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Apple Introduces Changes to Podcasting

Alongside the introduction of a revamped Podcasts app in iOS 11, Apple is making a few tweaks at the podcast feed level that will improve the way shows can be organized and displayed inside podcasting apps. Jason Snell shares the details on Six Colors:

New extensions to Apple’s podcast feed specification will allow podcasts to define individual seasons and explain whether an episode is a teaser, a full episode, or bonus content. These extensions will be read by the Podcast app and used to present a podcast in a richer way than the current, more linear, approach. (Since podcast feeds are just text, other podcast apps will be free to follow Apple’s lead and also alter how they display podcasts based on these tags.)

Users will be able to download full seasons, and the Podcasts app will know if a podcast is intended to be listened to in chronological order—“start at the first episode!”—or if it’s more timely, where the most recent episode is the most important.

As the world of podcasting has grown, there is now a more diverse selection of shows than ever before, leading to the need for more nuanced formatting of those shows. I appreciate how Apple is implementing these changes at a feed level so that third-party apps can take advantage of them as well.

The full array of podcasting changes, including a brief walkthrough of the redesigned Podcasts app in iOS 11, were first covered in a session from WWDC.