Podlove Publisher 2.6

Following up on our new policy to deliver new minor versions with (usually one) headline feature (along with necessary bug fixes) we are happy to announce the immediate availability of Podlove Publisher 2.6.

Please take notice that version 2.6 fixes a severe security bug in our code. So please update immediately. There are no earth-shattering changes in 2.6 that you should fear.

So what is new, you ask? Let’s see.

E-Mail Notifications

You might know this: podcasters recording with team mates and/or guests always tell everybody they will notify everybody once the new episode is available for download. But  somehow this check box is left unmarked after all the concentration went into the preparing the recording and finishing the publishing process. But why can’t this be done automatically?

Well, the time has come: if you upgrade to 2.6, you can enable the new “e-mail notifications” module.

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Once enabled, you get an extra tab in your Podlove > Contributors menu called E-Mail Notifications.

Here you can specify which roles and/or groups of contributors you want to be notified by e-mail once the episode has been published and from which e-mail address this e-mail should be sent from (by selecting a contributor record). You can also specify a time delay so you can make sure the new episode has been successfully recognized by podcast directories, feed proxies and other elements in the cloud that usually delay the visibility of new episodes in podcast clients.

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You can use the Podlove Templates language to craft your own e-mail content or just go with the default so you are addressing everybody properly. Please make sure you have configured a “contact e-mail address” which each contributor you expect to receive a notification.

This first release of this feature is intentionally designed very simple: there is one e-mail being sent for one configuration of people. Please let us know if this suits you or if you need this to be more flexible in the future.

Podlove Web Player 4 (Alpha)

We know everybody is waiting for our web player to advance. We too. We tried hard to deliver on that with our Player 3 prototype but eventually we found we were heading in the wrong direction and went back to the drawing board.

Publisher 2.6 is now coming with a new alpha (!) release of our upcoming release 4 of the Podlove Web Player. Please give it a try but DO NOT CONSIDER IT DONE. It is still work in progress. We made a a lot of progress already but we won’t consider it production ready until it is. But by trying it out and giving us feedback, we will get there sooner than later.

The Podlove Web Player 4 is coming in a new dress, provides player embedding (finally) and is prepared to deliver even more exciting things in the future. But for now just try it but don’t rely on it. We’ll talk much more about it when it’s ready.

Templates

You might still not care about our internal templating system but it’s pretty useful for some and for us it’s always a test for internal consistency as the template reflects our internal APIs and make things nicer for everybody.

We have put in some nice changes and enhancements in the way you can access and list podcast assets and feeds. Take a look at the detailed change log for more on this.

Other enhancements

We have updated a ton of little things here and there that make the UI more consistent and self-explanatory (we hope). Many small changes are also preparing the Publisher for more groundbreaking changes in the future that should make Publisher much easier to tame for casual podcasters and beginners.

For those who do not want to use the built-in Podlove Subscribe Button being loaded from the Podlove CDN (for organisational or other reasons) you can now tick a box so that the code gets loaded from your blog only. This also means updates to the buttons must come through updates to the Podlove Publisher. So when you use that option, make sure you update Publisher immediately when a new version comes out (which you should do anyway).

And even without updating you might have noticed already that Podlove Publisher now comes completely localized in German too. So if you have set your language to German in your WordPress backend, everything Publisher should be german now too.

Thanks

Thanks to Eric Teubert for most new stuff in the Publisher and thanks to Alexander Heimbuch and Markus Stuhr for work on the new Podlove Web Player 4. We also say welcome back to Alexander Lüken who is again contributing to the Publisher. And finally, thanks to everyone who helped with the translation to German.

We hope you love the new changes and features. Spread the word and happy podcasting.

Podlove Publisher 2.5

We are excited to announce the immediate release of Podlove Publisher 2.5. Special thanks to Eric Teubert who has contributed 99% of this release and is constantly working on Podlove Publisher to make it the best tool possible.

The new release is mostly maintenance work and reworked features so there is not much that looks shiny and new at first glance but is more targeted to improve our overall architecture, get some historic awkwardness out of the way and prepare the Publisher for future features that are actually shiny and new.

There is one exception in terms of shinyness: the new chapters interface.

Chapters

Chapter support has been at the core of the Publisher saga from the beginning. We always felt that structuring potentially long podcasts is a boon to both listeners and publishers and should be supported by the publishing system in first class way.

So we kicked off the Podlove Web Player with chapter navigation and put a feature into Podlove Publisher to upload a chapter file to the backend which can then be used to put chapter info into the player, the podcast feed (in PSC format for podcast apps and directories to consume) and also pass it along to optional backends like Auphonic.

When the Publisher started this, chapters were almost nonexistent in the podcast world. Today, there are thousands of podcasts making use of chapters and more and more podcast apps support chapter navigation. These numbers are going up continuously as podcasters find creation and delivery of chapters is getting more streamlined and as listeners understand that chapters make consuming and revisiting long and highly structured podcasts much easier.

However, we have neglected the backend interface for actually entering chapter information far too long. Until version 2.4 you had to provide chapters in the so-called mp4chapters format in pure form with additional error checking and metadata evaluation. No more: Podlove Publisher 2.5 has replaced the old crumpy way of doing things with a simple interface that actually supports more chapter file formats too.

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This list presents chapters the way they should be. Each chapter displays its calculated duration and you can freely edit and delete individual chapters. So now you can use the Publisher’s backend to actually create the chapter information in an interactive fashion without using external tools.

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We also support entering chapter URLs now.

If you want to maintain a file-based workflow you can of course still do that. Instead of copy-and-pasting the information into a simple text field you can now import the chapter file in one simple step:

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Update: in Podlove Publisher 2.5.1 you can also import chapter information from Hindenburg project files.

If you have created your chapters in the backend but want to save it in a separate file we have also added a simple export function to write chapters to either a Podlove Simple Chapters file

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And that’s it. The new interface should make life easier for those who already use chapters and should be an encouragement for those who haven’t looked into this. We can only recommend checking it out, it’s making podcasting better for everybody.

Other changes

Apart from the chapter feature we have tweaked a few minor things that were asking for change most of which you usually barely notice but might be worth knowing about.

Contributor Avatar Upload: You can now upload avatar images for your Contributors to the WordPress media library without referring to external URLs. This should have been possible for a long time and now it finally is. It’s another step in our march towards less external dependencies which will a get a larger update in the future.

Say goodbye to App.net: We were happy to jump on the bandwagon that was App.net years ago as it promised to be a fun way for podcasters to connect to listeners but alas ADN will shut down today forever so we have removed the ADN module from Podlove Publisher. So long and thanks for all the fish.

Background import and export: The importing and exporting routines could be become quite long as podcasts grow so they could take up so much time WordPress started to throw in some nasty timeouts and killed it off. Not good. So we have moved these routines to our new background processing system introduced in the last release and that should work reliably even for huge archives.

Background Jobs Dashboard: The dashboard is now updated in real time giving you the option to easily look at what’s going on in the Publishers machine room if you fancy that. It’s like watching a washing machine: maybe totally boring in the long run but might have a soothing effect on you. Who knows?

Redirect Counter Reset: If you are using Podlove Publishers built-in redirection module (in Expert Settings) – useful for domain and URL transitions – now you can not only see how many times an individual redirect has been used from outside, but you can also reset the counter now to make it easy to detect if the redirect is still needed. Small changes make people happy sometimes.

Future developments and support

If you think you might have seen more big features being put into a single release in the past you are right. We have decided to speed up things by focusing on a single big feature per each release now and to throw in some minor maintenance stuff too. Bug fixes will still be delivered on an as-needed basis for dot-dot-releases.

So stay tuned for more nice things from Podlove and please keep supporting us with donations. Donations have gone down quite significantly recently and we really need to cover some extra costs for meetings and travel of team members.

Another option is to get the direct Podlove Publisher Support. This way you are both contributing directly to development AND getting immediate technical support for your installation in case something goes wrong. While we have our eyes open in the Podlove Community for questions and troubles we might not always have the time and focus to help out when troubles arise. The professional support option takes care of that.

Thanks for everybody who has supported us so far.

New website for Podlove Subscribe Button

We have a set up a new informational and fancy looking website dedicated to the Podlove Subscribe Button. Have a look:

https://subscribe-button.podlove.org/

Apart from explaining what the button is about it also features a nifty new embed generator that makes adding the button to any website quick and easy.

In contrast to our more technical project page, that is addressing developers and other people interested in the tech behind, this new page is mainly aimed towards podcasters and is also a way to get the word out for podcast listeners who think our button is a good idea.

Please note that we have launched a similar website dedicated to the Podlove Publisher a few months ago that serves a similar purpose:

https://publisher.podlove.org

That site also highlights the primary benefits of the system and also highlights our support options. If you are benefitting from Podlove Publisher and please consider the support contract: it helps to pay for ongoing changes to the software and actively supports you when haunting for problems with your podcast.

Podlove Publisher 2.4

By: NY - http://nyphotographic.com/ CC BY-SA 3.0 NY

Podcast (By: NY – http://nyphotographic.com/) released under  CC BY-SA 3.0 NY

Good news everyone: Podlove Publisher 2.4 was released today.

Yeah, it’s been a while – but while development on Podlove Publisher was slow it was never coming to a halt. We have constantly improved little things, put some polish on existing features and added a bunch of stuff under the hood.

So we are happy to have 2.4 available to you now and want you to update as soon as possible. But please take a moment to read about the changes.

Background Jobs

There are significant changes to how the Publisher does things in the background. Most importantly, the whole subsystem on how background jobs are handled has been replaced with a new model that should be far more reliable for some environments and in particular for episode-rich podcasts. This is the basis for improvements done to the Publisher’s Analytics feature which was a focus for this new version.

New Analytics

Be aware that the new Analytics might bring some disappointments. We have used the time to review the system under half a year of real world use and have found that the Publisher was tricked into believing some traffic to be true download activity while it wasn’t. Turns out that those on the Dark Side™ are hitting all our servers with a lot of bots to find security holes. While we are not aware of any security breaches in our software, the Publisher did count many of these shady requests as legitimate download intents.

Well, no more. The downside is that after a quick recalculation (which will be kicked off automatically when upgrading), your statistics might look slightly more bleak than they did before. In our tests we experienced an up to 20% drop in the reported numbers. Sorry, not much we can do about that.

When releasing the Analytics feature we told you not to make too much out of these numbers as they need to pass the real world test. So here is the result of that. However, we are hopeful that you won’t see anything like this in future updates to the Publisher.

To compensate for this, we have improved that Analytics dashboard presenting the data in a much more meaningful way. Numbers are now presented in a cumulative way allowing for easy comparison of individual episodes. You can look at summaries on a daily basis for the first week, then weekly (for the first month), then monthly (for the first quarter), then quarterly (for the first year) and then yearly (up to three years). Not all of these columns will be visible immediately: just head up to the standard WordPress Screen Options on the top of the page to set your preferred viewing configuration.

podcast-clients-publisher-2-4The “Downloads per Day” chart on the top of the Dashboard should also be much clearer now, showing the top episodes downloaded in the recent two weeks. We have also updated the list of known Podcast Clients making the episode analytics more useful.

In addition to some global statistics being shown everything should also load MUCH faster than it did before as things are computed in the background now and cached for quick display.

Podlove Web Player 2.1

We have also included a fresh copy of the recently updated Podlove Web Player that received some technical and some visual updates to keep up with the fast pace of the Web. We have also added the Podigee Player to be used optionally if you prefer to do so.

New Tools menu

In order to make the Publishers UI more meaningful and easier to understand, we have created a new Tools page that contains helpful tasks that might be useful when things look stuck or confusing data is presented. We think these need to be invoked only every now and then or possibly never. But PHP web systems can get messy sometimes so we thought it’s better to have a toolbox ready to take action before having to rely on external support.

Logging

The logging section in the dashboard has always been confusing so we cleaned up the mess to make it more helpful. We moved it to the Support page (to make clear when you might want to use it at all) and added some filtering options when you want to look for past errors and warnings. More needs to be done in this area but hopefully these changes will be helpful already. We also dropped some messages that polluted the log file for no good reasons.

Moving to HTTPS

Moving web sites to HTTPS should be a no brainer, but doing this for podcasts has a caveat: for reasons unknown to intelligent beings on this planet the iTunes Podcast Directory still has weird limitations when dealing with HTTPS-enabled podcast web sites. While claiming having full HTTPS support in their backend Apple is effectively limiting iTunes to TLS certificates that are given out by a short list of apparently hand-picked providers on the Internet.

This rules out using the by far most popular and most recommendable approach on the net these days: getting a free and automatically renewing certificate from the great folks of Let’s Encrypt (read about this in this support thread). But also other certificates are excluded.

We have no clue why this limitation exists but it effectively prohibits many podcast sites from moving to HTTPS. Once feeds are delivered via HTTPS and do not meet the limited requirements of the iTunes Podcast Directory, new episodes will not show up for existing podcasts and new podcasts can’t even be submitted to the store. Ouch.

But Podlove is here to help. You can now configure your web site to use HTTPS for all pages EXCLUDING your feeds (everything under /feed) and Podlove Publisher 2.4 has a new expert setting that allows you to define this.

You can choose from the following settings:

* Don’t assume anything about the configuration (default)
* Website is run via HTTP only
* Website is run via HTTPS only
* Website is run via HTTPS (excluding feeds which use http)

Select your setup and Podlove Publisher will then do the right thing. The last option will make sure the feed URLs will be consistently displayed, delivered and redirected properly to make sure that iTunes can still access your podcast.

The iTunes FAQ says that HTTPS will “eventually be required”. Let’s hope they fix their handling of certificates before that time comes.

Goodbye, Feed Validator

We have dropped the external feed validation check with Feed Validator. While we generally think an external feed checker is a good thing, Feed Validator just didn’t cut it for us.

Not only did it (mistakingly) complain about Podlove’s (and other) name spaces being used. It also has a severe and problematic issue with the above mentioned migration towards HTTPS by not allowing URLs to use the https protocol scheme (although the original RSS 2.0 spec does not explicitly prohibit HTTPS to be used). So all https URLs were considered buggy. The team always resisted changing this behaviour so we have to remove it.

We might make use of newer validators Cast Feed Validator or Podbase in the future but for now we recommend you to do your checks with them manually to see if things are okay. Just don’t use Feed Validator anymore, it’s bad for podcasts and probably won’t ever change.

Other changes

We have fixed a ton of tiny bugs and added some niceties here and there to make us all happy including more meaningful defaults for new users, using the post’s featured image as an episode image, fyyd.de podcast directory integration and best of all: Emojis in titles and descriptions are no longer swallowed ????!

Requirements

Podlove Publisher 2.4 does not change its system requirements and should just work when installed.

However, we strongly advise you to keep your WordPress and PHP version up to date all the time. Some features of the Podlove Publisher rely on WordPress being updated and you should always run the latest version just for security reasons alone.

Please note that PHP 5.4 and 5.5 (while still being supported by the Publisher) have RUN OF OUT OF SUPPORT. These versions no longer get any security updates potentially making your system easy to exploit by the bad guys. Please do take this seriously. The Podlove Publisher may also increase the minimum version of PHP at any time. An added benefit of this: the faster people move to current versions of PHP the easier it will to improve reliability and add new features as the latest versions bring a lot on the table developers really like (and need).

If security alone is not enough to convince you (although it should), pleas note that moving to PHP 5.6 will probably double the speed of your system and moving to PHP 7 WILL DOUBLE THAT once more. The result is a faster less resource-intensive web site which is always a good thing.

Publisher Weekly

Getting started with open source software can be a problem sometimes due to a lot of options and differing realities when setting up things. And sometimes you just can’t wrap your head around what you actually want and what your options really are.

So using Podlove Publisher is no exception in this game. The suite has accumulated many features over time and it might not always be easy to see what it can do for you.

So today we start a new service that you might enjoy if you are using Podlove Publisher: Publisher Weekly is – as you might have guessed – a weekly newsletter about Podlove Publisher by core developer Eric Teubert.

Every week you will get new tips and tricks delivered to your inbox that should help clear up confusion and show new ways how to publish your podcast effectively and with joy.

So do not hesitate and subscribe to the newsletter right away to participate in the new information transfer.

Podlove Publisher 2.3: Improved Foundation

When making decisions on what to work on next is one of the big challenges especially when thinking about the upcoming versions of the Podlove Publisher. There are so many places where we could extend and enhance the system so we need to carefully choose our battles.

With Podlove Publisher 2.3 which was released a couple of days ago, we decided to focus on stability, compatibility and integrity of our foundation. We addressed a couple of things that look minor in the release notes but are important fixes to make sure our features are built on stable ground and behave properly in the wild Internet.

Foundational work

For instance, we are now making sure we are following internal WordPress settings regarding the composition of feed URLs regarding a trailing “/”. This slash will either be removed or enforced now (depending on your settings) and the other version will reliably redirect to the configured URL with a HTTP Permanent Redirect (code 301). While this does not look like a big deal we are making sure that podcast directories can reliably identify your feed and prevent and remove duplicate entries.

We have also integrated more closely with WordPress’ cache strategies, opened up the Publisher to non-admin accounts, added a small button to automatically generate the duration from existing media files (even if hosted on another server), improved analytics and fixed numerous other small issues.

For developers, we are now opening our internal system to theme developers. The API is exactly the same as our template system so if you want to recreate features made possible by Podlove Templates in your WordPress theme you can do so now. We can’t wait to see Podlove-optimized themes for podcast-optimized blogs.

In addition to that, we have unbundled support for the Flattr micropayment system in a separate module and removed our reliance on the Flattr WordPress plugin so that the Publisher can now support Flattr completely on its own. And if you do not want to use Flattr at all for some reasons you can now turn it off completely. However, we still think Flattr is a great addition for the podcasting ecosphere and strongly suggest you use it.

Metadata features

While most of the things above are mainly improving the system and offer new options for developers and blog administrators, we have also upped the support for podcast metadata by offering two new data types: seasons and related episodes.

Seasons are basically what it says on the tin: you can now specify time ranges that represent certain phases your podcast has had. Be it a genuinely seasonal structure (like a sports podcast focusing on each season) or a transitional period of change (like a change of the team, renaming your podcast or changing its structure) that you want to communicate to your audience: seasons let you do that. While you can specify seasons internally, you currently need to explore the power of Podlove templates to bring this to the website. We are waiting for your feedback and will introduce proper defaults for archive pages etc. later on.

Related episodes are a feature where you can let episodes point to each other expressing they are related. We have decided to keep this feature simple. There is no “relation type” and the relation is always bi-directional. If you say A is related to B, then B is automatically related to A. Good thing: when new episodes point to old episodes, old episodes automatically refer into the future. Use the [podlove-related-episodes] shortcode for easy inclusion of the feature in your posts.

Both metadata features might be extended in the future but we want to keep it simple for now.

So upgrade to Podlove Publisher 2.3 today and while you are at it make sure to upgrade your PHP to version 5.6 too. PHP 5.4 as reached end-of-life status recently and won’t get any security fixes any more. The more people move to modern PHP versions the earlier we developers can build on the new features and capabilities these versions bring. This makes developing complex tools like this much easier which is good for all of us.

Podlove Publisher 2.2: Say hello to image caching

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Hello everyone: a new Podlove Publisher release is out and it’s again an incremental update that focuses mostly on a single area: this time it’s all about images.

Because we are making use of WordPress latest image subsystem we have also upped the requirements to WordPress version 3.5 (however, we recommend using the very latest version of WordPress which as of today is 4.2.2).

As usual, feel free to discuss the release with the Podlove Community.

Images: URLs, caches, sizes and retina

As you might know, we have decided to go with external URLs when it comes to things like images. Podcast and episode image as well as avatars are all configured by providing external URLs. Problem was that it was difficult to control image and file size which can lead to huge load times for episode and archive pages etc.

We have now added an internal and automatic image cache that not only caches images but also automatically resizes images depending on the usage context. This should reduce image load times significantly.

We have also added new Podlove Template accessors to easily include those images in your templates. Use expressions like podcast.image.html, podcast.image({fallback: true}).html or contributor.image.html({ width: 32 }) to get proper <img> tags for your HTML.

Not only are these accessors easier to use than the old ones (which are now deprecated), they also bring the added benefit that we automatically provide “retina” images (the same image linked in 2x and 3x versions) to make the picture look nice on higher-resolution displays. Social and donation service icons have also been refreshed and are provided in higher resolutions.

The whole cache is put in the ./wp-content/cache/podlove directory and is properly marked so it can be automatically excluded by your backup plugin.

What about the Media Library?

We know that some of you would like to see a tighter integration with the WordPress Media Library to lessen the dependencies on external URLs and we have been discussing that. We might tackle this in a future update but it needs a lot of second thoughts in many ways.

Right now, Podlove Publisher is aimed at advanced users but we’d like to bring it all to a level where the tool is nice and fancy for starters too. This would include making the setup much much easier, automate the selection of hosting providers, handle direct uploads and make the setup of assets and feeds simpler and mostly automatic. We’re getting there eventually.

But we know we have demanding users that also want to see advancements in many other areas that are currently our focus.

So on the plus side you can be assured we have neither a lack of ideas nor a lack of todo items on our lists. You can help us getting to all these places by making a donation (or even better, subscribe to our professional support) and promoting our projects to other podcasters and podcast app developers in particular.

Introducing paid Podlove Publisher Support

Hi, I’m Eric.

I’m the guy who started developing the Podlove Publisher plugin more than three years ago with this commit. A year later, Podlove started to get significant support by donations and crowdfunding — from you. As I am the one who got the biggest chunk of it: Thank you!

Today, more than three years after the Podlove Publisher project started, I’m still here. And I’m just as excited to get us through the Roadmap as on day one. We have plenty ideas for how to improve the Podlove Publisher. The main constraint is time.

My aim is to make working on the Publisher, or other projects in the Podlove universe, a sustainable endeavor for me. Ideally full-time. Today I am taking the first step in that direction. Let me explain what I have worked on recently:

Professional Support for Podlove Publisher

According to WordPress we reached over 1000 active installs. Woohoo! While user numbers increased, so did the time we have to spend in our support channels. We have high standards to the quality of support we provide, but time spent answering questions is also time spent not working on the plugin.

Starting today, we offer private, professional support at publisher.podlove.org/support. I set up a ticket system where you can ask questions and get help in a confidential environment. All conversations will only be shared between you and our Support Agents (a fancy term for “me”). As of right now, every support request will be handled by me, the plugin developer, directly. So no matter if your questions are technical or not, I will be able to help. The support interface is english only, but please feel free to speak german.

There are three tiers for different requirements:

Basic — 5€ per month and podcast is the entry package for hobbyists. You get full access to the support system and your questions will be answered.

Business — 15€ per month and podcast is for professional podcasters who need quicker responses. This package includes “Backend Support”. If you like, you can let us login directly into your WordPress to find bugs and misconfigurations quickly.

Premium — 55€ per month and network is like the Business package, but for professional podcasters who are using WordPress Multisite for podcasts, no matter how many.

On a side note, this is a great way to regularly support Podlove Publisher development. Especially if you stayed away from traditional donations because you don’t get an invoice. With Podlove Publisher Support, you receive a proper invoice and can book it as an expense.

Get great support while helping to sustain continued development of the Podlove Publisher.

What does this mean for the existing channels?

GitHub Issues, our main support channel until now, will just be the bug tracker in the future. Free public support will always be available in our Podlove Community.

Oh, and before I forget, the Podlove Publisher has a cozy new home at publisher.podlove.org.

If you have any thoughts or feedback, please let us know in the comments or on Twitter (@ericteubert or @podlove_org).

Podlove Publisher 2.1 is here

We have finally released Podlove Publisher 2.1. Despite it’s “minor” release number, it’s a packed release with more than 200 changes to the core.

We have already hinted at some of the new features but let’s give you an overview of the major milestones version 2.1 represents:

WordPress Multisite Support

As some of you might know, WordPress can be installed in a way that you can actually run multiple blogs with the same code base on one server. This is handy for everyone who needs to run more than one blog – or more than one podcast.

You can activate Podlove Publisher now system-wide and not only get support in each blog but you also get a network-wide dashboard, the ability to create “lists of podcasts” that can be used for overviews and a network-wide installation of Podlove Templates.

We see this as a feature for advanced users and blog administrators but we tried to keep it as easy to use as possible. This area will most probably be enhanced and evolved over time.

Podlove Widgets

WordPress has a simple system to put information in sidebars, footers etc. called widgets. The Podlove Publisher now adds a few Podlove-specific widgets to make it easy to display your podcasts logo and description, license information or invoke a Podlove template.

More template power

For the experienced user, Podlove templates are a powerful tool to enhance your website and create a consistent presentation of your podcast information. Release 2.1 contains various new accessors, direct support for the Podlove Subscribe Button and Flattr buttons and much more minor enhancements.

Other changes

There are more changes that might be of interest to you. There is also a fancy new dashboard widget telling you more about gender distribution in your podcast team.

To get the full list, move over to our Podlove Community where we you can discuss the new features and ask us questions about it. We are happy to answer and give you tips on how to make use of the new stuff that’s in 2.1.

Podlove Analytics

With little fanfare we released Podlove Publisher 2 a few weeks ago. While major version numbers usually bring a lot to brag about we kept it quiet because we wanted to be ready to adjust bugs that could have stemmed from a huge new feature: Podlove Analytics.

But it all worked so we should talk about it. Podlove Analytics brings you statistics about your podcast you always wanted. There is still work to be done so we have just started with what everybody was desperately looking for in the first place: download statistics.

Actually, we have brought tracking of download to Podlove Publisher a while ago. It silently sneaked in your Expert Settings and those who found it and enabled it have already started to collect information. With Podlove Publisher 2 you can now visualise the data in your blog.

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How to activate Analytics

In your admin interface, go to “Podlove -> Expert Settings -> Tracking” and enable the “Tracking URL Parameters & Analytics” setting. The day you switch that on, Podlove will start collecting information about downloads.

When tracking is enabled, you get a new menu called “Podlove -> Analytics”. After a day or so, you will get the first results and can start exploring how your podcast is downloaded.

Download Intents

What we actually track is something we call “Download Intents”. Podlove Publisher does not manage media file delivery so we do not have access to actual download log files. But when tracking is enabled, download links are routed via a redirect mechanism that starts counting when a client wants to access the file. This mechanism seems to work much better than we expected.

So while the user interface simply calls it “downloads”, it’s actually “download intents”. But our tests show that this seems to be in line with reality.

Interactive Visualizer

Right now, you can dive into download statistics for each episode. You look at the total downloads over time but you can also break it down by operating system, client used, download source (download via feed, web player or direct download), download context (which feed, which page etc.) or episode asset.

Please play around with the options and let us know what you find useful and interesting an in what way you want this to evolve.

Future Development

In the future, we will add geo information (which already gets collected) and we will further enhance the way you can break down numbers, compare averages, detect exceptions and how clients will be detected.

In addition to download statistics we will also tackle feed subscription statistics. This still needs some work as we need to research realities with feed proxys and statistics services (like FeedBurner or FeedPress) but it’s definitely on our list.