Do RSS Clouds Matter For Podcasting?Sep 28th, 2009 | By James Lewin | Category: How to Podcast, Podcast Distribution, Podcasting, Podcasting Software
Dave Winer, the author of the RSS 2.0 specification on which podcast feeds are based, is working on a new project, to bootstrap real-time podcast feeds:
We’re trying to bootstrap a network of realtime feeds, and it’s going pretty well so far. Podcasts are implemented with RSS too, and while we have excellent examples of realtime photo feeds, we don’t yet have a realtime feed with audio.
So a week or so ago I started exploring options, and thought I’d use the Grateful Dead again, until JY suggested using a fast-updating audio feed from the Internet Archive. I took one look and realized this was it. It took a bit of a coding to check it periodically to see if it has updated, add a cloud element and notify one of my cloud servers. Now it’s done.
So if you’re working on podcatching software give it a try.
Winer summarizes how how RSS Clouds work like this:
- The authoring tool. I edit and update a feed. It contains a <cloud> element that says how a subscriber should request to notification of updates.
- The cloud. It is notified of an update, and then in turn notifies all subscribers.
- The subscriber. A feed reader, aggregator, whatever — that subscribes to feeds that may or may not be part of a cloud.
In other words:
- You update your podcast and your content management software notifies a cloud.
- The cloud notifies subscribers that your podcast has been updated.
- Subscribers then connect to your site and download your updated.
One of the key ideas of RSS Clouds is to faciliate real-time notifications. It’s easy to understand how this would be useful for news updates.
It’s not clear, though, if this will offer compelling benefits for podcast listeners, since many people sync once a day at most.
What do you think? Do RSS Clouds matter for podcasting?