Apple Drops iTunes Podcast Directory Update Listing/Ping (pingPodcast) Function

We need you to speak out! Apple quietly removed the iTunes Podcast Directory update listing/ping functionality (also known as pingPodcast) earlier this week. You, our content creators, are no longer able to update your listing directly and audiences will have to wait up to 24 hours to access your shows. This is NOT acceptable and is extremely disappointing news for our digital media creators.

The iTunes update directory listing ping service (pingPodcast) allowed podcasters to both verify their feed address that iTunes is pulling, as well as notify iTunes that a new episode has been published. The ping service could be called upon with either the URL to the feed or with the iTunes podcast FEEDID. See examples below:

The URLS above now redirect to the Apple iTunes online store.

This has been an extremely important function for you, our digital media creators, and we need you to all work toward convincing Apple to restore this feature. Please make your thoughts and concerns known to Apple here. It is imperative that we impress upon them the importance of this service!

We are unaware of why they have removed this feature, but we have reached out to Apple to see if there will be an alternative. According to Apple.com forums, podcast feeds will be pulled once every 24 hours. There’s no comment yet how podcast owners can verify their feed listed on iTunes, as the pingPodcast feature was the only way to verify iTunes was updating your listings with the correct feed address.

Apple has removed information on the ping service from the official iTunes podcast specifications document.  Documentation of the previous iTunes podcast specifications can be found on WaybackMachine.org.  Source

From a reply on the apple.com forums from Apple staff, the “link feature” (aka pingPodcast URL) “may no longer be available to podcast publishers.” The staff further explains “this isn’t anything to worry about, iTunes still handles podcast entries the same way, and you are correct in your understanding that by default, the iTunes Store directory reads every feed once per day”. Source

When used, the pingPodcast service returns both the unique iTunes FEEDID as well as the current FEED URL for a given podcast. The information is invaluableto anyone who wants to verify that iTunes is updating the specified podcast listing on iTunes with the correct feed address. With the removal of the pingPodcast function, podcasters can no longer verify their feed URL address used for iTunes podcast directory. Again, here is the link to make your thoughts and concerns known to Apple.

Until Apple restores the pingPodcast service or replaces it with another API service for podcast listing verification, Blubrry.com will no longer be able to provide support to podcasters who have problems with their podcast listings on  iTunes. It is imperative that they return this function or replace it immediately with another service enabling digital media creaters to verify their feed list on iTunes!

Our digital media community has strength in numbers, and if we work together, we are confident we will resolve this troubling development.