Author Topic: Episode Subtitle & Description not posting to iTunes  (Read 617 times)

Brandon Dawson

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Episode Subtitle & Description not posting to iTunes
« on: March 06, 2018, 09:49:32 am »
I can't seem to nail down how to get the episode subtitle and description to post correctly from PowerPress. My episode files are posting fine... everything seems to be working within my RSS feed, but the content that's pulled through to iTunes as the episode description is the entire show notes from my wordpress post, and the Subtitle entered into the "subtitle" field in PowerPress is nowhere to be found.

So - two questions:
1 - Can I more successfully edit these items from within PowerPress before posting the episode, or
2 - Do I have to edit these things from within the Blubrry podcaster dashboard, by clicking the "Edit Post" in the episode list on my dashboard?

Am I doing this wrong?

Shawn Thorpe

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Re: Episode Subtitle & Description not posting to iTunes
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 12:19:18 pm »
Please respond with a link to your show's listing on Apple Podcasts so we can take a closer look at what's going on.


Shawn Thorpe

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Re: Episode Subtitle & Description not posting to iTunes
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 03:04:18 pm »
I believe ou're using a self-hosted WordPress site with the PowerPress plugin to generate your podcast feed. So, the settings in your Podcaster Dashboard at blubrry.com have no impact on your feed.

The iTunes Subtitle tag for episodes has been almost completely deprecated by Apple. These subtitles may show up SOMETIMES in search results, but that's it. I wouldn't worry about them beyond just making sure they contain a short summary of your episodes.

Apple pulls information from a couple places in your podcast RSS feed for episode descriptions, depending on the app you're using to look at the podcast.

For all versions of the desktop iTunes software, Apple looks for iTunes Summary tags for each post first. If it doesn't find those, it takes from the main blog post information instead. The iOS Podcasts app, however, ignores these iTunes Summary tags and just automatically takes information from your main blog post, whether you want it to or not.

Where exactly are you seeing episode descriptions that you don't like? Is it in the iTunes desktop application, the iOS Podcasts app or both?

Brandon Dawson

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Re: Episode Subtitle & Description not posting to iTunes
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 04:05:43 pm »
Mostly in the iOS podcast app... it's just pulling the straight post text, including any headers. So, for instance, it pulls in headers related to photo content, but not the photos. It pulls in link anchor text, but not in hyperlinked form, etc.  And overall, the post (episode) descriptions I write are too long to be useful as iTunes episode descriptions.  So... I guess I just need to know exactly what to edit in my posts (or in how that content is pulled into my RSS feed) to maybe better tailor it when it syndicates.  OR... can/should I go into the Blubrry post settings AFTER I post to WordPress, and overwrite some of the fields there? Will that create problems?

Shawn Thorpe

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Re: Episode Subtitle & Description not posting to iTunes
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 08:49:01 pm »
Sorry for the delayed response. I subscribed to your show using the iOS Podcasts app on my iPhone 6 Plus. The show notes for your most recent episode look normal to me. Are you still having trouble with how they're displaying within the app?

Brandon Dawson

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Re: Episode Subtitle & Description not posting to iTunes
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 09:11:17 pm »
Hey I'm sorry I didn't see that there was an additional reply to this.

You asked if it was still looking strange...  here's my problem:  I try to write very detailed (long) posts for my episodes, and I include photos and links, both for SEO and for general audience UX.  none of that stuff gets parsed correctly in iTunes (especially in the iOS app), so when you read it there, there's no header formatting, the images don't come through (so headers related to images have no context) and overall it's just too long. Based on what you said before, it seems like there's no way to get around this, without just writing MUCH shorter post content.

I just want to find a way, even if I have to do something complex or download a plugin or manually edit post code, or change settings in my theme or whatever... that allows me to specifically determine the length and content of the iTunes summary. But from your previous replies it sounds like, since iTunes doesn't pay any attention to that (except perhaps on desktop), there's no way to do so on iOS. 

Is that right?

Shawn Thorpe

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Re: Episode Subtitle & Description not posting to iTunes
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 10:59:21 am »
Your assessment is correct. Apple has designed the iOS Podcasts app to display some formatting for show notes, but it doesn't show things like images. If Apple were consistent, and used the iTunes Summary tags on mobile (like they do on desktop), you'd have an alternative to just showing your entire main post show notes in the app. But, that isn't possible.

You could try creating a post with truncated show notes for your episodes, and then creating a second post with the full-length show notes and just link between the two. That'd keep the full notes out of the app, but it'd still give users the ability to get everything.