featured podcast', but I've seen no evidence that they are actually removing smaller images (they haven't mine, which has been there for years).

     

    We do see these sticky patches in the Store: I'm afraid it's just a question of waiting until it condescends to show the image. if you do decide to replace the image with a 1400 x 1400 one (though I don't think that will make it any quicker to appear) be sure to change the image filename, or the Store won't know it's changed.

  • mattauckland Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2013 9:24 PM (in response to Roger Wilmut1)

    Hi Rodger,

     

    I've got a similar issue. My podcast artwork is now not showing up in the store, so about two months ago or more I changed the artwork file for a 1400x1400px image, using a different name and location for the file. Sadly though it has made any differents to the issue.

     

    If it helps my podcast feed is run through Feedburner, and according to there feed diagnostics all is well. Plus I double checked myself, and constructed the original XML feed to Apple specs, even cough...cough borrowing ideas from TWiT RSS feeds.

     

    Matt

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,940 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2013 11:30 PM (in response to mattauckland)

    As you seem satisfied that there is no problem with the feed or the image I'm afraid it's just a question of waiting until the Store catches up. It's very frustrating, but this happens from time to time: it will probably update eventually.

  • mattauckland Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2013 7:26 AM (in response to BrainstuHammy)

    Ok think I found the solution, and it is a setting in Feedburner.

     

    I had updated my original feed correctly when I moved my artwork, but in Feedburner you also have to make the same changes under Optimize > SmartCast.

     

    I worked this out by using Michael P. Shipley's Feed Analyzer that helped pin point the issue in the Feed Level Data, which when the SmartCast option is switched on in Feedburner, will be generated using the data you enter in the SmartCast section. So if you use SmartCast and make changes to your feed level data, which is where the feeds description and iTunes Store/Podcast artwork is held, you also have to make the same changes in the SmartCast section to enable them to update in the iTunes store.

     

    Of course the other option is to not use SmartCast, but that is an individual choice, and means you have to make sure you feed meets all the Apple requirements.

     

    That seems to solve the issue for me, hope it does for others.

  • mattauckland Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 17, 2013 8:15 AM (in response to Roger Wilmut1)

    Thanks for your help rodger. I've actually now fixed it, and the updates and being taken by iTunes straight away. See the thread for me solution.

  • mattauckland Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 17, 2013 8:29 AM (in response to BrainstuHammy)

    Ok in addition to my reply above, I turned off SmartFeed in Feedburner and unticked Include iTunes podcasting elements, as I know my original feed is fully valid (if you want tips on how to make a fully valid iTunes and Atom compliant XML feed, find me on twitter @mattauckland and I'll help you out).

     

    However I did leave the Include "Media RSS" information ticked so the feed can be supported by Yahoo! search. But as Yahoo search is now powered by Microsoft Bing, I doubt this really has any effect.

     

    Also under Publicize I turned Ping Shot on, as this notifies web-based services when I update my feed. I then used Ping Feedburner to update the feed, and as if by magic the Podcast app on my iPhone 5 displays the new artwork, and the online store also now displays it too. And it took less than a minute for the change to show.

     

    Consider that FIXED!

  • mattauckland Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 20, 2013 5:12 PM (in response to BrainstuHammy)

    Hi, Well I've taken a look at the feed, and it seems fine for the most part. It doesn't fully/cleaning validate according to the Feed Validator, and I've noticed your <lastBuildDate> is the same as <pubDate>. Pub Date is the date the feed was first published, and I tend to use the very first episode date for this. Whilst the Last Build Date is the one that should reflect the last time you updated the feed.

     

    This is how I lay out my upper section of my feed. It is complient with Atom and iTunes standards. Notice I use both the Atom image link and the iTunes 1400x1400 image. This is also how I layed out the feed to The Shapeshifters Nocturnal Groove podcast, a feed I helped sort out recently, and they clock in a lot of users. All my images and audio are hosted via an Amazon S3 bucket via a subdomain I have pointing to it.

     

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

    <rss version="2.0" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd">

    <channel>

      <title>the DJ Book podcast</title>

      <link>http://www.thedjbook.com</link>

      <description><![CDATA[Blah blah blah....text goes here]]></description>

      <docs>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss</docs>

      <language>en</language>

      <copyright>2012 The DJ Book</copyright>

      <managingEditor>Email Address (Matt Auckland)</managingEditor>

      <webMaster>Email Address (Matt Auckland)</webMaster>

      <pubDate>Fri, 03 Aug 2012 18:00:00 GMT</pubDate>

      <lastBuildDate>Mon, 18 Feb 2013 00:12:00 GMT</lastBuildDate>

      <category>Music</category>

      <ttl>60</ttl>

      <image>

       <url>http://cdn.mattauckland.co.uk/djbook/coverart/djbook-channel-144.jpg</url>

       <title>the DJ Book podcast</title>

       <link>http://www.thedjbook.com</link>

       <width>144</width>

       <height>144</height>

       <description><![CDATA[Blah blah blah....text goes here]]></description>

      </image>

      <atom:link href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/djbook" type="application/rss+xml" rel="self" />

      <itunes:author>The DJ Book</itunes:author>

      <itunes:subtitle>Blah blah blah....text goes here but shorter</itunes:subtitle>

      <itunes:summary>Blah blah blah....text goes here but longer</itunes:summary>

      <itunes:keywords>Blah blah blah....keywords goes here</itunes:keywords>

      <itunes:image href="http://cdn.mattauckland.co.uk/djbook/coverart/djbook-channel-1400.jpg" />

      <itunes:explicit>no</itunes:explicit>

      <itunes:owner>

       <itunes:name>Matt Auckland</itunes:name>

       <itunes:email>Email Address</itunes:email>

      </itunes:owner>

      <itunes:block>no</itunes:block>

      <itunes:category text="Music">

      </itunes:category>

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,940 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2013 11:38 PM (in response to mattauckland)

    The FeedValidator report refers to contains only two comments (but validates): the one about Atom can be ignored. Otherwise it flags an error in the itunes:subtitle tags -

     

    The Elvis &amp;amp; Alfred Show

     

    this needs to read

     

    The Elvis &amp; Alfred Show

     

    The PubDate for each episode needs to show the date it was published to enable iTunes to sort it correctly.

     

    The missing image in the Store isn't because of any error in the feed. It always takes some days for a new or changed image to appear, and sometimes the whole process gets stuck and the image doesn't appear for a much longer period even while the episodes are updating correctly. I'm afraid there isn't anything you can do about it except wait.

  • mattauckland Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2013 5:49 AM (in response to BrainstuHammy)

    As you can read in my posts on this thread it seemed, to work happily and quickly through Feedburner when I had the same issue. Unsure as to why the same changes executed via Feedburner show up in iTunes instantly, yet it doesn't seem to be work for you and your feed distributor.


    There seems to be a little more to it than just chance. Being a developer myself, I know that Apple automates a lot of the iTunes system, so chance doesn't really come into it.


    Perhaps you could try my method via Feedburner, but I know that is a lot of hassle to switch the feeds over in iTunes as I've done it twice before, but it is a thought.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,940 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2013 8:13 AM (in response to BrainstuHammy)

    BrainstuHammy wrote:

     

    I don't know why it does that (says an error when I type the "&"), but that episode shows up on my feed

    The use of ampersands in a feed can cause problems - having one by itself in the coding can wreck the entire feed. Frankly I'd use 'and' instead and save a lot of potential problems.

     

    The App Store and iTunes for podcasts have nothing to do with each other. It's often been observed that images can take a long time to show up, but there's no way of knowing why.

    I read on how to remove the feed (click "report concern" on your feed in iTunes), with iTunes 11, I can't find that button to click, and the response I got from Apple just repeated on how to do it.

    You don't want to remove the podcast. (Incidentally the 'Report a concern' link is visible on the web page for pocasts.) You can change the iTunes Store to using a different feed as long as you have access to the original one, as you do it by adding a special tag to the original feed. The full method is described here - please read the whole thing very carefully before proceeding:

     

    http://www.wilmut.webspace.virginmedia.com/notes/podcast.html#move

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