Feed and site updates

| July 21, 2010 | Comments (1)

Hi all,

You’re probably wondering why the site has reverted to what it looked like 18 months ago, and why the XML feed is borked. We moved to Blogspot because Alachia was familiar with it and she did more writing than I did. I put in a redirect into index.html so that the only thing that would happen is that visitors to the main site would get redirected, and it wouldn’t affect any of the site’s subdomains. If I were to do an entire site redirect (eg: forwarding all of worldofwarcast.com to blogspot.com), then it would break everything.

About a week ago, iTunes somehow took that redirect and used it internally. I have no idea how or why.

So, it’s like this:

http://www.worldofwarcast.com got changed to http://warcastpodcast.blogspot.com/

Please note the / at the end of the blogspot URL.

iTunes then replaced the one URL with the other, so the feed URL:

http://www.worldofwarcast.com/podcast.xml

became

http://warcastpodcast.blogspot.com//podcast.xml

The blogspot URL had a / at the end of it, whereas the warcast URL did not, so an extra / got added before podcast.xml.

The reason why we’re getting Error 400’s from that URL is because Google/Blogspot treats the // before podcast.xml as a badly formed URL. Also, Blogspot no longer allows users to manage a .htaccess file, so I have no way of fixing this on my end. If Blogspot didn’t treat the // as bad form, I could set up a missing files table to point to the right file on worldofwarcast.com (and I did), but I have to fix it on Blogspot’s servers.

So this is where I am now: iTunes has an internal bad URL that I can’t fix. I have no control over that file inside iTunes, and I can’t fix the Error 400 because Blogspot doesn’t allow you to. That means the XML URL in iTunes is in limbo.

I’ve written up two tickets to Apple, and posted on both Google’s and Apple’s support forums asking for help from someone. I know that there are times when Apple employees have fixed URLs for people, but if this doesn’t get fixed properly, that means I’ll have to scream at Apple a little louder, or email Steve (and yes, I will do that to get this fixed). The worst case scenario is I create a new podcast on iTunes with a slightly different title. I shouldn’t have to do this. iTunes has a “delete my podcast” form, why don’t they have a “fix my podcast” form?

In the meantime, if you have a running subscription to the show, you’re golden. If you need to subscribe on a new system, you’ll have to manually subscribe to the link at the bottom of this article. Until this gets fixed, iTunes will continue to show the feed up until the last known good episode which is 103, and episode 104 is out. If you’re looking at the feed from an iPad or an iPhone using iTunes, you won’t see anything past episode 103.

One of the biggest problems I have with Blogspot is that you have no control over anything that resembles running a real site. You can’t upload anything except pictures, and if something odd goes wrong with your site (like what happened to me), there are very limited tools to help fix it. If this happened to something I hosted myself, I could have fixed it in 10 seconds, or called someone at my hosting company. There’s nobody to call at Google. I think the best Google offers is a custom 404 and a 301 redirect, but the 301 doesn’t help fix the Error 400 since it has to get past that first, and can’t.

For now, I’m going to have to leave this site as is. You can still get to the old Blogspot blog from the link at the bottom of this article, but I think that URL redirection in this case is something that’s going to have to go away. I don’t like not having control over the content, and in this case, it’s preventing people from accessing the show.

Feed URL: http://www.worldofwarcast.com/podcast.xml

Blogspot URL: http://warcastpodcast.blogspot.com

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Category: Podcasts, Site News

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Comments (1)

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  1. Fimlys says:

    Good luck! I’ve had some issues like this in the past, but running everything on my own let me make changes that finally got things worked out. I did get in touch with a tech person through the help on apple’s site. They were not helpful in the least though. :(

    Hopefully you can get someone that can change the thing to fix it. The other possibility is to set it all up again.. Unfortunately you lose all the ratings and comments and such so I would say that really isn’t an option at all.

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