iTunes

FAQs: For Podcast Makers

Can I use iTunes to create my podcast?

Podcasts cannot be created with iTunes. Mac users can use GarageBand for audio production; QuickTime, iMovie or Final Cut for video production; and iWeb for podcast feed creation. Mac OS X Server’s Podcast Producer feature can also be used to capture high-quality audio and video from local and remote cameras, record screen captures and upload existing content to create high-quality podcasts. PC podcast makers also have a number of audio and video production programmes and feed-creation tools.

If you have video files that can be played in iTunes but cannot be successfully ported to iPod or Apple TV, the iTunes client application includes a Convert Selection for iPod command that will result in a file that works on all three platforms.

Can I host my podcast on iTunes?

iTunes does not host or cache podcast XML or media files. Podcasters host their own media files and RSS feeds on their own web servers, or by contracting with a third-party provider. The iTunes Store houses a searchable directory of podcasts, to which your podcast feed can be submitted.

How do I submit my podcast?

Submit your podcast feed URL to the iTunes Store here.

You can also find this link by going to iTunes Store, navigating to the Podcasts directory and clicking the “Submit a Podcast” link.

The terms and conditions of the Podcasts directory are covered by your iTunes Store account. As a result, you must be logged into an iTunes account in order to submit a podcast.

Can I submit a test feed?

iTunes does not accept test podcast feeds. Please test your feed by opening iTunes, clicking the Advanced menu and selecting “Subscribe to Podcast…”. To diagnose problems with your feed, we also recommend Feed Validator.

I submitted my podcast, but I can’t find it in the iTunes Store.

After you successfully submit your podcast, a confirmation email is sent to the email associated with your iTunes account. If an itunes:owner is specified in the RSS feed and includes an email address, this and subsequent emails will be sent to that address. You podcast is reviewed by iTunes staff before it goes live in the iTunes Store. If it is approved, you will receive another email, which includes a link to your podcast. The link works immediately, but your podcast is not immediately searchable. The iTunes Store servers must first index your podcast, a process which can take up to 24 hours.

Why do I need good metadata?

You need good metadata so people can find your podcast and decide whether or not to subscribe to it.

Your podcast’s metadata includes all the information that describes your podcast for the potential subscriber, as well as for the iTunes search and browse infrastructure. The podcast’s category and subcategory determine where the podcast will appear in the browse tree. The title, author, description and (up to 12) keywords are indexed by the iTunes search engine and used to determine relevance when compared with terms entered by the user in the Search iTunes Store box. A high percentage of users look for podcasts via search. If you don’t have good, robust metadata, your podcast will not turn up in many searches. And when users do find your podcast, they may not have enough information to decide whether to subscribe.

Your podcast must have robust metadata to be eligible for featuring on the Podcast main page or the Store main page.

Why do I need cover art?

Attractive and interesting cover art attracts new subscribers to your podcast. Podcasts must have good cover art to be featured on the Podcast main page or the Store main page. Most good podcast images include an image as well as a title, brand or source name. A 300-by-300-pixel JPG is the recommended size and format. Using this relatively large format, the iTunes Store automatically generates the various smaller images you see in the podcast directory. Before you settle on the art for your podcast, you may want to review the Top Podcasts page and note the various elements that contribute to compelling art.

Why was my podcast removed or not approved?

Unauthorised copyrighted material, erotica, illegal solicitations and hate speech are prohibited in the iTunes Store. Podcasts with no episodes will be removed. Podcasts with no recent episodes can remain in iTunes but may disappear from some areas.

Can I have a review removed?

iTunes does not remove reviews for editorial purposes. Reviews with profanity, hate speech, explicit/pornographic content or commentary that is completely off topic are prohibited. To request removal of a review, click “Report a Concern” for that review.

Does iTunes allow podcasts containing advertising or sponsorship?

Yes.

Can I sell my podcast in the iTunes Store?

No. Podcasts cannot be sold via the iTunes Store. Podcasts requiring an external username or password are prohibited.

Can I password-protect my podcast?

iTunes client application supports Basic and Digest Authorisation, but the iTunes Store does not list password-protected podcasts.

Do I need an iTunes account to submit a podcast?

Yes. You must sign in with a valid iTunes Store account to submit a podcast. Your account will not be charged.

How do I determine the number of subscribers to my podcast?

Podcasts are hosted on your server or a third party you designate. The iTunes store is acting as a directory, similar in function to a web directory. Furthermore, the iTunes client application does not report podcast download or unsubscribe information to the iTunes Store or any third party. Consequently, the iTunes Store does not provide subscription or download figures.

When selecting or setting up a host for your podcast, make sure you have access to server logs or some other way to monitor the number of times each podcast episode has been downloaded.

Can I earn money by linking to the iTunes Store?

Yes. You can earn a commission on sales of songs and films purchased by customers who linked to the iTunes Store from your website — even when your link leads to a free podcast. When you sign up as an iTunes Affiliate, you are given an affiliate tag to embed in your web links. When users click these links, a session variable is set in their iTunes client application, and anything they purchase in the next 24 hours is credited to your affiliate account. The iTunes Affiliate Program is available in selected countries.

How can I create a page that aggregates my podcasts?

If you have multiple podcasts listed in the iTunes Store, the iTunes staff can create a single page that lists all of them in one place. We call this page an “artist page”. Note that a podcast can only appear on one artist page.

To request an artist page, navigate to one of your podcasts, click “Report a Concern” and select “Remove a Podcast”. In the dialogue box, explain that you would like an artist page, give us the exact name of the artist (please don’t include “Inc.”, “LLC” and so on), and list the exact feed URLs or links to your podcasts.