Here at Speaking of Wealth, we understand that, when it comes to podcasting, iTunes is the 800 pound gorilla standing in the center of the room screaming for attention. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Somebody’s got to be the top banana. It just irks us when the Apple service prefers to stick its hand in its diaper and throw big steaming piles of poop at the nearest customer when it would be just as easy not to.
What are we talking about? Reasons we don’t think iTunes walks on water.
The iTunes Black Hole
It’s no big secret that iTunes doesn’t make it easy to contact them if you have problems getting your podcast listed. Let’s say you have a problem with your feed. You’ll quickly get an automated message informing you of that reality. Once you fix and resubmit, the same robot lets you know that your feed is already there – erroneously, of course. Hence the term “black hole.” Good luck finding a live body to get it resolved. We’ve read horror stories of podcasters working for months to get their show into the directory.
Poorly Arranged Directory
Ever spent a week or two trying to understand the genre lists in iTunes? No. Maybe it’s just us but those things don’t make a bit of sense. Plus they are rather easy to manipulate by inserting special characters into your show name. We don’t suggest you do this because sooner or later that “Apple Slap” is headed our way.
Big Media Bias
This should come as a surprise to none but iTunes tends to populate their Top 100 list with big name corporations, even though smaller, independently produced podcasts make up the vast majority of the directory. No surprise here, of course, and we’re not really just throwing sour grapes. The reasons behind their choices are probably not nefarious but rather a simple matter of time. It’s safer (in their mind) to toss ESPN onto the list than research Bob’s Renegade Sportscast.
Having said all this, we should point out that we don’t think Apple is evil incarnate. The company has set a pretty high standard when it comes to consumer products and it seems (in our humble opinion) that iTunes could stand a bit of tweaking to bring it up to snuff. Are there alternatives? Jason Hartman has noticed Yahoo doing some pretty cool stuff with their podcast features with more than half being of the independent variety. Kudos, Yahoo! (Top image: Flickr | 401(k) 2013)
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The Speaking of Wealth Team