Working with iTunes

Making a Podcast

How to Submit a Podcast

Podcasting on the iTunes Store requires several steps:

  1. Create your first episode, which can be an audio or video recording or a text document. Podcasts can be in the M4A, MP3, MOV, MP4, M4V, PDF and EPUB file formats.
  2. Create an RSS feed (an XML file) that:
  3. Create your cover art, which must be a JPEG or PNG file in the RGB colour space with a minimum size of 600 by 600 pixels. For best results, and to be considered for promotion in the iTunes Store or the Podcasts app, cover art must be at least 1400 by 1400 pixels.
  4. Post the RSS feed, cover art and your episodes on a server that supports byte-range requests and a publicly accessible URL. Support for byte-range requests allows users to stream your episodes.
  5. In iTunes, submit your RSS podcast feed URL to the iTunes Store.

Creating Podcast Feeds and Metadata

There are a number of applications and online services that will help you create the XML for the RSS feed of your podcast. The easiest way to create your XML document is by using a text editor. Refer to those services or other documentation for the details of creating an RSS feed.

Additionally, we recommend that you:

  1. Pay close attention to the title, author and description tags at the <channel> and <item> level of your podcast feed. The iTunes Store uses these fields for search. The metadata for your podcast, along with your cover art, is your product packaging and may affect whether your podcast shows up in relevant searches, and how likely users are to subscribe to it.
  2. Make your title specific. A podcast called ‘Our Community Bulletin’ is too vague to attract many subscribers, no matter how compelling the content.
  3. Take advantage of the <itunes:summary> tag. The <itunes:summary> tag (or the <description> tag if <itunes:summary> is not present) allows you to inform users about your podcast. Describe your subject matter, media format, episode schedule and other relevant information. In addition, make a list of the most relevant search terms for your podcast and build them into your description. Note that the iTunes Store removes podcasts that include irrelevant words in the <itunes:summary> or <description> tags.
  4. Be sure to include a valid <itunes:category> tag. Podcasts that have an assigned category can appear in more places on the iTunes Store and are therefore more likely to be found by users. Your category should be in English in the XML of your feed, but will be localised on the iTunes Store.
  5. Pick a reliable web host. Podcasters sometimes create a feed and then find that their ability to move or edit the feed later is limited by the web host they have chosen. To avoid this, make sure your podcast is hosted on a website where you are in control.
  6. Create cover art for your podcast that still works well when scaled down to thumbnail size. Before you create your podcast cover art, review the Top Podcasts section in the Podcasts app or in the iTunes Store for examples of compelling cover art. To be eligible for featured placement on the iTunes Store and the Podcasts app for iOS, cover art must be a 1400-by-1400-pixel JPEG or PNG file in the RGB colour space. You can also use specific images for individual episodes.
  7. Enclose all portions of your XML that contain embedded links in a CDATA section to prevent display issues and to ensure proper link functionality in the Podcasts app. For example:

    <itunes:summary><![CDATA[<a href="http://www.apple.com">Apple</a>]]></itunes:summary>

Understanding the iOS Podcasts app, iTunes and the iTunes Store

The Podcasts app for iOS, iTunes and the iTunes Store work together, but each serves a different function.

The Podcasts app allows users to subscribe or listen to podcasts on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

iTunes allows users to obtain and enjoy podcasts as well as movies, music, apps and books on their Mac or PC.

The iTunes Store allows you to submit your RSS podcast feeds.

For more information about podcasts on the Podcasts app for iOS, iTunes and the iTunes Store, see the FAQ for Podcast Makers and FAQ for Podcast Fans.

Testing Your Feed

After you have created your RSS feed and posted it to a server with a publicly addressable URL (the URL must not be behind a firewall), you should test your feed. You should only submit your RSS podcast feed to the iTunes Store after you have successfully tested it.

To test your RSS podcast feed:

  1. Open iTunes
  2. From the File menu, choose Subscribe to Podcast
  3. Enter your podcast feed URL in the text box and click OK.

If you can successfully download and play the episode in iTunes, then your feed is working and you can submit it to the iTunes Store.

For text-based podcasts, use iBooks for iOS or Mac to view your PDF or EPUB files and ensure that they display properly.

To diagnose problems with your feed, we recommend that you use a third-party feed validation service, such as Feed Validator.

Submitting Your Podcast Feed to the iTunes Store

After you have successfully tested your podcast feed, submit your RSS podcast feed URL to the iTunes Store by clicking Submit a Podcast in the Podcast Quick Links of the Podcasts section. An Apple ID is required.

If you have created an RSS podcast feed with all of the recommended tags for the iTunes Store, you will see a summary page immediately after you submit your feed URL. If you have not included <language>, <itunes:category> and <itunes:explicit> tags in your feed, you will be asked for this information.

You can change this information at any time by including updated tags in your feed. The information displayed in the iTunes Store about your podcast is based on your current RSS podcast feed. Changes to your RSS feed can take up to 24 hours to be reflected in the iTunes Store.

Submission Errors and Duplicate Feeds

Test your podcast feed URL before you submit it to the iTunes Store.

You will receive an error when submitting to the iTunes Store unless:

– Your cover art is a JPEG or PNG file in the RGB colour space with a minimum size of 600 by 600 pixels. (For best results, and to be considered for promotion in the iTunes Store or the Podcasts app, cover art must be at least 1400 by 1400 pixels.)

– All podcast episodes include an <enclosure> tag pointing to valid media.

When you submit your RSS podcast feed URL, you may see an error indicating that the feed has already been submitted  This can happen if someone has already submitted:

- The same feed URL

- A feed with the same <title> and <link> fields.

To resolve any issues related to duplicate feeds, check to see if your podcast already exists in the iTunes Store, then:

- If your podcast is already listed in the iTunes Store and you control the RSS podcast feed, edit your feed to modify the information displayed in the iTunes Store about your podcast.

- If your podcast is already listed in the iTunes Store and you do not control the RSS podcast feed, contact the owner of the feed. Contact information may be available in the XML of the RSS podcast feed. If you need additional help, contact us.

If your podcast is not already in the iTunes Store, the podcast has been removed from the iTunes Store but still exists in the iTunes database. To reactivate the podcast, contact us with the Apple ID you used when you submitted your RSS podcast feed URL.

If you need additional assistance, contact us.

Submission Queues

After submitting your podcast to the iTunes Store, it will be reviewed and must be approved by Apple. Podcasts with technical problems, such as missing episodes or an incorrect RSS podcast feed URL, will be rejected. These problems can almost always be avoided by testing your podcast feed prior to submission.

Podcasts and their associated content must not contain any of the following:

– Password protection

– Use of explicit language in the podcast when the <explicit> tag is not set to ‘yes’

- Explicit or self-censored explicit language in podcast titles, subtitles or descriptions

– References to illegal drugs, profanity or violence in the title, description or cover art

– Images or language that could be construed as racist, misogynist or homophobic

– Images depicting sex, violence, gore, illegal drugs or hate themes

– Third-party trademarks without authorisation or usage rights

– The words ‘iTunes Store’, ‘iTunes’ or ‘Apple Inc.’

– The iTunes Store logo or Apple logo, or the term ‘Exclusive’, without prior authorisation from Apple

General comments about your podcast should be included in the podcast description, not in episode descriptions.

If your podcast is approved, you will be sent an email containing a link to your podcast. This podcast link will be live on the iTunes Store shortly after this email is sent. Your podcast will not become searchable in the iTunes Store until it is indexed, which may take up to 24 hours.

Linking to Your Podcast

If your podcast is approved by Apple, users will be able find it in the iTunes Store by searching for it or by browsing. You can also link directly to your podcasts and share them on your website, by email or with social media. There are two ways to create a link to your podcast:

iTunes Link Maker: With iTunes Link Maker, you can create links to your podcast in the iTunes Store and other content on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store and Mac App Store, and then share those links on social media or your own website.

When you join the Affiliate Program and link to any content (paid or free) on the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store and iBooks Store, you can earn commissions on sales that users make for up to 24 hours after clicking your link.

Affiliate links can be shared on social media or included in your podcast or episode descriptions or subtitles to recommend or promote any content in the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store and iBooks Store.

Direct Subscribe Link: Links in the following format allow users to automatically subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

itpc://FEEDURL

This method requires that Windows users have iTunes installed, so it should be clearly noted that the link is intended for subscription with iTunes.

This does not increase your visibility on the iTunes Store or allow you to earn commission as part of the Affiliate Program.

Adding Episodes

When you create a new podcast episode, you should add a new <item> section to your RSS podcast feed. The order in which the episodes appear is based on the <pubDate> for each item, with the most recent episodes appearing at the top of the list. You can override the <pubDate> using the <itunes:order> tag. Podcasts will be listed on the iTunes Store up to 24 hours after you add them to your RSS podcast feed.

Troubleshooting Your RSS Podcast Feed

If new episodes have not appeared on the iTunes Store within 24 hours after updating your RSS podcast feed, we recommend that you:

– Review the technical specifications, particularly the example feed, to ensure that every detail of your podcast feed XML is supported by the iTunes Store

– Validate your RSS podcast feed to diagnose any syntax problems with your feed. You can use feed validation tools, such as Feed Validator

– Ensure that the settings of your podcast-creating software and your web host are correct and comply with iTunes Store requirements. For additional information, see the iTunes Formatting section below

- Ensure the missing episodes do not include an <itunes:block> tag

- Subscribe to the RSS podcast feed in iTunes to see if it works. Open iTunes, choose File > Subscribe to Podcast and enter your RSS podcast feed URL.

Removing or Blocking Your RSS Podcast Feed

To request that your podcast be removed from the iTunes Store:

  1. Sign in to the iTunes Store using your Apple ID
  2. Find and select your podcast
  3. Click Report a Concern
  4. Choose Remove a Podcast from the Choose a Reason menu
  5. Provide details why you want the podcast removed.

If you only want to remove your feed temporarily, you can use the <itunes:block> tag described in the iTunes RSS Tags section below.

Changing Your RSS Podcast Feed URL

You can move your podcast feed from one location to another. To avoid losing subscribers, you must announce the change directly to all users who are subscribed to your feed. To do so, you should:

  • – Use the <itunes:new-feed-url> tag described in the iTunes RSS Tags section below
  • – Set your web server to return an HTTP 301 redirect response when receiving a request for the old feed.

This will update the iTunes Store with the new feed URL and your subscribers will continue to receive new episodes automatically. Be sure to maintain the <itunes:new-feed-url> tag and the HTTP 301 redirect for at least four weeks to ensure that most subscribers have attempted to download your most recent episode and have thereby received the new URL.

If you need additional help, contact us. Include the iTunes Store link to your podcast, which you can get by clicking the triangle next to your podcast’s Subscribe button in the iTunes Store.

Featuring in the Podcasts app for iOS and in the iTunes Store

Apple periodically features podcasts in the iTunes Store that have compelling, new or unusual content. The following elements can give your podcast a chance of being featured:

  • – Attractive, original cover art that does not include Apple-branded content. Include a 1400-by-1400-pixel JPEG or PNG file in the RGB colour space for your cover art to be eligible for promotion.
  • – A robust and accurate description for the podcast and all related episodes
  • – A clear and complete author listing
  • – Proper tags regarding language, category, and explicit language or content
  • – New episodes being posted regularly

The cover art and all podcast elements must be original and cannot contain any of the following:

  • – Pixellation, artefacts, high-contrast background art, blurry or hard crops (unless stylistic) or other style issues
  • – References to illegal drugs, profanity or violence in the title, description or cover art
  • – Images or language that could be construed as racist, misogynist or homophobic
  • – Images depicting sex, violence, gore, illegal drugs or hate themes
  • – Third-party trademarks without authorisation or usage rights
  • – The words ‘iTunes Store’, ‘iTunes’ or ‘Apple Inc.’
  • – The iTunes Store logo or Apple logo, or the term ‘Exclusive’, without prior authorisation from Apple
  • – Any visual representation of iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or any other Apple hardware

Note that even with the above elements, promotion is not guaranteed.

Tracking Usage

Apple does not provide support for third-party podcast analytics, but the following notes may be helpful when implementing analytics on your server or with your web host:

  • HTTP 302 responses will be followed to a depth of up to five redirects and will not update the feed URL in the directory.
  • The URL preceding GET-style form values (before the first ‘?’) must end in a media file extension (such as .mp3).
    • Correct

      http://www.podcaster.com/load.mp3?f=&Wipeout.mp3

    • Incorrect

      http://www.podcaster.com/load.php?f=&Wipeout.php

You may need to work with your web host or server administrator to configure the hosting web server appropriately.

Formatting Video for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV

For best results, review the supported video formats for the current iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV.

Example RSS Podcast Feed

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<rss xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd" version="2.0">

<channel>

<title>All About Everything</title>

<link>http://www.example.com/podcasts/everything/index.html</link>

<language>en-MY</language>

<copyright>&#x2117; &amp; &#xA9; 2014 John Smith &amp; Family</copyright>

<itunes:subtitle>A program about everything</itunes:subtitle>

<itunes:author>John Smith</itunes:author>

<itunes:summary>All About Everything is a program about everything. Each week we dive into any subject known to man and talk about it as much as we can. Look for our podcast in the Podcasts app or in the iTunes Store</itunes:summary>

<description>All About Everything is a program about everything. Each week we dive into any subject known to man and talk about it as much as we can. Look for our podcast on the Podcasts app or in the iTunes Store</description>

<itunes:owner>

<itunes:name>John Smith</itunes:name>

<itunes:email>john.smith@example.com</itunes:email>

</itunes:owner>

<itunes:image href="http://example.com/podcasts/everything/AllAbout Everything.jpg" />

<itunes:category text="Technology">

<itunes:category text="Gadgets"/>

</itunes:category>

<itunes:category text="TV &amp; Film"/>

<item>

<title>Shake Shake Shake Your Spices</title>

<itunes:author>John Smith</itunes:author>

<itunes:subtitle>A short introduction to table spices</itunes:subtitle>

<itunes:summary><![CDATA[This week we talk about <a href="https://itunes/apple.com/us/book/antique-trader-salt-pepper/id429691295?mt=11">salt and pepper shakers</a>, comparing and contrasting pour rates, construction materials and overall aesthetics. Come and join the party!]]</itunes:summary>

<itunes:image href="http://example.com/podcasts/everything/AllAbout Everything/Episode1.jpg" />

<enclosure url="http://example.com/podcasts/everything/AllAboutEverythingEpisode3.m4a" length="8727310" type="audio/x-m4a" />

<guid>http://example.com/podcasts/archive/aae20140615.m4a</guid>

<pubDate>Wed, 15 Jun 2014 19:00:00 GMT</pubDate>

<itunes:duration>7:04</itunes:duration>

</item>

<item>

<title>Ratchet Shootout</title>

<itunes:author>Jane Smith</itunes:author>

<itunes:subtitle>Comparing ratchets is fun!</itunes:subtitle>

<itunes:summary>This week we talk about metric versus Old English socket wrenches. Which one is better? Do you really need both? Get all of your answers here.</itunes:summary>

<itunes:image href="http://example.com/podcasts/everything/AllAboutEverything/Episode2.jpg" />

<enclosure url="http://example.com/podcasts/everything/AllAboutEverythingEpisode2.mp3" length="5650889" type="audio/mpeg" />

<guid>http://example.com/podcasts/archive/aae20140608.mp3</guid>

<pubDate>Wed, 8 Jun 2014 19:00:00 GMT<pubDate>

<itunes:duration>4:34</itunes:duration>

</item>

<item>

<title>Put a cork in that whine!</title>

<itunes:author>Various</itunes:author>

<itunes:subtitle>Red + White != Rosy</itunes:subtitle>

<itunes:summary>This week we talk about wine snobs and what they complain about. </itunes:summary>

<itunes:image href="http://example.com/podcasts/everything/AllAboutEverything/Episode3.jpg" />

<enclosure url="http://example.com/podcasts/everything/AllAboutEverythingEpisode1.mp3" length="498537" type="audio/mpeg" />

<guid>http://example.com/podcasts/archive/aae20140601.mp3</guid>

<pubDate>Wed, 1 Jun 2014 19:00:00 GMT</pubDate>

<itunes:duration>3:59</itunes:duration>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

RSS Tags for Podcasts on the iTunes Store

The iTunes Store accepts RSS 2.0 tags as well as some additional tags specific to the iTunes Store. Additional tags are not required, but are recommended for possible featured placement in the Podcasts app for iOS and the iTunes Store.

Defining Tags for Podcasts on the iTunes Store

When using tags specific to the iTunes Store, you must add the following namespace declaration as the second line in your feed XML:

<rss xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd" version="2.0">

The namespace declaration points to a document that defines the iTunes Store tags. Without this declaration, all tags specific to the iTunes Store will be ignored. Note that the namespace definition is case sensitive, and must be entered as shown.

Text Encoding

Use plain text UTF-8 encoding for your podcast feed (no markup or HTML, except as described below).

Tag values are limited to 255 characters, except for <itunes:summary>, which can be up to 4,000 characters. Don’t add leading or trailing spaces to your values.

Enclose all portions of your XML that contain embedded links in a CDATA section to prevent formatting issues, and to ensure proper link functionality in the Podcasts app. For example:

<itunes:summary><![CDATA[<a href=“http://www.apple.com”>Apple</a>]]></itunes:summary>

Use and Display of Common Tags in Channel and Item Sections

The following table shows which tags apply to <channel> elements (which relate to the podcast as a whole), which tags apply to individual <item> elements (which are specific to a given episode), and where the tag contents appear in iTunes:
XML tag Channel Item Location of content in iTunes/Notes
<title> Y Y Name column
<link> Y   Website link and arrow in Name column
<copyright> Y   Not visible
<pubDate>   Y Release Date column
<itunes:author> Y Y Artist column
<itunes:block> Y Y Prevent an episode or podcast from appearing
<itunes:category> Y   Category column and in iTunes Store Browse
<itunes:image> Y Y Same location as album art
<itunes:duration>   Y Time column
<itunes:explicit> Y Y Parental advisory graphic in Name column
<itunes:isClosedCaptioned> Y Closed Caption graphic in Name column
<itunes:order> Y Override the order of episodes on the store
<itunes:complete> Y Indicates podcast complete; no more episodes
<itunes:new-feed-url> Y Not visible, reports new feed URL to iTunes
<itunes:owner> Y Not visible, used for contact only
<itunes:subtitle> Y Y Description column
<itunes:summary> Y Y When the ‘circled i’ icon in the Description column is clicked

<enclosure>

The <enclosure> tag has three attributes: URL, length and type. An enclosure from the example feed above is:

<enclosure

url="http://example.com/podcasts/everything/AllAboutEverythingEpisode2.mp3" length="5650889" type=“audio/mpeg"/>

The URL attribute points to the podcast content. The file extension specified within the URL attribute determines whether that content will appear in the podcast directory. Supported file formats include M4A, MP3, MOV, MP4, M4V, PDF and EPUB.

The length attribute is the file size in bytes. Find this information in the properties of your podcast file (on a Mac, choose Get Info from the File menu and refer to the size row).

The type attribute provides the correct category for the type of file you are using. The type values for supported file formats are as follows:

File Type
MP3 audio/mpeg
M4A audio/x-m4a
MP4 video/mp4
M4V video/x-m4v
MOV video/quicktime
PDF application/pdf
EPUB document/x-epub

<guid>

Every <item> (episode) should have a permanent, case-sensitive GUID (Globally Unique Identifier). When you add episodes to your RSS podcast feed, GUIDs are compared in case-sensitive fashion to determine which episodes are new. If you don’t add the GUID for an episode, the episode URL will be used instead.

The GUID should be assigned to an episode only once and should never change. Assigning new GUIDs to existing episodes may cause issues with your podcast’s listing and chart placement in the iTunes Store.

<pubDate>

This tag specifies the date and time when an episode was released. The format for the content should be per RFC 2822, for example:

Wed, 15 Jun 2014 19:00:00 GMT

<itunes:author>

The content of this tag is shown in the Artist column in iTunes. If the <itunes:author> tag is not present, iTunes uses the contents of the <author> tag. If <itunes:author> is not present at the RSS podcast feed level, iTunes will use the contents of <managingEditor>.

<itunes:block>

If the <itunes:block> tag is present and populated with the ‘yes’ value inside a <channel> (podcast) element, it will prevent the entire podcast from appearing in the iTunes Store podcast directory.

If the <itunes:block> tag is present and populated with the ‘yes’ value inside an <item> (episode) element, it will prevent that episode from appearing in the iTunes Store podcast directory. For example, you may want to block a specific episode if you know that its content would otherwise cause the entire podcast to be removed from the iTunes Store.

If the <itunes:block> tag is populated with any other value, it will have no effect.

<itunes:category>

Users can browse podcast subject categories on iTunes using one of two methods:

- Click Browse under Features at the bottom of the iTunes Store window to open a text-based table

- Choose a category from the Podcasts pop-up menu in the navigation bar, which leads to pages that include the podcast art.

Within the older, text-based browsing system, podcast feeds may list up to three category and subcategory pairs. (For example, ‘Music’ counts as one of the three items, as does ‘Business > Careers’.)

Use an initial <itunes:category> tag to specify the browsing category, and a nested <itunes:category> tag to specify the browsing subcategory.

Within the newer browsing system based on Category links, including the Top Podcasts and Top Episodes lists, only the first category listed in the feed will be recognised. A complete list of categories and subcategories is included at the end of this document.

Be sure to properly escape ampersands as shown below.

Examples:

Single category:
<itunes:category text="Music" />

Category with ampersand:
<itunes:category text="TV &amp; Film" />

Category with subcategory:
<itunes:category text="Society &amp; Culture">
<itunes:category text="History" /></itunes:category>

Entry with multiple categories:
<itunes:category text="Society &amp; Culture">
<itunes:category text="History" /></itunes:category><itunes:category text="Technology"><itunes:category text="Gadgets" /></itunes:category>

<itunes:image>

The <itunes:image> tag points to the artwork for your podcast via the URL specified in the <a href> attribute.

Cover art must be a JPEG or PNG file in the RGB colour space at a minimum size of 600 by 600 pixels. For best results, and to be considered for promotion in the iTunes Store or the Podcasts app for iOS, cover art must be at least 1400 by 1400 pixels. Note that these requirements are different from the standard RSS image tag specifications.

Potential subscribers will see your cover art in varying sizes depending on the device they’re using. Make sure your design is effective at both its original size and at thumbnail size.

If the <itunes:image> tag is not present, iTunes will use the content of the RSS image tag, but your podcast will not be considered for a potential feature placement in the Podcasts app and the iTunes Store.

We recommend including a title, brand or source name as part of your cover art. For examples of cover art, see the Top Podcasts section in the Podcasts app or the iTunes Store.

If you update the cover art for your podcast, be sure to avoid technical issues by doing the following:

- Change the cover art file name and URL at the same time

- Verify the web server hosting your cover art allows HTTP head requests.

The <itunes:image> tag is also supported at the <item> (episode) level.

For best results, we also recommend embedding the same cover art within the metadata for that episode’s media file prior to uploading to your host server. You may need to edit your media file via Garageband or another content-creation tool to do so.

<itunes:duration>

The content of the <itunes:duration> tag is shown in the Time column in the List View on iTunes.

The value provided for this tag can be formatted as HH:MM:SS, H:MM:SS, MM:SS, or M:SS, where H = hours, M = minutes, S = seconds. If a single number is provided as a value (no colons are used), the value is assumed to be in seconds. If one colon is present, the number to the left is assumed to be minutes, and the number to the right is assumed to be seconds. If more than two colons are present, the numbers farthest to the right are ignored.

<itunes:explicit>

The <itunes:explicit> tag indicates whether your podcast contains explicit material. The two values for this tag are ‘yes’ and ‘clean’.

If you populate this tag with the ‘yes’ value, indicating the presence of explicit content, an ‘explicit’ parental advisory graphic will appear.

If you populate this tag with the ‘clean’ value, indicating that none of your podcast episodes contain explicit language or adult content, a ‘clean’ parental advisory graphic will appear.

If you populate this tag with any other value besides ‘yes’ or ‘clean’, neither of the parental advisory graphics will appear and that space will remain blank.

Note that podcasts that contain explicit material are not available in some iTunes Store territories.

<itunes:isClosedCaptioned>

The <itunes:isClosedCaptioned> tag should be used with a ‘yes’ value for a video podcast episode with embedded closed captioning.

A closed-caption icon will appear next to the corresponding episode.

If the closed-caption tag is present and has any other value, no closed-caption indicator will appear.

This tag is only supported at the <item> (episode) level.

<itunes:order>

The <itunes:order> tag can be used to override the default ordering of episodes on the iTunes Store by populating it with the number value in which you would like the episode to appear. For example, if you would like an <item> to appear as the first episode of the podcast, you would populate the <itunes:order> tag with ‘1’. If conflicting order values are present in multiple episodes, the store will order by <pubDate>.

<itunes:complete>

The <itunes:complete> tag, populated with a ‘yes’ value, indicates that a podcast has been completed and no further episodes will be posted in the future.

If you populate this tag with any other value, it will have no effect.

This tag is only supported at a <channel> (podcast) level.

<itunes:new-feed-url>

The <itunes:new-feed-url> tag allows you to change the URL where the RSS podcast feed is located, for example:

<itunes:new-feed-url>http://newlocation.com/example.rss</itunes:new-feed-url>

After adding the tag to your old feed, you should maintain the old feed for 48 hours before retiring it.

For more information, please see the Changing Your Feed URL section earlier in this document.

This tag is only supported at a <channel> (podcast) level.

<itunes:owner>

The <itunes:owner> tag contains contact information for the owner of the podcast intended to be used for administrative communication about the podcast. This information is not displayed on the iTunes Store.

The email address of the owner should be included in a nested <itunes:email> element. Include the name of the owner in a nested <itunes:name> element.

<itunes:subtitle>

The contents of the <itunes:subtitle> tag are displayed in the Description column in iTunes. For best results, choose a subtitle that is only a few words long.

<itunes:summary>

The contents of the <itunes:summary> tag are shown on the iTunes Store page for your podcast. The information also appears in a separate window if the information (‘i’) icon in the Description column is clicked. This field can be up to 4,000 characters.

If a <itunes:summary> tag is not included, the contents of the <description> tag are used.

<language>

Because the iTunes Store is available in territories around the world, it is critical to specify the language of a podcast. Only values from the ISO 639 list (two-letter language codes, with some possible modifiers, such as ‘en-MY’) are supported.

Common Mistakes

Wrong <pubDate> Format

The date and time format in <pubDate> must conform to RFC 2822.

The date must be ‘day-of-week, day month year’. The time must be in 24-hour format (no AM or PM) and must include the time-zone offset. For example:

<!-- date and time not in RFC 2822 format -->
<pubDate>7/6/2014 1:00:00 PM</pubDate>

<!-- valid date and time format -->
<pubDate>Wed, 6 Jul 2014 13:00:00 PDT</pubDate>
<pubDate>Wed, 6 Jul 2014 13:00:00 -0700</pubDate>

Failure to Escape Ampersands

<!-- illegal xml -->
<title>Food & Wine</title>

<!-- valid xml -->
<title>Food &amp; Wine</title>

Using HTML Named Character Entities

<!-- illegal xml -->
<copyright>&copy; 2014 John Doe</copyright>

<!-- valid xml -->
<copyright>&#xA9; 2014 John Doe</copyright>

Unlike HTML, XML only requires escaping five ‘named character entities’, as follows:

Character Name XML
& ampersand &amp;
< less-than sign &lt;
> greater-than sign &gt;
apostrophe &apos;
" quotation &quot;

All other characters can be entered directly in an editor that supports UTF-8.

However, you can also use numeric character references that specify the Unicode for the character, for example:

Character Name XML
© copyright sign &#xA9;
sound recording copyright &#x2117;
TM trademark sign &#x2122;

For more information, see XML Character and Entity References.

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