Podlove Publisher 3.0

There’s movement in the Podlove world: We have a podcast! We decided to talk in German 🇩🇪 — so if that’s a language you understand, have a look at our Podlovers podcast.

Even if you don’t, it might still be interesting to have a look at the website. It’s powered by Podlove Publisher, but the website you see is not a WordPress theme. It’s a statically rendered site fed by the Publisher API. There’s a sticky Podlove Web Player 5 that continues playing when navigating between pages. We transcribe every episode: The transcript is connected to the web player, so you see what’s being said and you can click on a section in the transcript to jump to the audio section. Comments are integrated via Discourse, our community platform.

But let’s get to the main event:

The Podlove Publisher 3.0 Release.

First: Why 3.0? Because it’s a major rewrite and everything is different? No, nothing to worry. We follow semantic versioning. If you don’t know what that is: only major versions may include breaking changes.

I hear you saying: “Wait, Eric, you JUST said not to worry. Now what’s that with BREAKING changes?”

There’s a good chance the breaking changes won’t affect you. They’re about cutting off very outdated technology that gets more and more cumbersome to maintain as time goes on. Here’s the complete list:

  • requires PHP 7.0 (or newer)
  • requires WordPress 5.2 (or newer)
  • Web Player:
    • removes Podlove Web Player 2
    • removes Podlove Web Player 3
    • removes “insert player automatically” option (probably does not affect anyone as the web player is by default inserted via template)
    • removes “Chapters Visibility” option (use dedicated Web Player settings instead)

If you’re running an older PHP version, here’s a whole guide by WordPress on how to upgrade: Update PHP. If you’re running an older version of WordPress, well, you really need to upgrade, if only for security purposes.

If you’re still on Podlove Web Player 2 or 3, it’s time to make the jump to Podlove Web Player 5. It’s shiny, has its own configuration interface and there are guides if you’re looking for a deep dive. You’re going to love it!

Podlove Web Player 5

And that’s it! If your PHP and WordPress are up to date, you’re ready to upgrade.

What else is new?

The following shortcodes received a fresh default style: podlove-episode-contributor-list, podlove-podcast-contributor-list and podlove-episode-downloads. More importantly, the contributors list now has a variant dedicated for RSS feeds, so they look much nicer in podcatchers.

Publisher 3.0 includes the Publisher Plus module, an integration for a service I’m building at plus.podlove.org. Publisher PLUS is a Feed Proxy, which takes care of your RSS feed. With a Feed Proxy you can receive detailed subscriber statistics. And when your podcast gets more popular (yay!), you don’t need to worry about performance issues serving your feed, because Publisher PLUS takes care of that. PLUS is currently in beta but I hope to open it up to the public soon. Once it’s live, there are plenty of ideas for more features that make your life as a podcaster easier and more enjoyable that are hard or impossible todo within the confines of WordPress.

We’ve worked on a Shownotes module that is not yet where we want it to be, but decided to include it into the release anyway. If you’re curious, have a look at the changelog, which includes more details on how to enable and use it.

Finally, there’s a long tail of tweaks and fixes and I encourage you to read the changelog for a complete list.

From a developers perspective, this release feels like a spring clean. Bumping the PHP requirement means I can update many libraries I depend on and clean up code. Speaking of which, the whole source code is formatted following the PSR-2 style guide now, and an auto-format script is in place to keep it that way.

All in all, a big release. Not feature-wise but spiritually. Working with an 8-year-old, growing codebase is tough, but occasional cleanup-releases like this make it possible to keep up the maintenance and feature development. I wish you a problem-free upgrade and look forward to upcoming releases.

Podlove Publisher 2.8

Oh yes, it’s been a while since the last release and of course we have our reasons. But development never stopped and Podlove Publisher 2.8 is out (see this link for a more technical summary of what’s new).

This time we are adding a few incremental updates to our Analytics section and and one bold new feature: transcripts.

Transcripts are coming

Transcripts are an incredibly desirable thing to have for podcasts: they allow searching for specific parts, increase searchability by search sites when presented properly and they increase the accessibility of audio content significantly too.

However, transcripts have been considerably difficult to be created and used. Manually created transcripts are costly in terms of time and money and even if you spend the money there has been a lack of technical standards for storing and integrating transcripts into websites in a defined way.

This is now slowly changing: more and more automated speech-to-text systems are becoming available at reasonable costs and they are creating ever better transcripts with more and more languages being supported.

Still, automatic transcripts trail manually created transcripts in terms of accuracy, punctuation and so on but they are increasingly useful when they are primarily used for improving search results or helping you with your internal research when trying to find content in your older episodes.

New services are also coming up to deal with these problems by allowing users to quickly build on automatic transcripts and improve them manually in an assisted fashion. We will soon see a landscape of tools and services that will make creating transcripts easy and cheap enough for more and more podcasters so it’s time to come up with a good integration.

Last but not least, the WebVTT file format has become a de-facto common denominator for passing transcripts along, supporting time codes, speaker identification and a rudimentary set of meta data. While not perfect it’s enough to get a transcript infrastructure up and running and Podlove is leading the way.

Podlove Publisher 2.8 is helping with transcripts in multiple ways:

  • Importing transcripts via WebVTT
  • Support for transcript assets
  • Backend allows assigning speaker identification to Podlove contributors
  • Complete access to the full transcript information line by line via Podlove templates
  • Integration of transcript in the Podlove Web Player

This means you can now leverage any kind of transcript source as long as the transcript file structure can be converted to (or is already stored in) WebVTT.

You can then use the embedded WebVTT speaker information to assigned certain speakers to Podlove contributors.

This allows the transcript to be presented in an exciting way using the Podlove Web Player. The transcript is not only fitted right into a tab of the player, it is also scrolling along while the podcast is playing, highlighting the current phrases.

Fg transcript

You can also interactively select certain parts of the transcript and make the Podlove Web Player jump right to it. In addition to that you can actually search in the transcript right from within the Podlove Web Player and find all occurrences of a certain phrase (and jump to it).

Once you have upgraded to Podlove Publisher 2.8, just enable the new transcripts module and you can explore your new transcription-decorated podcast home.

We are seeing many opportunities on how to advance the use of transcripts even further in the future and we hope to be able to deliver more exciting stuff in upcoming releases.

Global Analytics

While we haven’t added much to the way Podlove Analytics work we have added some global information in addition to the per-episode information be have provided so far:

  • downloads per month
  • top episodes
  • episode asset
  • podcast client
  • operating system
  • download source

This should help you getting a better view of what’s going on with your podcast. We are hoping to provide more flexiblity for how to present more and more detailed information on a global level but we are heavily limited by WordPress in this area and have to come up with a trick or two to achieve this.

For those who want to do their own analytics, we now provide the raw data in CSV format so that you can throw it whatever tool suits you the best in order to find the information you need. If you come up with nice ways of looking at things that you would like to see built right into Podlove Publisher, let us know.

Podlove Web Player 4

And oh of course, Podlove Publisher 2.8 comes with Podlove Web Player 4. That’s no big news as this version has been shining on the web and has been supported by previous versions of the Publiserh already. But A LOT of things have changed under the hood and we are going to make use of more of these hidden features in the future. Transcripts are just the beginning.

Podlove and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR/DSGVO)

The web is all abuzz about the deadline for the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, also known as DSGVO in Germany). For those who are concerned about how Podlove adds to your mix, we have updated our documentation with a summary of what kind of personal information Podlove software and services store (spoiler: not much).

Feel free to link to this page or copy text from it for your own data protection declaration. Information is provided in English and German so far.

Podlove Publisher 2.7

We know it’s been a while since our last update but we needed to sort things out for the next incremental release of our podcast publishing platform. But here it is: Podlove Publisher 2.7 is now available for download and we encourage everybody to move forward to this new version of our sophisticated plugin as it brings some new features and a few of nice additions and general code improvements.

Along with this release, more Podlove stuff has changed. There are going to be a few more blog posts about this, covering the Podlove Web Player and an outlook of what we are working on for future versions of Podlove Publisher.

So for now, let’s have a look what’s new in Podlove Publisher 2.7.


For a long time people have been asking for a way to publish more than one podcast with a single WordPress installation using Podlove Publisher.

However, we were reluctant to make additions because this feature was already here: you can switch your WordPress installation to a WP Multisite installation and have several independent but still interconnected blogs where each can host a separate podcast. Podlove Publisher is 100% WP Multisite compatible and provides a network-wide control panel with network-wide templates and allows you to create groups of podcasts for overview pages.

But many feared the added complexity or the work to move to WP Multisite. Others just wanted something more subtle where separate shows would be more considered to be part of the same podcast. In general, these boundaries are fluid and many people wanted slightly different things or had a different approach to what they consider to be a part of what. That made things complicated when thinking about a solution to break up a single podcast into multiple components.

Adding to the complexity is the fact that we also wanted to keep things easy. “Easy” is not only about the user interface but about underlying concepts like Podlove Templates. Each added complexity needs to be addressed on all levels and thus we needed to be careful.

Introducing Shows

So what are shows, then? Shows are a selection of your podcast episodes that are grouped together and can be syndicated through a separate podcast feed. The main podcast feed still exists and syndicates all episodes as before.

Every episode can only be assigned to a single show. In that regard it does work differently from categories where multiple categories can be assigned to a single episode.

What a “show” means is mostly defined by you. You might have a podcast where each podcast is produced in a different language, so each show represents a single language. Or you just want to produce different formats in a single podcast: a magazine, an interview, music or whatever you feel like. So shows are useful to publish related content where some episodes are of interest to a selected group of people.

To add shows to your podcast, enable the Shows module and then create an entry for each show in the Podlove → Shows menu. You can optionally assign a podcast image for each show.

We recommend not using Shows together with our Seasons module as these conceptionally overlap and it might produce weird effects.

Also, when your shows are so distinct from each other that you basically address totally separate audiences and have hugely different meta data, you should still consider using our multisite feature. Multisites are much better suited to the idea of a podcast network.

iOS 11 meta data

After a long silence, Apple has finally changed and extended their specification of the iTunes Feed Extensions initially brought up around ten years ago. Some features have been retired: keywords are no longer used (as they haven’t proven to be really useful – their retirement actually happened two years ago) and they have fundamentally changed their approach to using subtitles.


This kind of a bummer for us as we still think subtitles are a great idea. We have been promoting subtitles on all levels throughout the Publisher since the beginning (for the podcast, episodes and other entitites). We still do as we are not buying into Apple’s new thinking around this.

We understand their motives however: many podcasters did not embrace the idea of subtitles. Many of them are just left empty or just replicate information provided in the summary field. So Apple decided to drop the subtitles and just use titles and summaries in their iTunes and Podcast apps on Mac, Windows and iOS.

But that doesn’t mean subtitles are no longer useful. First, most other podcast clients still use these and they are really, really useful for episode archives and podcast directories (among other things). So we keep things as they are. If you only care about iTunes (you shouldn’t), you can just ignore them (right now, there is no way to turn them off in the user interface).

Episode Numbering

Apple has also come up with a new approach to episode numbering. The idea of adding actual numbering metadata is good as it is common practice to enumerate episodes when publishing podcasts. Episode numbers are easy to remember and to refer to. It also enables podcast clients to order podcasts along some other data than just post dates.

Apple’s solution has some shortcomings though: numbering starts with 1 (many podcasts start with a “number zero” episode to intially address the audience before the “real” content starts) and it does have no way to number intermediate episodes. The spec also does not tell much about how duplicate numbering should be addressed.

We have added a migration tool to extract episode numbers from your existing podcast titles if you want to use episode numbers. We have also added the concept of a podcast mnemonic (a short abbreviation of your podcast name) that can be added automatically to your podcast titles if you want to.

But you can also leave things as they are as we think the traditional method of podcast numbering by including episode numbers (and mnemonics) in the episode title is still good practice and makes it easier for people to refer to your episodes. Choose your poison.

Podcast Type

The new spec also defines Podcast Types. So far, two types have been defined: “episodic” and “serial”. The first is how things have been until now. A “serial” type communicates the fact that your episodes are meant to be in full, starting with the beginning, as each new episode builds on top of the last. If your podcast is of that sort, you can now choose this type in Podcast Settings.

iTunes and the iOS Podcast app presents the first episode as the first to listen to when you go for the “serial” type. If you also use Seasons, new subscribers will be shown the first episode of the latest season.

Episode Type

There is also a new episode type to be chosen. Apple defines “full”, “trailer” and “bonus”. The idea is that “full” episodes are the “real” content and trailers are basically introductions to upcoming episodes. The spec is a bit loose at this point as these concepts are not thoroughly explained, so it’s just a guess how episode numbering should work in combination with these types.

It needs to be seen how these concepts will be adopted, which might or might not lead to other tweaks in the Podlove Publisher.

Podlove Template Changes

Various smaller changes have been made to the Podlove Template system, mostly to address the new meta data for the new iTunes Podcast Extensions as described above.

You can also now fetch the current number of downloads of an episode and display it on your web page by using the `episode.total_downloads` identifier.

For details on all the changes to the template system, refer to the
Publisher 2.7 Release Notes.

Podlove Web Player 4

We have been shipping our new Podlove Web Player 4 in a beta version for a while now, so this is not big news for you. We are going to explain all the great things that are in this all-new player in a separate blog post later on.

The Podlove Web Player 4 is now out of beta and it is now the default web player for new installations of Podlove Publisher. If you want to use the new player (you should!), you can enable it in the Podlove → Podcast Settings → Web Player tab.

Podlove CDN

The Podlove CDN (for content delivery network) used to be only for the Podlove Subscribe Button but is now more widely used by the Podlove Publisher.

You can now have the new Podlove Web Player 4 be delivered via CDN (again, this is an option you need to tick). Apart from faster load times, this enables automatic feature updates as the CDN will always deliver the latest and greatest version of our new player that is under constant development and is going to bring new features and bug fixes automatically.

If the CDN is not available, there is always a backup player that can be delivered by the Publisher if needed.

The Podlove CDN is just a name, the actual CDN behind this is KeyCDN which provides free hosting for open source projects like Podlove.

Thanks again to Podigee which has provided the resources for Podlove CDN up until recently. Podigee provides easy podcast hosting and is compatible with Podlove specifications and the Podlove Subscribe Button.

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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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:


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


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:


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:


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.


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 ????!


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.