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OPML feed of podcasts

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Alan Ogilvie Alan Ogilvie | 18:04 UK time, Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Hi all! I work in BBC Audio & Music's Distribution Technologies team, where we look after lots of things relating to how our output is delivered via the different technologies. I look after the IP delivery area which includes streaming strategy, capacity and infrastructure and looking after IP device manufacturers (eg. WiFi Radios). One of the things we have for these manufacturers is an aggregation feed of all our podcasts. I thought it would be good, now that it's automated, to talk about this on the Radio Labs blog.

[Oh, and if you are a device manufacturer who is looking to have a chat about our IP delivered content - don't hesitate to email me direct on the usual bbc email style - firstname.lastname@bbc.co.uk]

It's in a generic OPML, and I don't think I need to go through this with you as I think it's relatively self-explanatory (shout if you need me to).


http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/opml/bbc_podcast_opml.xml

Or (as someone needed on the Backstage list) one with an .opml extension:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/opml/bbc_podcast_opml.opml


Slight caveat - dateModified doesn't currently represent the correct date (it's stuck sometime in the past) - so ignore! We're working on that.

The OPML only lists all of the RSS feeds available, with links to them, and not the actual content of the RSS. This is the way this is supposed to work, and it means that it isn't tied to update every time a new episode appears. It will only update when an entire podcast is taken off, or added.

Also - you might find this node useful. It's not part of the OPML spec but, hey, it's XML so no worries:

<bbcstats genres="Urban|Music|Sport|News & Current
Affairs|Factual|Comedy & Quizzes|Entertainment|Religion & Ethics|Arts &
Drama|Classical|World|Pop & Chart|Rock &
Indie|Science|Childrens|History|Folk & Country|Jazz|Classic Pop &
Rock|Music Documentaries|Blues Soul & Reggae|Dance|Soap|Experimental"
language="en-gb|cy|es|ar|zh|ga|gd|fa|pt"
networks="1xtra|fivelive|wales|6music|worldservice|radio4|cymru|radio3|a
siannetwork|northernireland|radio1|tees|bbc7|radio2|scotland|manchester|
coventry|radio|oxford|lancashire|london|northamptonshire"
rssencs="mp3|m4a" rsstype="audio-download"/>

Which lists all of the podcast genres used, languages, networks available. It also lists rssencs which is simply a unique lists of the formats used, and the type that the podcast payloads are - in this case, these podcasts are always a download. This is for future purposes.

Since it's automated it reflects changes to the podcast offering (presented visually in the Podcast Directory), and we aim to keep this at the same location.

I'd like to hear any feedback you might have about this.

Update - 2008-06-17:

  • addition of the 'allow' attribute in the 'outline' nodes - can be set to 'all' to signify no geographical restriction, or 'uk' to signify that the podcast is restricted to the UK (which would mean that the servers won't allow IP addresses not located in the UK to download the podcast)
  • correction of the dateModified node to correctly represent the last time the OPML was updated.

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