It’s been a while since the last major release but we have been busy behind the scenes and finally landed the 1.9 update of the Podlove Publisher and it’s a big one. Apart from a multitude of minor enhancements, bug fixes and improved behaviour, we have also some big new features we want to present and explain to you here.
We have been thinking a lot about the meta data that is needed and might be helpful for podcasts in the last two years. And there was a big weak spot in the current infrastructure. While podcasts are personal media with a very direct and intimate relationship between sender and receiver, the whole distribution architecture was just dealing with podcasts and episodes. It was all about the “medium” and not about people.
We intend to change this in a big way and today’s release is our first step in that regard. Release 1.9 includes a brand new contributor module. While you could assign people to episodes before, this time you can create individual profiles for each person, assign “roles”, use your own avatars and also link to the social media accounts and insert donation buttons (Flattr for a start, PayPal will come later).
People now also show up in the feed giving crawlers and podcast clients a chance to actually identify contributors across podcasts. And you get new shortcodes to make nice lists of people and more.
This is just the beginning. We have a lot of ideas and plan to expand this area significantly in upcoming releases.
We acknowledge there is a certain interest in protecting feeds with passwords. There are actually a lot of scenarios where this might make sense. But it is also a very complicated issue as everybody has its own ideas how to integrate with subsystems, databases etc.
So we are not presenting a real solution here but just put our toes in the water to get a basic functionality running: you can now put a general login/password on a feed or let people authenticate against the WordPress user database.
Depending on feedback, we might expand this feature in other directions but this needs to be rethought and discussed.
There a lot of other notable changes in this release: the new license selector makes choosing the right license for your podcast easy and you can decide to have a license setting on a per-episode basis if you need to.
The Expert Settings now allow you to configure temporary redirects in addition to permanent settings. Feeds are now delivered gzipped and you can define a global limit for the number of episodes.
And of course, we killed a lot of minor bugs.
More to come
There a bunch of other subsystems that is being worked at, both existing and new. Our roadmap is reaching out for into 2014 and hopefully beyond.
The advances of this year were made possible by the pretty successful crowdfunding which enabled us to pay one developer to spend a few days a week to work full time. Thanks to everybody who helped and will help in the future. We hope the quality of our code and ideas shows our appreciation.