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Podcast Audio and Feed Changes on October 3rd

As most of my listeners seem to be a week or two behind releases of new episodes, I wanted to try to give advanced warning of some upcoming changes. None of these changes require any action on your part, they should be completely automatic and seamless except for the couple of hiccups mentioned below.

A week from tomorrow, on October 3rd, I am planning on completely my transition to using all Linux based tools for producing the podcast and for managing all of the associated feeds. Coincident with that I will also be canceling my Libsyn account for media hosting. Those changes means there will be two user visible effects, one temporary and one permanent, starting on that Sunday.

The temporary change will be that after the new episode hits the feed on the 3rd, you may see all the old episodes in your feed re-appear as if they are also new. This is an unavoidable consequence of having to change the URLs for all of the episode files in the feed. Once you clear this up with your client, you should not see this happen again with future episodes hitting the feed. I apologize for this disruption but it really is unavoidable and it should be fleeting. I will also be experimenting with using a free feature at Feedburner that might insulate the feeds against any further such changes to media URLs in the future (not that I am expecting any more moves).

The permanent change is that the chapter marks in the AAC, or enhanced, audio format will be going away. On the recommendation of listeners, I have been experimenting with faac, an excellent encoder for Linux that can do everything except the chapter marks. I will continue to encode in the AAC format for iTunes subscribers. Even though the AAC format is encumbered it is no worse than MP3 in that regard and it is not a bad trade off when it comes to compression vs. performance.

There should be no other noticeable changes in the feeds or the audio. You do not need to re-subscribe or change anything on your end.

The software I am using under Linux is all new to me, though, so if you happen to notice any glitches or issues with audio quality, let me know and I’ll do my best to address them as they arise.

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  1. Jason Penney says

    In case you are interested in keeping chapter support, you should be able to do it using the mp4chaps CLI tool from mp4v2. It also supports adding both the chaptering format used by QuickTime/iTunes, and the alternate format used by Nero on the same file.

    • Thomas Gideon says

      Kewl, I will check that out. I did some digging on the other formats when I wrote my new script, finding ways to add cover art to flac and Ogg Vorbis. I guess I should have invested at least as much time to looking again for AAC/MP4 chapter mark tooling. I’d be very happy if I could continue to offer the chapter marks, it would make me feel a little less sinful for offering yet another encumbered format for better reasons than just quality vs. compression performance.



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The Command Line by Thomas Gideon
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