How Podcasting Works
November 13, 2004 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Podcasting baffles me... [you know the drill]

Say I cook up a 20M .mp3 of the conversation I just had with my dog and plant it in my RSS 2.0 feed as an enclosure... that means I'm serving up a 20M file to everyone who has my feed in their aggregator? Am I serving it multiple times to the same person if their aggregator of choice doesn't respect the LastUpdated (or whatever it's called) bit of business?

Will the remainder of my feed hang while the 20M .mp3 downloads?
posted by cedar to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
1. Yes and No. Anyone using podcasting software will automatically download the file. Anyone using a normal RSS reeder probably will not, unless you have the MP3 file embedded in the page, rather than just linked there. Many RSS feed readers cannot currently handle enclosures.

2. Yes. There are many bad RSS readers, but I would hope that the podcasting software and script writers would be checking for this sort of thing.

3. No. Why should it?

The general principle here is: would you be excessively burdened by the same MP3 file being available strictly as a web download? If the answer is yes, then don't post it in your RSS feed, either. While the RSS feed *should* be less burden (because of fewer theoretical downloads) there's no guarantee you won't get nailed for overages by your ISP.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:21 AM on November 14, 2004

You'd be better off distributing a .torrent of the MP3 and getting the listeners to share their bandwidth in exchange for your dogs fascinating thoughts on unilateral military actions. I know some podcasting software will recognize BitTorrents and download the file over BT.
posted by revgeorge at 1:39 PM on November 14, 2004

Our fearless leader made the same points here and here.
posted by Vidiot at 1:53 PM on November 14, 2004

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